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The Big Book of Irony

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  79 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Jon Winokur defines and classifies irony and contrasts it with coincidence and cynicism,and other oft-confused concepts that many think are ironic.

Helooks at the different forms irony cantake, from an irony deficiency to visual irony to an understatement, using photographs and relate-able examples from pop culture.

* "Irony in Action" looks at irony in language, bothverbala
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published February 6th 2007 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

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I wanted to read this after it was book-talked on Unshelved some time ago. Sadly, I was disappointed by the contents for two main reasons.

1) This is not a book. Okay, it's a book, but Jon Winokur is not the writer. He should be called the editor, because this book is actually an anthology of long, direct quotes about irony. There's very little original writing that went into this, which makes for really uncomfortable pacing. I would say that it reads like someone's undergraduate thesis on irony
Laura S.
Entertaining but not as critical as I would have liked. Does not use the best examples to clarify his definitions. I expected it to go further into the politics of language and really dig into some of the most contemporary and prominent ironies, such as ironic consumerism- -which is so much a part of pop culture and a driving force of young consumers. Actually, I don't think Urban Outfitters would be in business without it. A little superficial, but fun I suppose.
Two things attracted me to this book:

1- The Ironic title.
2 - The Book's library number
3 - The quote on the back.

Yes, this book tickled my belly, not as much as I wanted. so 3 stars.
Nov 07, 2014 Jessica-Robyn rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: the curious
I picked up the The Big Book of Irony because of a long standing thought that I have no real idea of what irony is, despite that fact that I'm suppose to know and identify it for my work in school and just in general speech.
This seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to skim a few pages and finally have the unexplainable explained properly. I however, ended up not just skimming the pages but reading the book all the way through and enjoyed it more then I thought I would for a short non-fi
Apr 06, 2009 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: aspiring ironists, the angsty
Recommended to Kate by: "Unshelved"!
"How is one to live a moral and compassionate existence when one is fully aware of the blood, the horror inherent in life, when one finds darkness not only in one's culture but within oneself? If there is a stage at which an individual life becomes truly adult, it must be when one grasps the irony in its unfolding and accepts responsibility for a life lived in the midst of such paradox. One must live in the middle of contradiction, because if all contradiction were eliminated at once life would ...more
With this fun, quick, and witty book, Jon Winokur has added a new volume to the annals of irony. The book is overflowing with clever quotes, jokes, and anecdotes all of which are examples of irony. This is the kind of book that can be enjoyed reading cover to cover, or just as random snippets. There's a lot of great stuff here, including a Catholic Cardinal surnamed Sin, the "Marlboro Man" who died of lung cancer, the B-36 Peacemaker nuclear bomber, and censorship of Ray Bradbury's book Fahrenhe ...more
Marykay Pogar
Actually, it's a small book. Which is ironic, right? Or is it? I'm still not sure exactly how to define what's ironic. Except that Alanis Morrissette's song isn't.
Short, amusing diversion.
Eric Austin Lee
A helpful and funny guide to irony for the popular masses. Winokur is an excellent researcher and archivalist. I found that I had a very enjoyable time reading through the snippets of the history of irony. For what it is, this book is great. However, more serious ironists should check out Linda Hutcheon, Claire Colebrook, let alone the master in Soren Kierekgaard's doctoral dissertation itself.
A fascination snap-shot of irony and how it impacts our culture. Think of it as a stepping stone to increasing your knowledge of what irony is, how it is used and it's impact on books, television and popular culture. It's also an excellent introduction to several 'ironic' authors.
Kate Woods Walker
The Big Book of Irony is (what else?) a small volume of drollery that packs a punch. Although easy to read and digest, it contains enough straightforward information and suggestions for further reading to keep me busy for awhile. I'm hanging on to this one.
Sep 03, 2008 Heather rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Heather by:
Shelves: 2008
This little book is a quick read and a great introduction to irony. There are tons of pop culture references and great examples explaining the differences between irony and hypocrisy, cynicism and sarcasm.
i like this book very much. It contains theory of irony and make me exactly understand about irony. Moreover, I can use irony to color the life.
Jul 26, 2008 Badinia rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Alanis Morissette
I didn't finish it, it was kind of like a book by Hallmark- quotes, stories, and quips about irony. I'd read it if I was in a dentist's office.
Basically a collection of quotes, organized around various aspects of irony. Pretty good. Definitely readable and fun.
Deborah Flores
As you'd expect, it is rather small and too short. Lots of entertaining tidbits.
I was entranced by the utter devotion to detail exhibited by this book!
It's actually a really small book. See? That's ironic.
I loved that this big book was so teeny tiny!
Very good, very readable, and very interesting.
Disappointed in how little I enjoyed this.
Marissa Framarini
Marissa Framarini marked it as to-read
Jun 30, 2015
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Apr 28, 2015
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Apr 21, 2015
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Jon Winokur (b. Aug. 5, 1947) is an American writer and editor. Born in Detroit, the son of Martin M. and Elinor Winokur, he attended Temple University (BA, 1970) and the University of West Los Angeles (JD, 1980).
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