Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Fran Fischer's "Fishducky's Fables"


Hello all, on this, the first day of May 2013. Thank you for all your comments and e-mails encouraging me to take time off and “go with the flow” of the barometer. The temperature was 84° F here yesterday. Today’s prediction is for 74° with rain showers and thunderstorms. Then the temperature dramatically drops to 49° with rain forecast for the next five days. Of course, an erratic barometer will accompany all these temperature changes.
         But enough of this shilly-shallying over barometric changes. I’ve sat on the sidelines, nursing an aching brain, for three weeks now and its time to stand up, do my world-famous shimmy, and shout, “Enough already! I’m reentering the fray!”
         In truth, I really began this reentry on Monday when I visited several of you on your blogs and left comments. For me that was the day I yawned, stretched widely, and decided to say “Phooey!” to headaches and "Yes!" to posting again.
         So, to begin my blog anew, I’m reviewing today a delightful book of humor for all of us who still remember the wonder of our childhood reading of fairy tales and fables.
          The cover of Fishducky’s Fables by Fran Fischer hints at the merriment within. Be warned that if you read this entertaining entry into the humor genre, you may have to relinquish some cherished beliefs about fairy tales. What you learned as a child simply wasn’t true!


         In Fischer’s book, we chuckle over fractured fairy tales like Rapunzel. We guffaw as the author shares with us the reasons for why zebras zig, leopards spot, and kangaroos accessorize with a pouch. These how-did stories are amazingly original. In addition, Fischer weaves tongue-in-cheek magic as she spinningly retells myths about Greek gods, goddesses, and other important people.


         The book closes with two amusingly outlandish stories about Dorian Gray and Frankenstein and a number of nursery rhymes, each ending with a twist that left me grinning at Fischer’s humorous take on all of life.         
         I was drawn to this book because of all the enjoyment I’ve had in reading Fischer’s blog: Fishducky, finally. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for months I’ve depended on her postings to lighten my day with laughter.
         And yet, I seldom read humorous books or books on humor. Several years ago, I did read—and truly enjoyed—the P. G. Wodehouse series featuring Bertie Wooster and his long-suffering manservant, Jeeves.
         And I’ve been a fan of many comedians from radio, television, and Saturday Night Live, among them, Jack Benny, Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Flip Wilson, Carol Burnett, Dana Carvey, Lily Tomlin, Jackie Gleason, Billy Crystal, Bob Newhart, Bill Cosby, Tim Conway, Jonathan Winters, Red Skelton, Ernie Kovacs, Dick Gregory, Gilda Radner, Victor Borge, Ellen DeGeneres, Louie Armstrong, and Robin Williams.
         So while I’ve never really read humorous books, I’ve enjoyed many comedians. And now I count Fischer among them. She has a true sense of the ridiculous. She's the bloggers' standup comic. And in Fishducky’s Fables she'll give you the lowdown on how Jimmy Choo’s shoe company got started and on which princess had a happy marriage because of Breath Right Nasal.
         Fischer had me chuckling when I encountered the last line of the King Midas story. She amazed me with her inventiveness in the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale. And she surprised me with the name of the television show on which Thumbelina appeared.


         And speaking of that little girl, according to Fischer when writing about Thumb and her husband, the “word on the street is that they lived reasonably happy ever after.” I’m relieved to know that!
         As well, it’s educational to learn why hares hop instead of run and why elephants have trunks. Not only humorous, but the word charming applies to many of these stories.
         Two of my most treasured childhood books—which sit in pride of place on one of my bookshelves—are Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know, a 1944 gift from my cousin Tommy and Fairy Tales and Stories by Hans Christian Andersen, a Christmas gift from my parents in 1945. Now I have shelved securely on my iPad a third fairy tale book—Fran Fischer’s Fishducky’s Fables. I’m going to post this review and then go to Amazon and Goodreads and give it a five-star review.
         If you delight in originality and seek laughter in your life, you’ll also want to read this book. Enjoy!

47 comments:

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    1. Dear Fran, you're WELCOME! For over a month I kept planning to post a review and life stepped in to thwart those plans. So I'm glad that I finally sat down at the computer and typed these words. I hope that many will respond to them and purchase your book. Peace.

