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The Funnies

About the Book

The Funnies

As often poignant and insightful on the subject of sibling relations as it is laugh-out-loud hilarious, The Funnies is a bittersweet comedy that tells the story of the Mix family—a dysfunctional, semi-estranged brood forever immortalized as wisecracking imps in their father's nationally syndicated "Family Circus"-esque comic strip. When their cartoonist dad dies, his estate is divided among four of his five children. Instead of a cushiony bank account, Tim Mix, a struggling artist and our narrator, is given three months to learn to draw the strip. If he succeeds (which means selling out), he will have inherited a gold mine; if he fails, he will get nothing. As in his first novel, Lennon brings to life a wide range of characters who ring true at every turn—from Dot Mix, the matriarch whose alcohol-induced senility means she only occasionally recognizes members of her brood, to Pierce Mix, the family's black sheep and its youngest member who never made it into the strip and has been clinically depressed ever since. The deeply odd world of syndicated cartoonists is used to full effect on these pages, as is Lennon's gift for creating, in the words of The New Yorker, "psychologically nuanced, richly detailed, and unexpectedly comic" situations. The Funniesmarks a bright and brilliant leap forward for one of our most imaginative and gifted young writers.

The Funnies
by J. Robert Lennon

  • Publication Date: February 1, 2000
  • Mass Market Paperback: 319 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Trade
  • ISBN-10: 1573227811
  • ISBN-13: 9781573227810