Read The Stench of Honolulu: A Tropical Adventure by Jack Handey Online


The legendary Deep Thoughts and New Yorker humorist Jack Handey is back with his very first novel-a hilarious, absurd, far-flung adventure tale.THE STENCH OF HONOLOLUAre you a fan of books in which famous tourist destinations are repurposed as unlivable hellholes for no particular reason? Read on!Jack Handey's exotic tale is full of laugh-out-loud twists and unforgettableThe legendary Deep Thoughts and New Yorker humorist Jack Handey is back with his very first novel-a hilarious, absurd, far-flung adventure tale.THE STENCH OF HONOLOLUAre you a fan of books in which famous tourist destinations are repurposed as unlivable hellholes for no particular reason? Read on!Jack Handey's exotic tale is full of laugh-out-loud twists and unforgettable characters whose names escape me right now. A reliably unreliable narrator and his friend, who is some other guy, need to get out of town. They have a taste for adventure, so they pay a visit to a relic of bygone days-a travel agent-and discover an old treasure map. She might have been a witch, by the way. Our heroes soon embark on a quest for the Golden Monkey, which takes them into the mysterious and stinky foreign land of Honolulu. There, they meet untold dangers, confront strange natives, kill and eat Turtle People, kill some other things and people, eat another thing, and discover the ruins of ancient civilizations. As our narrator says, "The ruins were impressive. But like so many civilizations, they forgot the rule that might have saved them: Don't let vines grow all over you."...

Title : The Stench of Honolulu: A Tropical Adventure
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781455522385
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Stench of Honolulu: A Tropical Adventure Reviews

  • Jason Edwards
    2019-03-24 01:47

    When you are reading a book by Jack Handey, and you come across a sentence such as: “The sun was like a blazing ball of fire in the sky,” you know you are witnessing genius.Because yes, the sun literally is a blazing ball of fire in the sky, so structuring the sentence as a metaphor is ironic. But the word “fire” has connotations of heat, and with “blazing” it’s an unbearable, oppressive heat. So. Despite the irony, the description is perfect. This is also ironic. And achievable only in the context of this being a Jack Handey novel.Art is all about consistency. Yes, The Stench of Honolulu is silly, but’s consistently silly. It’s unwavering, uncompromising. Anyone can make these jokes, but every paragraph, every sentence, for 165 pages? Only Jack Handey. I am not exaggerating: pure genius.Right now, I’m only on page 64, but this is rapidly becoming of my all-time favorite books. Reviews continues when I finish.[A few hours later] Okay all done. I was right—easily one of my all-time favorite books. I read it on my e-reader, but I tempted to go get the hard-back edition and keep it with me and read it over and over and over. I spoke about Art before. Let me bring it up once more: you know how people will see some piece of modern art, and say “I could have done that?”The usual reply is “but you didn't.” Well, let me be clear. I dare you to read The Stench of Honolulu and then say “I could have written that.” I guarantee you couldn't.

  • Lena
    2019-03-23 03:28

    When humor columnist Dave Barry wrote his first novel, he was caught whining, "You mean you have to have characters AND a plot?" Complain though he did, Mr. Barry actually managed to fulfill this challenge and write a pretty decent funny novel.Jack Handey, on the other hand, didn't appear to be in the mood to work quite that hard. I suppose this book has the scaffolding of a plot, and it is upon this scaffolding that Mr. Handey hangs his relentless 1-3 line jokes. I could forgive this lack of literary structure if Mr. Handey's jokes were actually funny. But in the dozen or so pages I read, I didn't find anything that made me crack a smile, let alone laugh. While the material may very well be original, it felt incredibly tired - cliched, trite, and just overall highly unpleasant. Though the book is so slight I could have finished it in under an hour, I couldn't bear to subject myself to it so I gave up early on.My husband tells me that Handey's Deep Thoughts is quite brilliant, so I may still seek that out at some point. But I can't recommend this one at all.

  • Nate Q
    2019-04-19 00:32

    Dry. Incoherent. Hilarious. It's basically Deep Thoughts crammed into a flimsy plot. I love his stuff, but I could only take so much at a time due to dryness desensitization. Then I'd come back to it and it was hilarious again. So a 3.5 * rounded up. His tone is hysterical, and I could definitely see re-listening to this in the future.

  • Michael Ferro
    2019-04-10 00:46

    Downright hilarious, delightfully absurd, and pleasingly nonsensical, THE STENCH OF HONOLULU is Jack Handey at his finest.It’s so good, it made me do my funny cowboy dance, and I wouldn’t say that in public if it weren’t absolutely true.Buy this book. Support Handey’s drinking habit. Have some laughs.

