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Mountain Man Dance Moves: The McSweeney's Book of Lists

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  1,009 Ratings  ·  125 Reviews
If a mountain man felt compelled to dance, how would he do it? If koala bears could talk, what would they say? And what’s the right pickup line, if you’re a necrophiliac? (Maybe “I’m pretty sure I’m not going to get you pregnant.”)

In the throes of debates like these, we’re lucky to have the learned people of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, America's best low-budget humor w
Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 12th 2006 by Vintage
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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsGood Omens by Terry PratchettLamb by Christopher MooreThe Princess Bride by William GoldmanMe Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
Best Humorous Books
326th out of 3,230 books — 6,369 voters
1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die by Peter Boxall1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die by Stephen Farthing1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up by Julia Eccleshare1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die by Steven Jay SchneiderWIN THE HEART OF A WOMAN OF YOUR DREAMS by Sahara Sanders
A List of Lists
94th out of 247 books — 28 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,807)
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Jan 19, 2008 Gary rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Adult children of unicorns; Folks named Jethro

-Unicorn on cover makes strangers think you are the sensitive

-Learn impressive array of dance moves should you ever find
yourself at an Appalachian musical event.

-Guaranteed to inspire you to make your own lists, e.g.:
*"First drafts of 'If it's yellow let it mellow; if
it's brown, flush it down."
*"Gossip overheard in the back row of the Unitarian Universalist Sunday meeting."
*"Nicknames for men whose erections last longer than four
hours but who
Aug 29, 2008 Alicia rated it liked it
This book contains a number of helpful lists. For example, there's a list titled "NICKNAMES FOR TOUGH UNICORNS." I find this useful because our kickball team's mascot is an inflatable unicorn, and we've been trying unsuccessfully to assign nicknames to our teammates for two seasons. This list offers perfect unicorn-themed kickball nicknames, such as Impaler, Mythdemeanor, Horny D, Rainblow, Crazy Horse, and (my favorite) Drill Bitch. Problem solved!

As this book's resplendent cover indicates, man
Oct 06, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it
I've kept this book in my car since April, reading a list here or there whenever I found the time. This isn't a book to be read all at once. The one time I sat down with it for a longer period - waiting for someone to arrive at the bus station - it quickly started to bore. Still, hilarious in small doses. I particularly like the song related lists such as "Changes to the Hotel California Made in Response to Mr. Henley's Recent Complaint." Comic gold.
Mar 30, 2014 Erich rated it liked it
Shelves: 2006
The unicorn theme made me laugh as well as a few other surprising unexpected twists. Here's a favorite:

Eight Reasons Why a Tyrannosaur Caught in a Tornado is a Funny Thing to Think About
by Austin Allen

1. The tiny flailing arms

2. The helpless "RARRRRRR!"

3. The angry, wild-eyed expression

4. That dinosaur with the sail on his back floats by and he's just cruisin'

5. The landing.

6. The Wizard of Oz music in the background. What an anachronism!

7. Tyrannosaurs inhabited the western United States, an a
Elaine Meszaros
Dec 03, 2014 Elaine Meszaros rated it it was amazing
Brought to you by McSweeney's, this collection of lists submitted by readers is silly, with undertones of randomness. Especially the unicorn bits.

Adjectives Rarely Used by Wine Tasters


Things Going Through Robert Plant's Mind When Jimmy Page Takes a Solo

What is today, Wednesday? It's been... What is it, Tuesday... Monday... I guess it has been a long time since I've rocked and rolled.

BUMP BUMP wheedly deedlydeedly DEE! BUMP BUMP BUMP wha-wha wee
Jan 03, 2009 Sharon rated it it was amazing
My husband thinks these kind of books are destroying my mind, but I can't help myself. I'm addicted to fun (and now possibly, unicorn facts).
Toni Isom
Apr 20, 2009 Toni Isom rated it it was amazing
Here's a snippet:

Adjectives Rarely Used by Wine Tasters.


Dec 13, 2012 Ashley rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor
Even if you've read these lists on the McSweeney's website -- which, let's face it, you have if you're considering picking up this book -- the "Mountain Man Dance Moves" collection is still a lot of fun and worth buying. The lists are compiled in a new order and with some recurring themes, so it wins a lot of presentation points. Most of the lists will get laughs out of you multiple times, so it's a good book to keep around for the occasional re-read to boost your mood. And this book supports in ...more
Jul 29, 2013 Gabrielle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor
Everyone should read this. It's a really quick read and so funny.

The title comes from a list by Marieke Hardy "Dance moves the mountain man standing in front of me at Beastie Boys last night amused bystanders with and how one might feel if one performed them"

Unicorns are the only real theme with the lists that include: Signs your unicorn is cheating on you, what makes unicorns cry?, and stupid jokes that unicorns do not find funny.

