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A Barrel of Laughs, a Vale of Tears
Jules Feiffer - A Barrel of Laughs, a Vale of Tears.jpeg
Author Jules Feiffer
Illustrator Jules Feiffer
Country United States
Language English
Genre Children's novel
Publisher HarperCollins
Publication date
Media type Print (hardback & paperback)
Pages 180 pp
ISBN 978-0-06-205099-1
OCLC 33950950
LC Class PZ8.F358 Bar 1995

A Barrel of Laughs, A Vale of Tears is a children's book written and illustrated by Jules Feiffer, first published in 1995 by HarperCollins. The first edition was a library binding with 180 pages.

WorldCat Identities contains records of seven editions of this book in 765 libraries worldwide


A Barrel of Laughs, a Vale of Tears follows the young prince Roger, who haphazardly sets out on a quest to prepare himself to become king. The book expresses the emotions of various individuals through two long-lost lovers reunited, several unlikely couples marrying, and a friend-turned-evil's attempts for revenge. While Roger himself starts out as pure and innocent, he seems somewhat naive and incapable of feeling serious.

The quest, which contains plenty of sad events, gradually brings Roger to a point where he still is humorous, but is caring about specific individuals as opposed to finding shallow humor in everything. The beautiful Princess Petulia, and her servant, likewise, find similar changes in personality through their experiences, as they go from being bitterly indifferent to loving and plainspoken to kinder respectively.

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