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Theories of Everything: Selected, Collected, and Health-Inspected Cartoons, 1978-2006

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4.34 of 5 stars 4.34  ·  rating details  ·  361 ratings  ·  49 reviews
At last, the comprehensive book of cartoons from beloved New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast.
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published October 31st 2006 by Bloomsbury USA
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(showing 1-30 of 653)
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Po Po
Theories of Everything pokes fun at... well... everything.

RC's simple illustrations and snappy captions uniquely showcase modern-day absurdities and expose human frailties in a compassionate and fresh yet strangely familiar way that resonates with the heart and mind.

Many of the comics are small, only a quarter to a half-page whereas others are much longer at four full pages.

A few of these are literally laugh-out-loud funny, but there were groaners thrown in. And then there were others which lef
...more
Elizabeth A
This is a collection of the author's cartoons and covers her work from 1978 to 2006. That is a huge span of time, and while this is a good introduction to her body of work for someone like me who had not read her standalone cartoons, it suffers for the same reason that most collected works do. There are sublime pieces, really funny ones, and ones that were simply meh. Some of the things that go on in her head made me laugh out loud, but overall I did not love this collection. Still, 3 stars mean ...more
Julianne
This book is relentless. Everyone in it is a bourgeois New Yorker, and it frequently disregards the fact that a “Great Outdoors” even exists. (Guaranteed to make outdoorsy types cry: “Nature Girl and the Four Elements.”) But some of it was funny. Some of it was very funny. Sometimes it was just absurd (I especially liked “Rogue Salad Bar” and “Parallel Universes”), and sometimes, beneath the absurdity and acerbity, it actually reveals something potentially profound about our culture or how we se ...more
April Brown
Comic Strip Series.

What ages would I recommend it too? – Adults.

Length? – Pages unnumbered. Each comic is one page or less.

Characters? – Multiple.

Setting? – Everywhere, including imagination.

Written approximately? – 1978 - 2006.

Does the story leave questions in the readers mind? – Yes. Many of these comics I do not understand. Most are not funny. They seem to be commentary, rather than funny.

Any issues the author (or a more recent publisher) should cover? Are these comics supposed to be funny, o
...more
cheeseblab
Did I ever mention meeting Roz Chast? Oh, I did? Well, never mind then.

The only thing that keeps this from being the Best Bathroom Reading of the Year is that it weighs about 8 pounds and is really bulky and sometimes hard to keep balanced when you have other things on your mind. But good lord, this woman is funny--funnier now that I live in Connecticut than she was when I lived in Illinois. Funny, that.
Trin
Roz Chast is one of my favorite cartoonists; her work is just the perfect blend of neurotic anxiety, literary humor, and utter wackiness. This is a really great collection, too: 400 pages spanning her entire career, including many of my personal favorites. (Pollyanna in Hell! Yay!) Highly, highly recommended.
Elsa
I actually didn't enjoy this so much, because I didn't realize it was a compilation of her other books, so I had recently read them all and I wanted something I hadn't read before. BUT, because it is Roz Chast, and I love her humor, I can't give it anything less than five stars, because this is all five star material.
Elizabeth
I first heard of Roz Chast at a Writers Festival event in Melbourne with a New York theme. She spoke for 20 minutes after which I knew I wanted to see her work. Her quirky, gentle at times ironic look at life's events, small and large is engaging. I enjoyed this book and very happily return to it from time to time.
Patrice Sartor
For hardcore fans of Roz Chast, I imagine this book is a godsend. My only prior experience with Chast is Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, and since I liked that one so much, I assumed I would also like this one. That was not the case, for the most part.

The cartoons are mostly commentary and brief opinion pieces, which I didn't find humorous. Maybe they were funny (funnier?) when originally published, I don't know. I did like them more as the (very large, quite heavy) book progresse
...more
Nick
Sort of depends whether you like Roz Chast, but some of this stuff is absolutely hilarious, and several of the cartoons have already become catchphrases in my house, the kind of humor shorthand that seems to just get funnier because of how true-to-life it is (e.g. "face goes all crazy!"). Recommended
Amanda
I like Chast's regular cartoons much more, and found myself giggling through some of these over breakfast and forcing Chad to look at the ones that represented me. After seeing Chast, they became even funnier moments. I think that she might be one of the funniest women alive.
Anne
OMG, I fell over in the bookstore when I saw this mighty tome of all things Chast. There's something about her deceptively amateurish-looking toons that always tickles and enlightens me, and I seem to know her people. Um, maybe I even AM one of her people. Erk.
Jeff
Oct 21, 2007 Jeff rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: cartoon lovers everywhere, unless they're Garfield fans
The best living New Yorker cartoonist finally has a book big enough to convince anyone that you either get her work, or else you're a giant worthless stick in the mud. Or whatever. But I know where I go when I need a good laugh from a book..
Mily
Mar 03, 2008 Mily rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: humor
love
love
love
LOVE Roz Chast.