  • John
    2019-03-28 21:36

    this book was funny at least 10 times on every page.i will put this book on my shelf right next to "The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy"Jack Handy is a Genius

  • Leslie Langtry
    2019-03-27 04:40

    A word of warning – do not read this book while wearing a clay facial mask. You’ll just crack it up, rendering it useless and you’ll have no one to blame but yourself.That said, DO read this book (preferably without any substance of any sort on your face of course). If you are like me – you loved Jack Handey’s ‘DEEP THOUGHTS’ on Saturday Night Live – sometime in the past (if you are like me, you don’t remember much before yesterday – in which case that is sad and you should probably see a doctor or eat omega fatty foods or something).This is Jack’s first novel. And he had me in the first few pages with the words; MUSCULAR ANGRY CLOWN.This book is classic Handey – and it makes no sense whatsoever. Seriously – it is quite senseless and you find yourself wondering if it takes place in an alternate universe ( I hope it does or I’m never going to Honolulu) or if you are just completely insane (something that’s always possible I guess.).I laughed so hard and constantly throughout this book, that I actually lost three pounds. I’m pretty sure I’m not kidding here. The book is filled with Handey’s classic ‘thoughts’ and a plot that will make you wonder how much acid you just took.I do feel the need to add another disclaimer here. This book is expensive. Probably the most expensive I’ve reviewed. For an ebook to be more than $11 is a bit of a travesty in my mind (I blame the publisher – not Handey). Make sure you read the sample and like it before you download. Or use your local library. I like libraries.I know, I’ve never given such a warning before. But I feel I owe it to you, my minions, to be open about this kind of thingy.Still – it’s a HILARIOUS book. And I do think, if you’re a Handey fan, you should read it.Leslie Langtry

  • Steve
    2019-04-07 05:47

    The great thing about The Stench of Honolulu is that it reads just like "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey". The disappointing thing about The Stench of Honolulu is that reads just like "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey". I'd always loved the absurdist humor of the old "Deep Thoughts" bits on Saturday Night Live, so when I saw the recent New York Times profile of Handey (in which I learned - how did I miss that for 20 years? - that Handey wasn't a character but an actual writer) and mention of his new novel, I decided to take a chance on this. On the plus side, there's plenty of Handey's dark, ironic humor on display. There are ample vignettes and one-liners that had me bursting into laughter, and plenty of passages that are straight out of the "Deep Thoughts" style, such as:The best thing about going to outer space is being able to go to a party and say, "I've been to outer space - where've you been?"and I gritted my teeth and said okay. "What?" he said. I ungritted my teeth and said okay. (There were many moments like this that would have been right at home in a Zucker Brothers comedy; I could almost picture Leslie Nielsen saying these lines.)But, like many, many SNL sketches that overstay their welcome and keep plodding along long after the joke's been played out, The Stench of Honolulu quickly becomes tedious. The nameless narrator isn't set up to be a remotely sympathetic character, but he quickly becomes loathsome in his venality and obliviousness, to the point you're cheering for bad things to happen to him (in part because that's where some of the best humor comes out). The story itself isn't so much a story as it is the cart at a dim-sum restaurant: a simple vehicle whose only purpose is to deliver the small bites of comedy. Not that I was expecting great literature or even riveting storytelling, but it would have been nice if the skeleton had had a little meat on it. Handey's humor is really best-suited for small doses, and even though this is an exceptionally quick read - I got through it in a little over two hours - The Stench of Honolulu sags under the weight of being too long for the material. Nevertheless, there are enough laughs here - and the humor is indeed excellent when it hits its marks - to make it a worthwhile read.

  • Aaron
    2019-04-17 01:33

    One of the silliest, most joyfully goofy books I've ever read. I laughed out loud several times reading this (not on EVERY PAGE, as the lunatic Ian Frazier says in his pull quote on the front cover. You ok, Ian?), and was pleasantly surprised at how much enjoyed a book that only has the merest semblance of a plot. I love the dry, bold idiot of a main character Handey has created here (known only to us as "Wrong Way Slurps," a name he made up for himself) and the completely brash way he treats his well-meaning companion Don. I loved how each section basically served as a kind of episode or sketch or something, as Slurps & Don barrel their way through a Honolulu that couldn't be further from the true one. There is very little realism here, and who cares. Realism is bullshit anyway.If you're a fan of Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett, you're gonna like this. It falls in the same category of "bumbling doof stumbles from scenario to scenario, inexplicably avoiding death," making just about every single joke that could be made in the process. The whole ordeal here is ultimately kind of pointless, which in and of itself makes a joke about narrative structure that I thought was smarter than it appears to be.All that said, the lack of structure can get a little out of control at times, with Handey just kind of spinning off into whatever direction he feels like. I guess some deep part of me does cling to structure, because I am human and need to be told what to think and feel. That little bit of missing constraint may have brought this into being one of my favorite books of all time, but as is, it's just very good. I certainly hope Handey finds the time for more of these.