Here are a few more lists worth checking out:

Reasons I don't f
Jan 26, 2009 Visha rated it it was ok
A fun compilation of the lists from McSweeney's Website, selected by the McSweeney's group. Excellent bathroom reading, but doesn't always work for reading aloud to folks. Recurring gags throughout books include Unicorn lists and found (?) brochures on German tourist attractions. Other subject matter runs the mill from politics to religion to pop culture, also work-related and hygienic.

Some lists are hilarious; others less than amusing. Great cover on the paperback edition, but I have a sneakin
Siraj Shaikh
Mar 07, 2015 Siraj Shaikh marked it as to-read
It might not be too profound, but I got hooked immediately. And apparently I'm not the only one. All in all, this was one of the most entertaining books that I've read.
Jan 25, 2008 Amy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Alison, Halle, Kerrie, Alecia
Recommended to Amy by: Suzanne Cantando
So I know the cover of this book looks ridiculous. I got it as a Christmas gift from Matt's sister and thought she was nuts...I had never heard of McSweeney's before. Basically it's a compilation of random lists. It sounds bizarre, but will be some of the funniest stuff you've EVER read!

Just to give you a sample, one of the lists is called "Scratch and Sniff Books that have failed the test of time". In the list are such titles as: "Curious George and the Truck full of Ether", "Carbon Monoxide:
Nov 02, 2012 Cocoa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: funny
My dear friend was kind enough to send me this book for my birthday several years ago and I have been laughing ever since I opened it for the first time Best of all there are numerous lists about unicorns and koala bears!

Signs Your Unicorn is Cheating on You

Seems emotionally distant and uninterested
Wears fancier tail ribbons
Starts working out at the gym
Quickly closes its laptop when you walk into its enchanted den
Credit card bill full of charges to area elf lodges
The "three Cs": confrontation, c
Matt Evans
Jul 30, 2008 Matt Evans rated it liked it
Yes, very funny, very irreverent.

True unicorn story: on March 14, 2007, a late-model Toyota truck ran two red lights, veered into a gas station parking lot (narrowly missing the bank of gas pumps), jerked and skidded all over the place and then came to a dead halt against something solid. The driver, Mr. X, who has something like ten DUIs, claimed that a unicorn had highjacked his car, terrorized him with its horrible driving (animals with hooves make for awful drivers), crashed the car and then
Jun 15, 2008 Becky rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008
Hilarious. Don't let creepy unicorn cover deter you from reading this book. It's a great book to just have around and read a list here and there.

Some of my favorites:

Little-Known Song Titles that Answer Questions Posed in Better-Known Songs: "Love Has Everything to Do With It If, by 'It,' You Mean Romantic Relationships but Significantly Less If You Were Talking About Auto Repair"

Methods Other Than Song By Which One Can Be Killed Softly: Stuffed Animal Avalanche

....I could keep going forever, b
Apr 08, 2008 Kate rated it it was amazing
This book never gets old. It's great for road trips or when you just need to laugh at something random. One of the classic lists:
by Christopher Monks
Seems emotionally distant and uninterested
Wears fancier tail ribbons
Starts working out at the gym
Quickly closes its laptop when you walk into its enchanted den
Credit card bill full of charges to area elf lodges
The “three C’s”: confrontation, criticism, and complaints
Every time you say the word “magic” it
Nov 05, 2011 Ralph rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-paper

Stool Samples

The Ottoman Empire


Hidden In-desk-retion

Great (One) Nightstands

Getting the Chair


Unicorn on the cover

Now with 20% more advice for the tourist in Germany

Liberal sensibilities

It's from 2006

Half of the book is unfunny



1. Skiing

2. Yachting

3. Snorkeling

4. Golf

5. Polo

6. Dinner parties

7. Shopping
Jul 12, 2007 Laura rated it it was amazing
This book is just what the title would indicate: a book of lists. But this isn't the old "Book of Lists" you remember from the 1970s -- the lists are along the lines of "Times that a four-dollar umbrella will break" (one of the items is "when you touch it"). Nevertheless, it's generally so hilarious that I was embarrassed to read it on the subway because every time I did I would burst into laughter and people would look at me as though I was one of those crazy people you don't want to sit next t ...more
Kards Unlimited
Oct 14, 2013 Kards Unlimited rated it it was amazing
Blair's Pick!

