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Funny Letters from Famous People

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2.94  ·  Rating Details ·  88 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
In this humorous collection of celebrity wit, acclaimed broadcaster and humorist Charles Osgood offers witticisms penned by luminaries ranging from Abraham Lincoln to Andy Rooney.

Known for his clever commentary and witty radio-show rhymes, Charles Osgood here selects and introduces a collection of hilarious correspondence from some of our best-loved politicians, authors,
...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 1st 2003 by Broadway (first published January 1st 2003)
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Fredrika
Jun 16, 2015 Fredrika rated it it was ok
I read most of the presidents, and then just flipped through the rest and read the ones I was interested in. Fun fact, there were only two (2) letters from women. One was hilarious, a scientist's wife killing 58 monster bugs in their cabin, and I forget the other. It was short. Both were short! Smells of sexism.

Also, Beethoven was apparently hilarious (excerpt from the book):
Ludwig van Beethoven had very little—if any-control over his temper, which swung wildly in all directions. Here are two br
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Connie N.
Sep 13, 2016 Connie N. rated it it was ok
I'd rate this a solid 2.5 stars but will mark it 2 stars for GR.

This was mildly enjoyable, but it wasn't the funny I was looking for, so I was disappointed. The stories were clever, I guess, but they were mostly written by people dozens (or even a couple hundred) years ago, so I didn't quite get the "jokes." Someone who reads classics or who is interested in history would enjoy this much more than I did. I applaud Osgood for the time it must have taken to collect all of these letters, but it was
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Taryn Pierson
Apr 27, 2014 Taryn Pierson rated it liked it
I found this book to be absolutely delightful. It was a great pick-up-put-down-pick-back-up kind of book. Hopping up in a few minutes to do laundry? Have a little time in your minivan while the kids finish up at practice? Find yourself in the waiting room at the dentist? Then you have time to read a few pages of this book and brighten your day simultaneously. Two birds!

Osgood collected a whole bunch of witty missives from a variety of people and—this is the best part—edited out most of the borin
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Chris
This book is simply a collection of letters written by many different famous people, from Mozart to Carl Sandburg to Isaac Asimov to Andy Rooney and lots more. The variety is great but some letters are so hard to understand that you really have to be able to understand the word usage of the time to get the subtle humor.

The letters can be very short of a few words to a couple of pages depending on the person. If you enjoy reading letters other people have written to find out more about how they
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Mycala
Aug 01, 2016 Mycala rated it liked it
I don't care what your political leanings, the letter from George H.W. Bush to Barbara imploring her to "watch how Mike and Kitty do it" and incorporate more displays of public affection "for good television" during his campaign is hilarious. "I am practicing the loving look and the creeping hand." I had to put down my drink so I didn't choke.

It would appear that he's not the only president who had a sense of humor. George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, too. And Winston Churchill! This is good
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Denise
Dec 10, 2014 Denise rated it liked it
This was my book for the 800's for the year - now I've completed my challenge! Yippee!

Fun letters from people of the past. Might not appeal to anyone younger than me, though. Or they wouldn't have any knowledge of who the people are, why they were/are famous. Had to read several sections out loud to my husband, laughing all the time.

Last letter was from Julia Child with a recipe for a healthy life:
Small helpings,
no seconds,
eat a little bit of everything,
no snacking,
have a good time,
and pick
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Karen
Nov 03, 2013 Karen rated it liked it
Just what the title says: funny (or at least mildly amusing) letters (or excerpts) by, from and to famous (or nearly so or used to be so) people.

I enjoyed the letters by Groucho Marx the best - what a shame he's not as well known now.

Recommended for: those who lament the death of good old-fashioned letter writing and people who enjoy reading those who were known for their wit.
Rebecca
Sep 26, 2008 Rebecca rated it it was ok
Not the laugh riot I hoped for. You might enjoy Charles Osgood on Sunday Morning, but that doesn't mean you'll like this book. He managed to find utterly unfunny writing from some of the funniest writers in the world. What a shame.
Elaine
Dec 08, 2013 Elaine rated it did not like it
I couldn't get into this. Many authors were unfamiliar to me and therefore not that appealing to me. Also, the selections and the reasoning were not very compelling to me.
Barbw
Jul 24, 2010 Barbw rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Parts of this book are laugh-out-loud funny. Charles Osgood looked at compilations of letters by famous people and chose the best ones. I really enjoyed this book.
Nicole M.
Yes, some of these correspondences are witty and entertaining to read, but none of them is particulary funny.
Richard
Jan 01, 2014 Richard rated it liked it
A good book, but many of the letters aren't Laugh Out Loud funny so much as dry and witty. A light read to be picked up and put down with ease.
Jenn
Sep 16, 2008 Jenn rated it it was ok
I was hoping that as the titled indicated, there would be funny letters. Not so. It would be more appropriately titled, "Funny Excerpts...."

Bunny
May 04, 2011 Bunny rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-11
False advertising.

While a handful of letters in here were truly delightful, the majority of them were written by people too in love with their own words.

Ugh.
Stella
Aug 26, 2012 Stella rated it liked it
A Twitter-style look at history: Hard to say what i liked best- Giggling at Lincoln's responses to his detractors? old-timey off color humor? Love letters with SAT words? I loved this little book.

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Charles Osgood (born Charles Osgood Wood, III on January 8, 1933) is a radio and television commentator in the United States. His daily program, The Osgood File, has been broadcast on the CBS Radio Network since 1971. Osgood hosts CBS News Sunday Morning. He is also known for being the voice of the narrator of Horton Hears a Who!, an animated film released in 2008, based on the book of the same ...more
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