  • Nate
    2019-04-03 22:28

    Not much here in terms of plot, character development, or anything else you probably ought to look for in a good story. But if a book makes me laugh this much out loud I just can't help but give it 5 stars. Such a fun read. I was embarrassed to read it in public, because I didn't want to look like a nut constantly laughing at the adventures of Wrong Way Slurps.In the jungle you come to realize that death is a part of life. The bat eats the moth. Then the giant moth sucks the life out of the bat. Then the monkey eats the giant moth, pulling the wings off first, because he doesn't like that part. Then the monkey gets a parasite from the moth that slowly eats his brain. It's all part of the beautiful circle of life.

  • Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
    2019-04-11 21:25

    Oh my. I can’t remember reading a book like this in a long, long time. Completely and totally silly book for grownups. Not that the plot is important in this silly book, but I suppose I must at least tell you a little. Let’s see. Our main character and his friend need to get out of town, visit a travel agent, and learn of a mysterious treasure map. Soon they are off in search of the Golden Monkey.It’s quite silly, more silly than I can really say, and that’s the charm of it. Don’t go looking for Deep Thoughts or Wisdom of Life or even a plot in this book. Delight in its silliness or leave it on the shelf.

  • Sonny
    2019-03-22 05:51

    I didn't like Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves. It's neat, but it worked too hard to be neat, you know? House of Leaves is like those kids in high school who clomp around with black lipstick or capes or tails sewn into their pants. "Deal with my weirdness," they scream with their outfits, made up of pieces hijacked from one trip to an anime convention or a Google image search of "David Bowie hot." These kids (and House of Leaves) desperately want to be appreciated for their uniqueness; they're terrified that just being themselves won't get them the attention they deserve. So they pretend to be vampires or grow a huge mohawk or, in Danielewski's case, add a bunch of mumbo jumbo footnotes and--get this--print some of the words all topsy turvy, the literary equivalent of "Dad, watch me dive! Dad! Dad! Watch me dive! Dad! Everybody, love me!"Which brings me to Jack Handey, who is actually, truly, not-trying-hard-at-all weird, and The Stench of Honolulu might be the most bizarre book I've ever read. But it's not a wad of nontraditional literary devices or head-scratching gimmicks; it's weird because Jack Handey is weird, and this is the funny weird stuff that comes out of him.The book's super short. Don't be fooled by the page count; the extremely heavy font and very short chapters stretch a 100-page novella into a respectably sized book that you could feel good about loaning to your grandma whose eyes aren't so good anymore.It's also really really funny. I won't spoil the jokes, but the oblivious/terrible/cowardly narrator lets Handey stop along the way to deliver some Deep Thoughts-esque ruminations. That isn't to say those breaks in the action are the only points I was laughing--the plot is equally ridiculous, and Handey turns Hawaiii into a goofy nightmare land, like something out of a racist black and white cartoon.Even knowing it was Jack Handey and what his whole deal is, I still marvel at how odd this book is. As a high school teacher, I can't wait to toss it into the hands of some teenagers, and watch their cute little heads explode.

  • Megalion
    2019-03-28 02:26

    One of the best things about Saturday Night Live in the late 80s was the Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey in between skits.I never realized that Jack Handey was an actual person!I also didn't realize that he'd written a couple of novels. I forget how I stumbled across this one but was tickled pink to see how his wit would translate into a novel.The answer: In many ways, many of his "deep thoughts" strung together into a full story. Having a story context allowed for more "thoughts" that wouldn't otherwise stand alone.I'll cite some of my favorite ones but first, I have to admit, the story was interesting but the character's narcissism and rather moronic thinking got tired at times."I was on a crashing airplane. The old man next to me was praying. Down and down we went. I started hitting the old man with a rolled-up magazine, yelling, "Pray harder, old man!""There's no denying reality. I did once, and I wound up running across a field with my pants on fire, with an old man with a shotgun chasing me.""I became a mummy, driving a car. And I thought, Why am I driving a car? Then I understood: I was plowing down pedestrians."A giggle fest indeed.Recommended for any fans of Jack Handey. If you've not read any of his thoughts before, this is for you if you like the zany and downright absurd.

