Is there a a specific word for a book with a sarcastic theme? I am thinking of writing a book on the world of magic of witches and warlocks but in reality it is making fun of their beliefs. For example the section on herbs and potions deal with the recreationsal drugs man takes daily in life. Enslaving the apprentice deals with regular trials of working under a boss or company etc. Just wondering if there is a specific word for this type of book so I can research it more....

  • Most appropriate might be to classify the works as 'sarcasm' (a sub-group under 'satire,' maybe.)
    – Kris
    Commented Aug 11, 2014 at 6:15

3 Answers 3



According to wikipedia:

Satire is a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, corporations, government or society itself, into improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be humorous, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon and as a tool to draw attention to both particular and wider issues in society.

"the crude satire seems to be directed at the fashionable protest singers of the time"

According to Oxford Dictionaries:


The use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

  • "A feature of satire is strong irony or sarcasm." Satire is broader than sarcasm.
    – Kris
    Commented Aug 11, 2014 at 6:13
  • "The distinctive quality of sarcasm is present in the spoken word and manifested chiefly by vocal inflection, whereas satire and irony arising originally as literary and rhetorical forms, are exhibited in the organization or structuring of either language or literary material."
    – Kris
    Commented Aug 11, 2014 at 6:15
  • 2
    @Kris - Please cite your sources.
    – Erik Kowal
    Commented Aug 11, 2014 at 6:21
  • 1
    While we're still waiting for @Kris to confirm whether his/her citations are taken from Wikipedia, Oxford Dictionaries or even elsewhere, I'll take this opportunity to assert that sarcasm is every bit as present in the world of the written word as in the spoken. I'm not sure what exactly "satire [...][is] exhibited in the organization or structuring of either language or literary material" is actually supposed to mean, but I can at least tell that it fails to reflect the fact that words on a page can convey a sarcastic attitude through their tone of voice just as well as speech can.
    – Erik Kowal
    Commented Aug 11, 2014 at 9:09
  • 4
    @Kris - Quite true, but my underlying point is that sources are supposed to be cited here, as you have so often reminded other people.
    – Erik Kowal
    Commented Aug 11, 2014 at 9:33


In the OP's example the theme of witches, magic, apprentices and potions is imitated, ridiculed and taken to excess for comic effect.

The Wikipedia's article says:

A parody (/ˈpærədi/; also called spoof, send-up or lampoon), in use, is an imitative work created to imitate, or comment on and trivialize[citation needed] an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of satiric or ironic imitation [...]

[Examples of parody in literature and cinema]

Sometimes the reputation of a parody outlasts the reputation of what is being parodied. For example, Don Quixote, which mocks the traditional knight errant tales, is much better known than the novel that inspired it, Amadis de Gaula

The British comedy group Monty Python is also famous for its parodies, for example, the King Arthur spoof Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1974), and the Jesus satire Life of Brian (1979). In the 1980s there came another team of parodists including David Zucker, Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker. Their most popular films are the Airplane!, Hot Shots! and Naked Gun series.

  • I wouldn't say this was exactly a wrong answer, but it somewhat misses the mark. This is because a parody is usually (though admittedly not exclusively) taken to refer to a send-up of an artistic work (book, film, play etc.) rather than of a real-life phenomenon. So in the case in point, a parody would lampoon somebody else's artistic treatment of magic and witches, rather than the real-life practices and practitioners. A better answer is lampoon, send-up or satire. (Incidentally, those terms can also be applied to artistic works, which means that they can be applied more widely.)
    – Erik Kowal
    Commented Aug 11, 2014 at 5:40
  • @ErikKowal fair and valid point, I offered an alternative answer. However, the OP could be thinking of the Harry Potter series, plenty of wizards, witches, potions and apprentices there to take the mickey out of :)
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Aug 11, 2014 at 5:49
  • User is going to make fun of the fictional "world of magic" .. ie it is a parody of Harry Potter.
    – Fattie
    Commented Aug 11, 2014 at 7:04
  • @JoeBlow I wouldn't go as far as saying that the OP has in mind a Harry Potter parody, but it's a plausible (and contemporary) one. If the OP would like to confirm that would be helpful.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Aug 11, 2014 at 7:31
  • Quite right ML, @Erik - I just realised the OP may have been referring to, you know, those actual people who "practice magic" and the like (err .. goths, wickens, whatever!) Sorry about that.
    – Fattie
    Commented Aug 11, 2014 at 7:34

I think the word you are looking for is satire.

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