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A Book of Nonsense (Everyman's Library Children's Classics)

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  430 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
with 450 funny illustrations!
Language: English
Initials: yes
Separate chapters: yes
Superior Kindle Formatting: yes
Interactive Table of Contents: yes
Lending Allowed: yes
Image: yes (450 +)

From wikipedia:

"Lear's nonsense works are distinguished by a facility of verbal invention and a poet's delight in the sounds of words, both real and imaginary. A stuffed rhinoceros becomes a
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1846)
More Details... edit details

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Valentin Eni
There was an Old Man of Moldavia,
Who had the most curious behavior;
For while he was able, he slept on a table,
That funny Old Man of Moldavia.

page 12
Apr 04, 2010 Shannon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010

There was a Young Person of Smyrna,

Whose Grandmother threatened to burn her;

But she seized on the Cat,

And said, "Granny, burn that!

"You incongruous Old Woman of Smyrna!"

I'm sure this was hilarious a million years ago. First book I read on our iPad.
Sep 11, 2015 Evan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
To be honest, there wasn't enough nonsense.
Ali Akbar Shadjareh
This book is one of the funniest I have ever read. Thank you for suggesting it, Ma. Clever rhymes and twists.
PJ Wenzel
Jan 02, 2017 PJ Wenzel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-read
Ollie and I got a kick out of this one. Even though its all "nonsense", as the title denotes, I still think he enjoyed it, and it was fun.
Dorian Driscoll
This book is fairly famous, and I was very much looking forward to reading it, but was sorely disappointed. The vast majority of the limericks in this book have the first and last lines rhyme (as they should) not because the author thus composed them, but because Lear apparently just repeated the first line almost verbatim nearly every time. For example, the back cover has

There was an Old Man of the Hague, whose ideas were excessively vague;
He built a balloon to examine the moon,
That deluded Old
This book is creepy and dull. Growing up with Mother Goose, Habia Una Vez (once upon a time), and other great works, I feel bad for the children who ended up with this book.

Considering that it was published in the 1800s, I wasn't surprised at some of the content. Drink as much water as you want! The rhymes are about people living in different parts of the world. Here are some of the rhymes;

There was an Old Man of Jamaica,
Who suddenly married a Quaker;
But she cried out--"O lack!
I have married a b
Mar 19, 2009 Victor rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Victor by: Robert Fulghum
Shelves: fiction
I have many fond memories of reading Shel Silverstein as a child, so I was delighted to learn of the pioneer of the genre, Edward Lear, from Third Wish. Many thanks to Amazon and Public Domain Books for making the text of Edward Lear's Book of Nonsense available for free on Kindle. The only drawback to the Kindle Edition is that it doesn't include Lear's illustrations, which would have been interesting to see.
Dec 18, 2015 Venky rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bibliocase
As the name suggests, this is a book of pure nonsense, but nonsense in the form of rhyming lines that will leave the reader in total splits! Here is a sample:

There was an Old Man of Peru,
Who never knew what he should do;
So he tore off his hair,
And behaved like a bear,
That intrinsic Old Man of Peru.

There was an Old Man of Peru
Who watched his wife making a stew;
But once by mistake,
In a stove she did bake,
That unfortunate Man of Peru.

There was a Young Lady of Clare,
Who was sadly pursued by a bea
May 07, 2011 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok I will admit this was more of a challenge to me than expected. the Everyman Children's classic series is full of classic tales many of which we are all familiar with, however this book is one I have heard mention of but know little about - with good reason to. It is very much what it says on the cover - a book of nonsense - good to dip in and out of but hard work to read from one end to the other.
Apr 14, 2015 Paul rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
Review written: sometime before April 24, 2015

The Book of Nonsense by Edward Lear

Why I read it: I'd heard of Edward Lear before, and it was free on Kindle.

