I just finished DeLillo's novel Falling Man, which is mostly about the attacks of September 11.  This reviewer astutely points out that DeLillo's prose has gotten less and less funny as time has gone on -- and you can tell this even from the review, which quotes several very funny passages from his 1985 White Noise.  The most hilarious book by DeLillo is Amazons: An Intimate Memoir By the First Woman to Play in the National Hockey League (1980), written under a pseudonym and later disavowed.  

My questions:  Why do some novelists stop being funny?  Do they think being funny means being unserious and unprofound?  Or is being funny just too difficult?  Or does the world seem less funny as you get older? 

Richard Russo's 1997 Straight Man is one of the funniest, and also most brilliant, books I know.  But Russo's books now -- not so funny.  What's up with that?
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