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  2. Fran's book is hilariously awesome. This is such a perfect review of it ;-)

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    1. Dear Elisa, I, too, think that Fran's book is hilarious! Peace.

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  3. I wish you'd added more quotes! I can't tell if this book is a satire or gentle humor, or reimaginings or all of the above! I guess I'll have to shift my supreme laziness and look it up myself. How cruel of you to force me to that. :)

    (I'm 35 and I must say, Jack Benny was amazing. Because the jokes written for him weren't always funny...but his delivery ALWAYS was.)

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    1. Dear Therese, so sorry to be so cruel to you! Because I really don't read books of humor, I have a hard time coming up with a category. If you read the book, I hope that you've share with me the category you'd assign it.

      And yes, Jack Benny's sense of timing was impeccable. Peace.

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    1. Dear Bodrum, thanks so much. It's good to be back. Peace.

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  6. You've convinced me my father would have loved this book. After I read it I'll pass it along to the granddaughter who always got his jokes and puns.

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    1. Dear Joanne, that sounds like a good plan. And if you really like these "fractured fairy tales," you may want to go to Amazon and buy the anthology put out by the press that published Fran's book. The anthology is "Open Doors: Fractured Fairy Tales." It features the retailing of these tales by many different writers. Peace.

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  7. Fran Fischer's Fishducky's Fables sounds wonderful. Thanks for the great review... We all definitely need humor in our lives, don't we? Laughing and smiling keeps us young and happy!!!!!

    You mentioned many of my favorite comedians... Too bad that the comedians of today are not nearly as funny or entertaining (TO ME) as the ones from years gone by. (Maybe that's my age!)

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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    1. Dear Betsy, like you, I don't find the comedians today as funny and I no longer faithfully watch "Saturday Night Live" on which so much of the humor is scatological. So much of the humor is what we used to call "Blue." And I don't feel comfortable with it. Perhaps that age. I don't know. If so, I'm not apologizing for it!!! Peace.

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  8. I've read her posts before and I can almost hear her reading them as I go through. I've never sensed this with another blog, but her sense of timing must be spot on when she speaks her humor.

    Thank you for this well delivered review, and so good to have you back!

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    1. Dear Shelly, I'm glad to learn that you, too, enjoy Fran's blog. And thanks for welcoming me back. It's truly good to be reading the blogs of others again. So much of life comes into my home from the blogging world. Peace.

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  9. Great review....made me want to read the book!

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    1. Dear Nancy, I hope you do get a chance to read the book. A little humor leavens the uncertainty of life. Peace.

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  10. Ooh a great review! Will visit fishducky. Glad you're back!

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    1. Dear Turquoisemoon, I'm pleased you liked the review. And thanks for welcoming me back. I visited your blog today and was so glad to learn about your smoothies! Peace.

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  11. I am so glad you are back and hope those headaches leave you alone. An aching head dominates the whole body.
    You have sold me on Fishducky's book. Sounds perfectly delightful. Wonderful review.

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    1. Dear Arkansas Patti, it's true--at least for me--that "an aching head dominates" my whole body. Thanks so much for putting me in touch with your friend Jules. Her glass jewelry is exquisite and I hope many people come to your blog and read about it and go to her wonderful web site to see the jewelry, especially the ear rings. Peace.

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  12. This really sounds like fun. Thanks for the great review and I'll check it out right now! :-)

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    1. Dear DJan, it is a fun book. I'm not used to reading humorous stories--I'm a reader of mystery novels, but this book made me laugh and chuckle and smile. So I think it's good. Peace.

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  13. Fran always makes me giggle and smile. I can't imagine her book wouldn't be delightful. Great review!! :)

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    1. Dear Rita, it is a delightful review. And it's the first book I've read on my iPad, which was a Christmas gift from friends. You and I do seem to have such wonderful friends who give us such surprising and thoughtful gifts. We're blessed, Rita. Peace.

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  14. It's wonderful to hear you say you're just shaking off those headaches! That's not easy to do, but I hope you'll find a way to enter back in to as much blogging as you can enjoy without overtaxing. You have been missed, Dee. I think this is a wonderful review of a book that sounds so very unique. I must check it out. I am like you. I love comedians, comedic movies and yet somehow I rarely read a humorous book. I think I would enjoy this very much. What a lovely review! ox

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    1. Dear Debra, I enjoyed the book and often felt giggles erupting within. Fran truly could be a stand-up comic. Peace.

