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The Comic

The Comic

By Stan Rogal

A bored part-time college English instructor who teaches a class called "Humour in Classical Novels" to students who really don't care decides to try his hand at stand-up comedy, which takes him from his very protected academic world into an arena open to attack and persecution by his family, the public at large, the media and the courts. The novel explores issues such as political correctness/cultural sensitivity, personal and private space and social media, freedom of speech, huckster media, the notion of originality and most especially the nature of humour itself -- what makes something funny, what subjects are taboo and why, what causes certain jokes to lose favour, how does context affect what can or cannot be said. To further this approach, he takes the name Bruce Leonard and dresses a là TVs Columbo. On his downward spiral, the man meets some wild characters: a female stand-up comic who tends to mirror his routine and voyage, a prosecuting lawyer who uses court cases to promote her other role as author


Guernica Editions (Essential Prose Series)


275 pages |

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The Comic, though it’s unlikely to settle any questions readers might have on “freedom of speech” and its limitations, does open up some big, uncomfortable questions, which readers should appreciate because comedy does have a venerable history

The Ormsby Review


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About the author

Stan Rogal was born in Vancouver and now resides in Toronto with his painter partner and pet jackabee. He is the author of 26 books: 7 novels, 7 short story collection, 12 poetry collections, and several chapbooks. He has an MA English from York U. He once had drinks in a seedy Vancouver bar with Allen Ginsberg. Allen drank orange juice.