The Unorthodox Book of Jewish Records & Lists


191 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-88830-222-3





Reviewed by P.J. Kemp

P.J. Kemp was a journalist living in Brigham, Quebec.


Canadian Cataloguing in Publication data has this book listed under “facetiae,” which is appropriate because it’s mighty facetious. Consider, for instance, “The Gutenberg Grace, created by the Jews of Gutenberg, Germany, in the 1660’s, was forceful, passionate, and brief: Hubba hubba hubba / Thanks for the grubba! / Yeeaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh, GOD!”; or a blank page representing “Famous Jewish Mountain Climbers,” explained with “Are you crazy? A man could get killed.” And so on.

Ethnic humor, while low and coarse (only puns being lower and coarser) can be funny, but much of The Unorthodox Book ... is not, probably because of its self-conscious attitude. Such humor has its place (on the street or in nightclub acts), but doing it up in a glitzy book is attempting to formalize and make respectable that which is characteristically casual and irreverent — not to mention frequently and possibly dangerously offensive.


Gould, Allan, and Danny Siegel, “The Unorthodox Book of Jewish Records & Lists,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed December 10, 2023,