  • K R N
    2019-03-23 21:38

    I've decided to read only funny books on planes.This is what you'd expect from Jack Handey. I laughed outloud a lot. It somehow manages to be slapstick in writing, but at the same time it's slightly dark.I expected it to actually be set in Hawaii though, but the Honolulu in this book is fictional - it's a foreign country with a different currency and everything. The main character's internal monologue is basically ongoing deep thoughts-esque comments with their weird totally out-of-the-blue punchlines, which are pretty entertaining, and it kind of builds on itself as it goes along. Kind of like Hana in the English Patient, you can basically start and stop reading from anywhere and it's still funny without needing to know what's going on, so it's nice for reading aloud. Partially read it aloud with a friend who was in the hospital and we laughed a lot.

  • Don Gorman
    2019-04-04 03:35

    (1 1/2) Maybe I was in a grumpy mood, maybe I was just not into abjectly silly material, I certainly know I will never trust Judd Apatow's recommendations for the funniest books on the planet ever again. I smiled once or twice at a few references in this very short read, but laugh out loud? Not even close. Ridiculous the whole way through (absolutely on purpose). I am glad that Handey was so entertaining on SNL but this is a farce. Luckily it only wasted an hour or so of my time. On to better things.

  • Brandon
    2019-04-10 01:51

    The problem with novels focused entirely on absurdist non-sequiturs is that there's no compelling reason to finish because the plot and characters are so thin. It was funny while I was reading it but entirely forgettable whenever I wasn't, so there's little impetus to keep going.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-04-09 23:26

    I was looking forward to laughing. I wanted to laugh. Here and and there I thought I might l laugh but in the end I didn't.

  • KB
    2019-04-10 05:51

    I was laughing out loud before I finished reading the first page of this book. Jack Handey is a comedic genius. This achingly hilarious novel is essentially a book-length version of Handey's "Deep Thoughts," but with all the parts woven together into a brilliant cohesive narrative. The short chapters make a quick read. "The Stench of Honolulu" brought me so much joy that there is a very strong probability that I will be re-reading it.

  • Onceinabluemoon
    2019-04-22 01:31

    So stupid I can't go on...

  • Sonic
    2019-04-07 22:50

    This is hilarious! And the humor is so zany and stupid that one almost forgets how brilliant this book is!Every single sentence is either a set-up or a punch-line, and somehow the story moves forward into more ridiculousness.

  • Seth
    2019-03-22 23:22

    So I was torn between three and four stars for this book. It was full of very funny lines and non-sequiturs, but it got kind of old. Still the background story was decent, but simple.

  • Stephen
    2019-04-16 21:24

    Some critics have criticized Jack Handy's first novel for being skimpy. Their ignorance is forgivable. Consider. Some descriptions are minimalist, e.g. "He sat down and pondered," while others are maximalist, e.g. "Carefully choosing a chair of exotic woods, silver and gilt, of the sort André-Charles Boullé made for the Sun King, he lowered himself arthritically into it and, as it creaked slightly at his weight, wondered with what treatment the artisan had finished the wood." Handey has become rich and famous by writing "Deep Thoughts" which rarely exceed three sentences. His wit got his work onto "Saturday Night Live" and into his own line of greeting cards. Know any literary critics with their own line of greeting cards? The premise here is that Hawaii in general and Honolulu in particular are horrible places: hostile flora and fauna, ancient gods who dislike white people, dreadful sweaty weather, insufficient good Scotch, cooks who know a hundred ways to serve tourist. Into this undesirable place, the wily protagonist is thrown as he flees loan sharks for his life, risks his life hunting a legendary idol, takes the lives of others by spreading a plague of destruction, and attempts to make a life with a comely local maiden. How come Michener never talked about any of this stuff? The sacrifice to the volcano god was my favourite part. Or was it the attack of the turtlemen? Or the part about holy pelican? There are several favourite parts. If you have been to Hawaii and you don't read this book, mildew will infest your Tevas and Keens, the car-rental company will send you a bill for damages not covered by insurance, you will developed a coconut-milk allergy, and the wood beneath the dancing hula-girl statue you bought at Hilo Hattie's will begin to crumble.

