1,000 Years of Laughter

  • by Compiled by David Timson
  • Narrated by Griff Rhys Jones, Carole Boyd, Jonathan Keeble
  • 4 hrs and 59 mins
  • Original recording Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Laughter is unique to man. This delightful anthology presents some of the funniest extracts in English literature. It opens with Anglo-Saxon riddles and continues with medieval memories, Tudor comic turns, and Restoration buffoonery.
The rise of the novel in the 18th century brought classic humour from Swift, Sterne, and Smollet, passing the mantle to Charles Dickens in the 19th century. Included here are rarities from the antiquarian's cupboard. Children's literature produced unforgettable images from Wind in the Willows and Alice in Wonderland, while in the first half of the 20th century emerged unforgettable comic writers as diverse as Dorothy Parker and P.G. Wodehouse. Entertaining from start to finish.


Audible Editor Reviews

This collection is amazing. It isn’t always funny because in a thousand years standards of humor have changed drastically and topical puns from even a hundred years ago have aged badly. But when it is funny, it’s fantastic. David Timson’s selections are masterful, including everyone from Dickens to Wodehouse and Parker. The cast brings them fully to life, handling even the pauses and over accenting of syllables it takes to make some puns work, and switching accents from Twain’s frontier English to Wodehouse’s British. With selections from children’s literature (The Wind in the Willows), wonderful nonsense (Alice in Wonderland), and satire, this anthology spans Anglo-American civilization, offering something for everyone.


What the Critics Say

"This collection is amazing....David Timson's selections are masterful, including everyone from Dickens to Wodehouse and Parker. The cast brings them fully to life." (AudioFile)


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Entertaining, Educational, Enjoyable

Where does 1,000 Years of Laughter rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is by far Number 1. A delightful experience for those with quirky tastes.

OK, it's my first, but i am hungry for more.

What other book might you compare 1,000 Years of Laughter to and why?

It is one of a kind.

Which scene was your favorite?

Am torn between Dickens and P. G. Wodehouse.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Well actiually, I bought it to keep my brain from worrying about my very recent cancer diagnosis. I need something to occupy my brain when going to sleep and yet not keep my husband awake, so I put on earphones and turn on my iphone and try to occupy my brain with something happy until I doze off. This book worked wonders. I figure I heard all of it the whole way through four times before I was awake more than the dark ages.

Then, yesterday, I had a 430 mile solitary drive in the car and had to stay awake through the whole time and heard the whole book. Thoroughly delightful. Just what the doctor ordered.
The short musical interludes are great, the selections entertaining. I loved the readers with their mild British Accents and dramatic flair. Dickens, Hardy, P. G. Wodehouse, Dorothy Parker. Not gut wrenching laughter like Jeanne Robertson, or the best of Garrison Keillor, but mild, lip lifting smiles--and restful, no nightmares, sleep.

Now I have to find another

Any additional comments?

Wish I hadn't already read Shoot Low Boys, They're Riding Shetland Ponies. It would be great on Audible

Read full review

- L. Burbach

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-10-2005
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks