A FUNNY THING HAPPENED TO THE CHURCH by Joel--Ed. Wells

A FUNNY THING HAPPENED TO THE CHURCH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a collection of ""humor, cartoons, satire and fiction from the pages of The Critic."" Not unsurprisingly, the book is a pretty accurate reflection of Critic, which is a Catholic magazine with literary pretensions that occasionally gets off the ground. That is, about half of the twenty-five pieces are as funny as heaven, and the rest are as funny as hell. Among the best, and the most ""significant"" are Andrew Greeley's ""The First Papal Press Conference"" and John Bellairs little gem, ""The Life and Times of St. Fidgeta,"" which should endure in the annals of parahagiography as long as Catholics are able to laugh at themselves. Some of Martin Murphy's cartoons are delightful; but some are embarrassingly flat. Mr. Wells' own six contributions are uniformly well conceived and uniformly executed with a heavy hand. Archbishop Paul Hallinan's excellent piece, ""I Was Wrong"", demonstrates that some members of the hierarchy are capable of doing more than scrambling for funds. David Lodge and Brain Friel provide literary leaven, and the loaf of satire rises despite the cold kitchen of a sometimes too uncritical Critic. On the whole, there is more good than bad here, and Catholics with moderately progressive funnybones will enjoy the book.

Pub Date: Aug. 18th, 1969
Publisher: Macmillan