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Your Wildest Dreams, Within Reason

Hilarious excerpts, lists and essays from a budding American humorist

by John Ortved in Culture on 31 March 2011

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What's the worst icebreaker you can think of? Mike Sacks has some suggestions: "This party reminds me of 9/11;" "What's your all-time favorite coupon?" or "They're night-vision goggles, and no, I won't be removing them."

"Icebreakers to Avoid" is just one of dozens of hilarious lists, essays, emails and letters that make up Sacks' new book, "Your Wildest Dreams, Within Reason" from Tin House Books. Culled from previously published work in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, McSweeney's and Esquire, as well as including new work, Sacks strikes blow after blow for the cause of humor.

Whether he's reporting on the "Signs Your College is Not Very Prestigious" (they offer a minor in "Winning Radio Contests"), Sacks is unfailingly clever and precise in his satire.

His pieces have no goal but to make you laugh—and he achieves it over and over. The most succinct description of Your Wildest Dreams comes in the form of a blurb on the book's cover, from none other than David Sedaris: "Mike Sacks is not just a sensational comic writer, but a sensational writer, period." High praise and well deserved, it is available from Tin House's Amazon.

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