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  15. It is wonderful to have you back to posting again. I hope the weather stabilizes soon so you don't have to suffer from it so much. I will post my review of Fran's book tomorrow and will provide a link back to yours. It sure is a book bordering on comic genius, I'd say.

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    1. Dear Inger, I look forward to reading the review tomorrow that you are doing for Fran's book. "Comic genius" describes her talent in a nutshell. Peace.

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  16. I'm another who doesn't read many comic books, Dee, but this sounds like one for the must-read list. Thanks for your fine review and welcome back to blogging. We've missed you!

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    1. Dear Perpetua, I've surely missed reading your blog and others. Blogging takes me out of my own somewhat insular existence and into the wider arc of humanity. It makes me grateful for being able to read and type and think and let's me know that life is full of surprises and change is always just around the corner. Peace.

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  17. Wonderful review you gave at your bay, and sure always enjoy kids books, obviously, and humor too, also welcome back to the blogland zoo.

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    1. Dear Pat, it's good to be back to "the blogland zoo" and to reconnect with rhymers like yourself! Peace.

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  18. I hope you are feeling better with each and every day, Dee.
    The book sounds delightful.

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    1. Dear Pam, I felt so good yesterday and today. When I went to bed last night and opened my gratitude journal, which, for twelve years, I've been writing down five things each night that I"m grateful for, I suddenly realized that I"d had no inkling of a headache all day. O je jigs and juleps!!!! What a feeling. Peace.

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  19. I'm glad you are feeling a bit better. Humor is a great way to return. I like a twisted fairy tale or 2.

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    1. Dear Mary, its seems to me that without humor I'd go off the rails. Peace.

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  20. Oh, I'll have to check out that blog. Something in your review made me wonder: did you grow up with (or ever read) Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories? Sounds like an updated (111 years later!) version.

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    1. Dear Murr, I didn't read Kipling, except for a few stories in our English Literature book in senior year of high school. But since then I do know the "Just So Stories" and I think you've put your finger on what Fran did for some of the stories in her book. Thanks for stopping by. Peace.

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  21. Thank you for the tip but I am even more glad to hear that you are reasonably well enough to get back to a touch of blogging.
    Take whatever time you need but do come back when you find it easy.

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    1. Dear Friko, thanks for the encouragement and while I'm thinking of that word, I'm wondering if you are doing any more work on your memoir/autobiography. You started work on it last year and got a lot of encouragement, but health and other concerns intervened. I, too, am having problems with getting my writing done. And now that spring has come, the garden calls you I"m sure. For myself, I'm trying to begin to walk regularly again and to follow blogs and to catch up on what got ignored for several weeks. So let's encourage one another. Peace.

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  22. An author who writes humorous, charming stories is hard to find. Thanks for the tip. May you feel well in body and spirit (if not both, at least in one at a time). I'm happy to read your words again.

    P.S. This is Deanna Hershiser; can't seem to sign in my usual way, so, just so you know.

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    1. Dear Deanna, I'm so pleased that you can leave a message even if it's not coming here "in the usual way." Fran's writing is both humorous and charming. Peace.

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  23. You did a great review of Fran's book. Fran's humor cracks me up. Did she so her own illustrating for the book, as she is a very good artist.
    Sorry I'm so late coming over. I kind of vegged out after the A-Z.

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    1. Dear Manzanita, her humor "cracks me up" also! She didn't illustrate her book but that's an idea for another book! And her illustrations would so enhance her writing. Peace.

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  24. Welcome back to the blog-o-sphere Dee. I'm glad to hear you're shaking off the headaches.
    We're also having strange weather - 80's one day and down to the 60's next...

    You're so thoughtful to recommend another blogger's book. A book that ends with
    " Dorian Gray, Frankenstein and a number of nursery rhymes..." sounds so intriguing I've got to check it.

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  25. Dear Rosie, I was glad--pleased also--to recommend Fran's book. As I said in the post, I don't read humor although I love laughing and know how healthy that is for me. But many of those who read my blog probably do like humorous books and so Fran's may be the perfect fit for them. Peace.

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