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Our Dumb World: The Onion's Atlas of the Planet Earth

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  5,253 ratings  ·  250 reviews
Our Dumb World: The Onion's Atlas of The Planet Earth, 73rd Edition features incorrect statistics on all of the Earth's 168, 182, or 196 independent nations. It also features maps, including a fold-out world map at actual size. Readers will learn about every country from Afghanistan, "Allah's Cat Box," to the Ukraine, "The Bridebasket of Europe."
Today's news-parody consume
Hardcover, 73rd Edition, 240 pages
Published October 30th 2007 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2007)
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293rd out of 3,035 books — 5,980 voters
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Community Reviews

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OK... I bought this because I enjoy The Onion's brand of humor... but, I'm glad that I only paid $1 for it, because it's pretty lame. I mean, it's funny, sure. It's well-researched, I'm assuming, in order to make fun of these countries accurately, but it's just so damn repetitive. Every page is exactly the same. The only things that change are the oh-so-witty quips and such. But those just aren't enough to keep my interest.

So. I'm calling it quits. I have no desire to pick this up again, so I k
My ... God. Quite simply one of the funniest, smartest, and most irreverent books I have read in some time! Though, the term "read" would be a misnomer. You don't "read" Our Dumb World. Rather, you browse it in small doses and enjoy just how much work and care went into the creation of this masterpiece of mirth.

From the helpful Bono Awareness Guide to a nifty little map of the North Pole explaining to children how many ways Santa Claus would die if he indeed "lived" there - it's all within the p
Stacy Alesi's
If you are not familiar with the Onion, "America's Finest News Source" and the originator (I think) of pseudo news, get thee over there immediately. Today's headlines, as I write this: "Mel Brooks Starts Nonprofit Foundation To Save Word 'Schmuck'", "Christian Charity Raising Money To Feed Non-Gay Famine Victims" and most appropriately for this site, "Third-Person Limited Omniscient Narrator Blown Away By Surprise Ending." But Our Dumb World isn't about news, per se, it's an atlas, and if you we ...more
I listened to the abridged audio book version of Our Dumb World: The Onion's Atlas of The Planet Earth on my drive from Santa Clarita to Sacramento with my sometimes-awake, sometimes-asleep fiance. I don't know how you could sleep through this book, though - it was very funny. (Granted, I was driving, so I didn't really have the option.) Very clever social commentary from an, of course, American perspective.

The book started off very strong. My 4-star rating instead of 5 is because towards the en
Leah Polcar
Probably the best book I have ever read for learning basic geography, random country facts, and what flags look like. While naturally this is not a serious atlas, it is pretty informative and totally hilarious.
May 28, 2008 Sarah marked it as to-read
I leafed through this in the bookstore and desperately wished I had someone to poke and share it with. I was literally in stitches. Wickedly offensive yet hilarious stuff such as the starving Somalian woman clad in a T-shirt bearing the words "No Fat Chicks," the map of France pointing out the location of an International House of Crepes, and the alarmingly true accusation that 93% of Washington residents do not realize Olympia is their state's capital.
It's The Onion, so adjust your expectations accordingly. The book is clever from start to finish, and executed very well. You find funny, outrageous, profane, over the line, and all points in between.
This is not a book to read cover to cover. I like to pick it up and just browse, wondering just what the hell these guys will do on the next page.
Alan Hoffman
I have an alternate answer to the question the Ms. Teen USA Pagent judges asked to Ms. South Carolina. Americans aren' t familiar with geography because,unlike this book ,it's usually boring to learn.

Very funny, and with entries on nearly every country you will actually learn something. But it is not for kids. It has some profanity and has the darkest, most gallows humor of anything The Onion has put out. The book frequently refers to topics like starvation, AIDS, or genocide and wants to point
Nick Butler
The format of this book is clearly designed to allow as much information to be crammed into as little space as possible. If that sounds like a bad thing, it's definitely not - the jokes come so thick and fast here that it's like you're being attacked. There's barely a square inch of any page that doesn't have something at least a little bit funny in it, whether it's in the points of interest that are labelled up on the map, or the brief historical timelines, or the main tagline, or the full desc ...more
James Swenson
There are a lot of stupid and cheap jokes here, but there is also a fair amount of truth, packaged in easy-to-swallow one-liners. e.g.:

"The United States was founded in 1776 on the principles of life, libert, and the reckless pursuit of happiness at any cost -- even life and liberty."

