From the list on mixing humor with serious topics.
Who am I?
My life carries absurd contradictions. A country kid and athlete, I fell in love with theater and literature. I hated school but became a teacher. An outdoorsman and environmentalist, I became a successful advertising executive and an entrepreneur. My novel Getting Huge has similar surprises: a 6’11” minister who hated basketball. He resented Concord, MA as a boy, but he returns to toil in his father’s church for 12 years. He’s never planted a thing, but discovers a passion for giant pumpkins and starts to be an entrepreneur who dreams way too big. I hope readers see how John Crackstone is (like many of us) humanized by comic contradictions.
John's book list on mixing humor with serious topics
Why did John love this book?
The novel Anxious People is a mostly-comic novel that helped me, as a writer, think through how comedy is delivered.
Frederik Backman has a background as a standup comic and you can see it in the writing of the novel—and sometimes Backman’s clever quips get in the way of the story.
The situation is of a robbery gone wrong with a range of weird and wacky characters, but they are developed in a way that helps us care about them as their stories are revealed and common touchpoints emerge.
The father-son police team, the robber’s pains, the fractured relationships. In the end, I found myself caring about these people.