By far no other book has made me laugh this hard. It is the essence of a cynical yet hopeful generation of intellectuals who give new meaning to lists, although I’m not sure what the old meaning was, but the new meaning is much funnier. This book will make you popular at social gatherings by reading aloud, or more impressively, reciting from memory, one of the many adorably funny lists in this book such as “Ways in which I have personally taken it upon myself to mess with Texas.”
May 23, 2012 Kenny rated it it was ok
Not the funniest book in the world but a bit entertaining. The book was mainly a mixture of different lists from various authors. alot of the lists were not funny, or maybe I just got tired of reading list after list of random things. Some of the lists were of things that could really happen, and some were entirly thought up and un realistic. Some of the lists may have been funny if they didn't ramble on some times, it got old. But it was a different kind of book and kind of entertaining.
Apr 19, 2009 Jen rated it really liked it
If you love lists, or unicorns, or McSweeney's, or irony, this book is for you. I don't recommend reading it in one sitting, since it get's a little predictable, but it's definitely the thing to pick up when wanting a morsel of something hilarious or ridiculous. I DO recommend pulling it out at a party and entertaining the masses.


I'm so happy my birthday is this week, because this came off my wish list! I've skipped around and had hilarious fun. Can't wait to read more.
Liddy Barlow
Jan 19, 2008 Liddy Barlow rated it liked it
Shelves: humor, 2008
I love the sheer silliness of McSweeney's lists, and so I enjoyed this compilation (although 216 pages of lists might be a little too much at once of a good thing). Favorites include "Changes to the Hotel California Made in Response to Mr. Henley's Recent Complaint," "Things I'd Probably Say If the Bush Administration Were Just a Weekly TV Show and I Were a Regular Viewer," and "Things That Paper Could Be Replaced With to Make Rock, Paper, Scissors More Believable."
Mike Van Campen
Jul 24, 2007 Mike Van Campen rated it liked it
As with most of McSweeney's recent output there is some good and some bad in this collection. One of the central problems of this group seems to be that they are excellent at coming up with concepts but weaker in the execution. In that regard the ideas for these lists are often much funnier than the actual lists. Still, it is a good book for pulling out when you have a few free minutes at a Doctor's office or something like that.
Jun 14, 2010 Merrin rated it really liked it

Seems emotionally distant and uninterested

Wears fancier tail ribbons

Quickly closes its laptop when you walk into its enchanted den

Credit card bill full of charges to area elf lodges

Every time you say the word "magic" it sighs forlornly


You get the picture. Not everything was funny, but it tried really hard, and the unicorns were AWESOME.
Feb 08, 2008 Gwen rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Dave Eggers and McSweeney's fans
Shelves: collections
Great read for subway rides, if you don't mind people staring at you when you burst out laughing.

One of my favorite lists is "Warning Lights My New Car Should Have, Considering the Frequency with Which It Wants New Air In the Tires":

There's a piece of lint on me

I'm going to honk at this guy just for fun

I want to be washed by $6.50 and hour Latino guys in red jumpsuits
Jun 29, 2008 Caitlin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: miscellaneous
Absolutely Hilarious! Contains lists like "What Koalas would say if they could talk," "Why a T-rex caught in a Tornado is funny," and "Tough names for Unicorns."
I read this book a year ago, so please don't hold me to the exactness of list names. But, what I do know for sure is that every time I go to the library where I checked it out, I think about checking it out again.
Mar 18, 2008 Tracey rated it liked it
A wonderfully absurd collection of lists - perfect bathroom reading material. Some lists fall a bit flat, but there's enough gems that had me giggling madly to make this a generally positive recommendation to those with a weird sense of humor.

Hmm - that cover art looks eerily familiar.... I think I had some stationery with that graphic on it when I was 13.
May 21, 2008 Anita rated it liked it
Uneven, but when it is funny, this is hysterical. Good for picking up and reading a few lists at a time. I had to ban it from work-too much laughing out loud. Sometimes they are a little too obscure or off the wall for me, but who doesn't love a list of nicknames for Matt Lauer that includes Mr. Smuggypants.
Mar 04, 2016 Andy rated it liked it
I was impressed. I can picture the people who wrote it... effortlessly cool and clever. Those born with the ability to merge intelligence and hipness into cutting edge entertainment. It's a book that makes dorks like me feel like we've moved up a notch on our social climb, just by reading it.
Apr 15, 2007 Alison rated it really liked it
I'll read anything published by McSweeney's. If you're wondering if you should read this book, check out The book is a collection of funny lists like "Guide to Discovering Whether You're in a Jerry Bruckheimer Movie" and "Things This City Was Built On, Besides Rock 'n' Roll.
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McSweeney's Publishing is an American non-profit publishing house founded by editor Dave Eggers in 1998, headquartered in San Francisco. McSweeney's initially published only the literary journal Timothy McSweeney's Quarterly Concern , but has grown to publish novels, books of poetry, and other periodicals.

The recipient of dozens of awards for its contributions to literature and publishing, McSwe
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