"All Iraqis have a a yearning for freedom, a desire so strong that every single one of them is willing to die if that's what it takes to achieve it."

"2004: In an impassioned speech, President Stjepan Mesic vows to p
When I laughed, I laughed so hard I could barely hold the book in my hands. Among my favorite are the comments on the Turkish flag, the Welsh language, and the evolution of the continents from Pangaea into the future. There is so much detail and attention given to so many countries, states, and territories, the insane research such detail signifies deserves utmost respect. No place on earth is immune to attack and most of the political humor has a very progressive bent.

Some nations were stuck w
Matthew Hanzel
What's best about any Onion publication is that sometimes it appears way too convincngly it may confuse readers for being the truth. This atlas is built on political jokes, satire, and stereotypes, some are hillarious, some are understandably insulting -- but still fun to read. Especially the section about the United States and how Bono is depicted using certain measurement index. I also read the part about my country, and it fulfills the its promise of being a political joke.

When reading public
Katie Pagan
First of all, a warning to the wise: if you don't believe that no-holds-barred, anything-goes humor is possible, don't read the book. I mean it...just don't even try. That said, if you're like me and you like to laugh even when you want to cry simultaneously, you'll love this book! The Onion is the "world's leading humor publication," and it upholds its reputation with this book, which is a mock atlas of every country of the world. The Onion's smart-ass assessment of each nation is brutal, crude ...more
I don't think it is possible to actually read this entire book. As always The Onion goes over the top in presentation with every little nook and cranny being filled up with hilarious stuff. This book is great as a coffee table book. I think I'd get overwhelmed if I sat down and tried to read it straight through. From wonderful comments about countries (Canada - See U.S. on pages 9-12, Ethiopia: Africa's Extended Belly) to spoofing on world politics (Now Bono Awareness Rated!) it is just a fun re ...more
Theophilus (Theo)
Like the Onion newspaper, this is funny, in a sarcastic, wry, twisted sort of way. The maps are hilarious, such as the map of France that shows the location of the Memorial to Poupon-Plochman War of 1994 can be found (for mustard lovers of the world). You can also tour the shirtless and shoeless regions of the American Southeast. The timeline of American history is great. Sensitivity Alert: Coarse language is spread throughout the book and some areas of the country and its inhabitants are ridicu ...more
May 20, 2008 Becka rated it 5 of 5 stars
This book is my new is hilarious although rather harsh (you have to have the right sense of humor). It's a satirical atlas put out by the Onion with entries on every country. Somewhat disturbingly, it was actually #1 on the Amazon atlas list for a while. I admit some parts are rather mean but it will make you laugh out loud...however you may annoy everyone you know by constantly reading little quotes but you can't help it. Also good because each country is only a page or 2 so you ...more
Jan 30, 2009 Jamie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: humor
I haven't finished reading this yet, but I can't stop laughing. Every country is in here, and misrepresented sensationally from an American point of view. Austria is described as the "Birthplace Of Classical Muzak," the Democratic Republic of Congo is "Like A Zoo You Get Killed At," Panama is "A Shortcut With A National Anthem," and Montenegro is "Just Getting Out Of A Bad International Relationship." Delightfully detailed maps, histories, and facts that are gleefully inaccurate and inappropriat ...more
Feb 15, 2009 Booboo added it
This book is say something bad about my country Thailand.
It has a picture King and Queen of thailand with stupid idiot hooker girl. That made me really angry. I know lots of people say that was a joke but this is toooo much and I can not stand with it.I dont know if any thai peoples read this book or notice that.. I have to do something with it. I have to show this to the embassy.
I want the author to respect my country. This is not funny at all dude. you are an idiot to make a joke with somethi
Darcy McLaughlin
I'm a big fan of the humorous textbook genre (yes that's a real thing) and decided to pick up the Onion's version of an atlas. They manage to stretch a simple concept over 250 pages, and even if some jokes are based on stereotypes (well, a lot of them really) they attack the subject matter so relentlessly that you can't stop laughing. Whether it's classic jokes about the Polish or the incredibly depressing Africa section (so horrible you have to laugh or else you'll cry) it's consistently funny ...more
Jackie "the Librarian"
Dec 30, 2007 Jackie "the Librarian" rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: satire lovers
Shelves: humor
I gave this to my husband for Christmas, but before he could get to it my mom started reading it, and was laughing her head off! I guess I should quit worrying about protecting HER delicate sensibilities anymore.
A little cruder than I like in places - I'm much more easily shocked than my mom, apparently - and basically one joke per country (hey, how much do YOU know about, say, Cameroon?) but still very funny. If you are suffering from withdrawal from The Daily Show (writer's strike), this can h
Anna Francesca
This book is not one to read cover-to-cover-- at least not for me. It is very funny, but the text-book layout is just too much to absorb. By skipping around and looking at various nations' pages, though, I enjoyed some wonderful chuckles. One of my favorite lines is at the beginning and relates to the United States of America: The Midwest. It says, "The Midwest is conveniently located between where you are and where you are going." Brilliant.
This book is irreverant, funny, and in many cases pushes the envelope between truth and urban myth. However, it is tongue in cheek humor at it's best, and I recommend it for people who have to travel and need some amusement on the trip.