  • Jon
    2019-04-10 21:27

    Yes, Jack Handy is a person. Non-comic writer nerds remember "Deep Thoughts" on SNL, but those in the know remember him as the creator of Toonces the driving cat and many other weird SNL sketches that usually went over people's heads.This book is a lot like if you took a bunch of Deep Thoughts one-liners and smashed them together in a novel. It's a very pure form of absurdity that is sure to make a small percentage of people appreciate Handy's true genius, and completely alienate the other 90-some percent of people that try to read it. Not every joke hits, but there are some good ones in there. It looks like it would be a light read, with short chapters and big fonts, but it's amazingly dense and probably works better if you don't try to read the whole thing in one shot.There's a very loose plot line here, involving an adventure to find a golden monkey on the lost tropical island of Hawaii, but don't assume anything you know about Honolulu translates here. Handy creates this bizarro version of the island filled with running gags that make the place sound like some awful version of the jungles of Apocalypse Now instead of the land of Don Ho. If you're the kind of person that loves high-concept, plotted fiction with likable characters and building and resolving tension so perfectly timed you could find the page number where item #14 in the Blake Snyder plot outline, you will not like this book. But if Deep Thoughts was more than just a desktop calendar series for you and you can appreciate his bizarre sense of humor, this book is genius.

  • Erin Cataldi
    2019-04-12 23:47

    Handey, Jack. The Stench of Honolulu. 3 CDs. unabridged. 3 hrs. Hachette Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781619693609. $24.98. American humorist, Jack Handey, narrates his zany and ridiculous travel novel filled with tongue and cheek humor and hilarious adventures. "Wrong Way Slurps" and his companion Don head to Hawaii, to find the fabled golden monkey. Their journey is not an easy one though, they encounter turtle men, horrible smells, angry natives, and a pelican god; according to the narrator this is no tourist attraction, this is a hellhole! Told by a reliably unreliable narrator this absurd adventure will have the listener laughing uncontrollably. Narrated by Jack Handey himself, the humor is always present and the story (or lack thereof) flows smoothly from his sarcastic and witty voice. For fans of ridiculous travel literature and absurd laugh out loud literature. - Erin Cataldi, Franklin College, Franklin, IN

  • Kelly
    2019-04-06 02:41

    Jack Handey helped shape my sense of humor as a young teenager- he has a way of distilling the absurd and grotesque in the world into brilliant little comic nuggets and hypothetical situations. In The Stench of Honolulu, he demonstrates the entertainment value of a protagonist who is high on self-importance and low on self-awareness (or any sort of reasonable perspective, really). The story is loose, but that's kind of the point. It's a forum for one liners and ridiculous set-ups starring the insufferable jerk Handey created to narrate his "Deep Thoughts" sketches and musings. It's funny. It is very very funny.

  • Neven
    2019-03-29 04:52

    A ludicrous little book. If you wondered how Jack Handey might handle the transition from the one-liners of Deep Thoughts to the long form of a novel, the answer is that he doesn't even try. This is a pile of loosely connected jokes and quips, and as such, it's old-timey comedy-writing few people bother with anymore. But what jokes and quips they are. The opening line alone would be a stage classic, and while not all that follows is A material, there's just so much of it, it adds up to a nonstop chucklefest. At a time when the dominant forms of comedy are situational, character-based, or just "awkward", it's good to see someone writing plain old unexpected punchlines.

  • Kristal
    2019-04-17 02:47

    This book was absolutely perfect: a completely unsympathetic and totally unreliable narrator. No real plot, no pathos. Just dumb joke after dumb joke, one after another, ceaselessly.When I read the excerpt on Amazon, I was laughing so hard I was crying. And then I realized that I was just crying - which made me laugh again but also terrified me.I can't give any higher recommendation than that.

  • Wes
    2019-04-06 03:26

    The first time I read this I laughed so hard that tears, like salty drops of rain, flowed from my eyes. The second time I read this, I thought, "What was so funny? This book is dumb." My advice? Read this book, once, and then bury it deep inside the earth, in your neighbor's yard. If he asks what you're doing, tell him you are looking for treasure. Then he will help you dig.

  • Bill Brown
    2019-04-12 03:35

    If you like Jack Handey, you'll love this book. I think "What I'd Say to the Martians" is far funnier (possibly the funniest book I've ever read) but any doubts I had about Handey's ability to do a novel are gone.It's absurd but the humor is rich, simple, and rife. I got this last night due to a preorder and I'm already done—it's that good!

  • Garrett Curbow
    2019-04-18 05:50

    3.5This book was so brilliantly stupid that it was very funny. I always found myself reading a paragraph, thinking it was so dumb and hilarious, and then reading it out loud for whoever I could find to hear. They never thought it was as funny as me. I guess you had to be there.

  • Renee
    2019-04-13 03:31

    If you know Jack Handey of SNL's Deep Thoughts then you know what you're getting into. If you don't, then you're in for a nonsensical, funny, absurd read. I'm not a laugh-out-loud kinda person I never, EVER, use 'LOL'. But I had some close calls reading this one.