Created in Darkness by Troubled Americans, edited by Dave Eggers (Shane's Book 26, 2008)

We had a 26books blogger meet-up recently and we each brought a book to exchange. I got this one from Ann. It's an anthology of writing from the humour section of McSweeney's, the American book, magazine and website publisher. It's patchy. There are high points, notably John Hodgman's Fire, The Next Sharp Stick? and J M Tyree's On the Implausibility of the Death Star's Trash Compactor, but too often the jokes can't sustain even the short pieces devoted to them.

[amtap book:isbn=1400042240]

For example, Jim Stallard's No Justice, No Foul has a very simple premise: for years the American Supreme Court has solved disputes within its number through basketball games. And that's it. Over twelve pages the descriptions of basketball games - hey, it's funny because they're judges, see? - wear thinner and thinner.

Stallard's story is the worst, I think. Much of the book is just average, which is a shame. I wanted to like this more. Nothing in it is as good as what's on McSweeney's site at the moment, Sarah Schmelling's Hamlet (Facebook news feed edition).