Good news! Those who know Sam or even have just heard of him, smile when they hear his name. Now he has cleaned out his files in search of the best jokes he’s heard over the last 50 years and put them into this book. His thirteen previous books were funny every once in a while, but this one consists entirely of jokes. Sam Venable, a native of Knoxville, came to the Knoxville News Sentinel in 1985 at the age of 23 right out of the University of Tennessee with a BA. For fifteen years Venable was their outdoors editor. Then in 1985 he got promoted to humor columnist. Since retiring in 2014 he continues to write a Sunday column. Until now, I think my favorite of his previous books is Mountain Hands: A Portrait of Southern Appalachia, a really great picture book of mountain craftsmen. The work he is most proud of is “Fragments of Hate” which was published as a special section of the News Sentinel that tells the story of Charles Moulden, an African-American man from Sevier County who was shot by a white man in 1968 while Moulden was fishing for trout. A Monroe County jury proclaimed his assailant to be innocent. I’m sorry this book delayed me in getting this January 2020 version of my Reviews on line. I was reading the jokes and re-writing them on e-mails I was sending to friends.
Knoxville, Tennessee: self-published. 241 pages. Trade paperback.