Rating: 2/5

What I thought: It had its moments, but mostly it just seemed weirdly ageist and racist, and indulged far too much in nonsense-for-nonsense's sake in a very unsettling kind of way.
Apr 11, 2013 Michelle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A Book of Nonsense is a very fitting title. The pages are filled with limericks, and it is a quick read. Some of them were good, and others were repetitive.
I read this as an ebook, so I did not see the illustrations that went along with the poems. It would have been interesting to see what was originally included when it was published and such.
Overall it was okay.
Aug 20, 2012 Susan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It came on my Kobo, so I read it on the flight today after finally finishing Blood and Thunder. A quick read of short little limerick-like poems. Not sure some of them are good for kids, but definitely a way to expand little vocabularies. I wish I'd had an illustrated version, I'm sure that would add to the entertainment value.
Kathleen Dixon
Once again, this book does NOT translate into an e-book (unless ytou've got a version with wonderful colour illustrations ...). I've seen various of Lear's limericks illustrated, and the quirky pictures are vital to the humour. This is also a look-at-one-page-or-two with the grandchildren kind of book.
Oct 15, 2014 B-zee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Funny, silly, absurd, sometimes cheesy. Worth reading for entertainment. Good illustrations, nice vocabularies (esp. for children), interesting themes, although a little bit monotonous.
This truly is a book of nonsense, but some of it made me smile. Especially the darker bits, because I'm a psychopath:

There was an old man of Cape Horn
who wished he had never been born
so he sat on a chair
till he died of despair
that dolorous man of Cape Horn

Charlotte Stevenson
It was quite funny, made me giggle and was a quick read, which I seem to be reading a lot of these days thanks to it being all that is free on the kindle. Quite funny stanzas, sweet short verses, but very repetitive.
Jan 28, 2014 Judi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this only because it came with my Kobo and I am reading (or rereading) everything on there. Mildly amusing if you were grade school age though I doubt it would hold any child's interest for long. A chore to read, glad I'm done.
Jun 23, 2015 Alexandra rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Quick read through. There's nonesense and then there's this. I like to think I've got a good sense of the ridiculousness, and I'm one for silly poems, but these just fell flat. I think it was all of the limericks being repetitive and formulaic.

I'll stick to Roger McGough in future.
Namitha Varma
Aug 06, 2015 Namitha Varma rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour, poetry
There was an old poet named Lear
He wrote verses that were unclear,
He thought they were funny
And delightfully loony,
That stupid old poet named Lear.
It was very nonsensical to say the least.

I was quite amazed by Edward Lear's book. It was very good with lots of "laughing out loud" moments. That's it.
Palazzo di
Silly little ditties, some worthy of a snort ..... I finished a book at lunchtime, and was just looking for something to fill the rest of the time. I finished this one too!! lol
Shawn Mccann
Nov 29, 2010 Shawn Mccann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As an enthusiast of Lears works, this beautifully illustrated book is a true treasure. Worth every penny!
Kimberly Ehmann-nelson
Cute little poems....quick read....little old lady, little old man from some place...those types of poems...
Feb 01, 2011 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the Project Gutenberg version already loaded on my Kobo. I figure Kindle is close enough; it's an e-book. ;P
Nov 14, 2016 Mary rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jp
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 21, 2012 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is plain nonsense, but you can't help but keep reading and laugh out loud at how absurdly it cracks you up! :D
Tipsy Pixy
Tipsy Pixy rated it really liked it
Feb 02, 2015
Liz Campbell
Liz Campbell rated it liked it
Aug 08, 2015
Abi rated it liked it
Sep 28, 2014
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Edward Lear was an English artist, illustrator and writer known for his literary nonsense, in poetry and prose, and especially his limericks, a form which he popularized.

For more information, please see

More about Edward Lear...

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“nonsense pictures There was a Young Lady of Troy, Whom several large flies did annoy; Some she killed” 1 likes
“Young Lady of Hull, Who was chased by a” 1 likes
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