Any New Yorker reader will enjoy this all RC all the time!
400 pages.
It's huge and it's hilarious.

The more neurotic you are the more you'll love it.
And I really loved it.

That is all.
Emilia P
YAY. She's great. This book is great. The world is a mess and ridiculous and people are silly and they get mad and frustrated all the time about silly things. This book would be worth owning. New York-y in the best way.
Kirsti
Includes Passive-Aggressive Birthday Gifts (Li'l Smelter! Floozy Factory!), Extremely Practical Jokes (Trick Vitamin Gum! Dental X-Ray Specs!), and _Schadenfreude Monthly_ magazine.
Unigami
I didn't really care for these very much...a few were interesting, a few were kinda funny, but most of them just left me completely unmoved and wondering what the point was.
Sue
Oh, my gosh. She has one cartoon about funny-named towns in Arkansas. I'm going to do one about funny-named towns in Georgia, to emulate her. She is so funny!
Peter Herrmann
With so many of these cartoons she has captured the aspects of life and surroundings that I've been dimly or fleetingly aware of - just beneath the surface thoughts, that I never stopped to consciously dwell on. And with many others, she sees things in people & life & surroundings, that I was never aware of at all. Either way, she is brilliant. And funny. Some reviewers here said they didn't understand most of the cartoons. Or find them funny (I guess if you didn't understand them, you w ...more
Alison
More of a scan than a reading. It's like the author was trying to be like Addams but not getting there. Just not my humor, I guess.
Jessica
This is the greatest book ever written. I'm not kidding. What could possibly be better than a giant book full of Roz Chast cartoons?
Melanie Linn
Hilarious. I was laughing out loud (and scaring my poor family). Roz Chast makes living with anxiety funny.
pati
Thought provoking, mind boggling and outright goofy -- I loved reading this book!
Anne
Roz Chast is a gem. Makes neurosis fun!
Emily
Jun 11, 2009 Emily rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people with mothers or children
Shelves: 5-star-read
I encountered cartoons by Roz Chast back in the 1980's in Seventeen magazine. They made fun of things while capturing teen anguish to a T. For example, I remember the two teenage protagonists needing jobs and aspiring to something glamorous, but ending up at a mall-food-court hot dog stand, wearing ridiculously unattractive uniforms. Years later, I have caught up with Roz Chast again, via this collection of her cartoons for the New Yorker magazine. I spent a great deal of time laughing.

Roz Chas
...more
Susan
The only thing wrong with this monumental collection of Roz Chast's marvelous, witty cartoons is the size--after reading for a while, your wrists will ache. But it's a small price to pay...
Linda
Jan 17, 2015 Linda rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: humor
Funny. Some laugh out loud funny.
Elizabeth B.
Roz Chast has been following me around for the last--hmm 2006 minus 1978--28 years with a notebook! Can a book of humor cartoons be a world classic? Will she be footnoted in some future history of the late 20th century? How well will she convey the spirit of the times? Will my comments help validate some Ph.D. thesis some day? And what would Ms. Chast do with these crazy random, zeitgeist-drenched comments of mine? Here she comes again, with her notebook . . .!
Laura
As far as I'm concerned, Roz Chast should really be crowned God immediately. Most of the stuff in this book makes me laugh out loud, and every the ones that don't have sort of a wry genius to them. Also, because this book collects her work starting in 1978, when she sold her first cartoon to the New Yorker, you can see how her style evolved over the years.
Sarah
I love Roz Chast! If you like her comics in The New Yorker, you'll like this collection. So funny and excellent.
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Rosalind "Roz" Chast is an American cartoonist and a staff cartoonist[1] for The New Yorker. She grew up in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, the only child of an assistant principal and a high school teacherr. Her earliest cartoons were published in Christopher Street and The Village Voice. In 1978 The New Yorker accepted one of her cartoons and has since published more than 800. She also publish ...more
More about Roz Chast...
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