The only downside to this book is that, about midway through, the writers forgot some of their English and began using profanity it place of the proper words. Other than that, highly recommended!
Feb 23, 2008 Lesley rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: easily amused owners of coffee tables or coffee table equivalents
Recommended to Lesley by: santa, I guess
Don't fall for the cover claim that this book comes with a free globe inside. It totally doesn't.

I haven't actually read this book cover-to-cover but neither did I ever read any of my school textbooks in their entirety. The Onion staff, well aware of this tendency, gives several helpful tips for how to skim this atlas most efficiently. Most of this book made me laugh and parts made me laugh a lot.
Jan 04, 2008 Anna rated it 5 of 5 stars
This is possibly the funniest book I have read (you don't really read it, just skim it pick up and open to random pages - countries).

There are gems throughout this book -- great for hours of entertainment for the cynical, realists, people who are not afraid to laugh at the mess we (humans) have made of the planet on a country-by-country basis.
I learned more from this than I learned from all my high school history teachers combined. It also reinforced everything I always assumed about places I've never been. Best of all, it helped me get out of jury duty! Defense attorneys apparently don't like intelligent, cynical people who criticize American institutions like the media...
Danny Regan
This book has confirmed to me that I am a horrible person. My grandma gave me this book saying it was hilarious, now I know that I have the coolest grandma in the world. But seriously, this book is hilarious. It takes ever country and makes fun of them in the most hilariously offensive way possible. And that's why I love it.
Jun 05, 2012 steph rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who is into other cultures
shockingly irreverant, and that says a lot coming from someone who is as cynical, jaded, and antagonistic as i am. their jokes ring true, in typically onion fashion. fabulous! i keep it on the coffee table along with 'sky maul,' as these are always good for quick entertainment value, and fun for guests!!
Serbia and Montenegro: "So We've Done a Little Ethnic Cleansing." Vatican City: "The Catholic Disneyland." Yemen: "Doing Terrorism's Grunt Work." If you're easily offended...we're probably not close friends. Otherwise, you'll be laughing at this book for years to come. An encyclopedia of geographic irreverence.

Anyways,this book is HILARIOUS!!!!

Want an example? Here is one:
On Egypt: Located in the Smithsonian, the Louvre, the National Gallery in London, and countless other museums throughout the western world, the nation of Egypt lies behind thick glass in climate-controlled rooms.
This book is full of irreverent, potentially offensive, sick other words, it is totally awesome. If you can't laugh at yourself with biting sarcasm, what can you do? THAT's where the Gaza Strip is.

Also, the book's binding broke, but this is probably not the author's fault.
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The satirical newspaper The Onion was founded in 1988 at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Originally a weekly humor print publication targeting a local student population, The Onion is today a booming news organization known as America’s Finest News Source.

The launch of in 1996 expanded its signature brand of satire to a national and international audience. Online expansion opene
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