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Selected Readings from the Portable Dorothy Parker

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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  111 ratings  ·  17 reviews
When it comes to expressing the pleasure and pain of being just a touch too smart to be happy, Dorothy Parker is still the champion, after all these years. Along with Robert Benchley, Alexander Woollcott, and the rest of the Algonquin Round Table, she dominated American popular literature in the 1920s and 1930s. These unabridged selections of more than thirty short stories ...more
Audio CD, 200 pages
Published February 1st 2007 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published January 1st 2006)
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Jean
I love Dorothy Parker. I admire Dorothy Parker. I've memorized Dorothy Parker. But this CD of readings from her work was a disappointment. Perhaps it would have been better with multiple voices as the reader's voice got VERY monotonous. And she sounded old, which works in some stories and not in others. Maybe someday someone will record Parker's stories and poems the way they should be. And I will be able to listen to them the way they should be listened to: with a martini in one hand and a hand ...more
Paloma Pierce
I first discovered Dorothy Parker after listening to a few of her stories read on the podcast "Selected Shorts". After listening to this book I can proudly say that she has become one of my favorite short story authors of all time. Her stories are incredibly crisp, poignant, and timeless. Listening to them gave me a whole new appreciation for the short story genre. Who needs to write a novel when you can charm your reader in just a few pages?
Denise Dougherty
Boy oh boy this audio book was fun (except for the poetry). The short stories were entertaining and reflected the times in which they were written. Such a talented woman, Mrs. Parker. Didn't care for the poetry so just skipped over it. Not a fan of poetry in general - not disparaging Mrs. Parker's talent in that regard.

We could use her powers of observation today - she and Jon Stewart would make a good pair.

DD@Phila
Cindy
Jun 10, 2010 Cindy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: great minds.
Dorothy Parker is a mess and a bad ass. So far, read the Big Blonde. As a literary work, it has pizazz. As a tale, it is depressive. I like the inherent conflict. Also, the poetry which seem more like poems. Many of which could be sung while jump roping. I am entertaining the idea of teaching young girls (do any of them still jump rope) to recite this one while jumping. Observation - If I don't drive around the park, I'm pretty sure to make my mark; If I'm in bed each night by ten, I may get bac ...more
Grace
After listening to this cd, it's easy to see why Dorothy Parker is considered one of the wittiest writers in American literature. However I also discovered that behind Parker's famous reputation is a biting commentary on social issues such racism, the ignorance the upper class, and the lack of empathy for others. On the surface her stories are humorous, but looking deeper, there is despair, neglect, and utter sadness. Dorothy Parker deserves more attention and credit than most give her.
Angelene
I'd never heard of Dorothy Parker until recently when I heard her referenced in a book and an unrelated TV show. It made me curious so I picked up this audio recording to see if I liked her work. For the most part, the answer is yes, but perhaps she's best taken in smaller doses. I enjoy her style of short story--mostly one-sided dialogue that somehow fully expresses the meaning without long exposition. Her poetry is sarcastically funny and somewhat catchy because of its rhymes. I'll probably re ...more
Nicholle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica
I agree with person that said the reader's voice gets monotonous. I'll go one further and say that after a while it gets downright irritating. They really should have gotten different people to voice the characters. What's more since Parker's strength is in her turns of phrase and arrangement of words, I don't think the audio book does her stories justice. You really have to watch the words unfold for yourself. It's the difference between eating a meal and having someone describe it to you.
Barbara
Feb 20, 2011 Barbara marked it as to-read
This one's going to take me a long time. I'm finding the narrator's voice on the CD incredibly annoying I think I will have to go to my unabridged book to really enjoy Parker's cleverness.

I've given up on listening to this. I'll read it in my retirement or after I'm done with some of the CLCSC stuff.
Emilia
Didn't read all the stories but the ones I did were amazing and so deliciously sardonic. I am now a fan of Dorothy Parker and her little sketches of our human glitches.
Lauree
I loved the short stories. Some of the poetry was delightful, too. But I had more trouble paying attention to most of the poetry. It's just not my cup of tea.
Kathy
Would have enjoyed this more in print rather than audio. Still, it is D.P.
Meg
I have the Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition with the jacket design by Seth.
Valerie
Audio version was a bit much. Don't hold it against Dorothy Parker, though.
Bcoghill Coghill
Read four short stories but I guess I am not a short stories person.
Karen Huang
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anna
I loved this book. Her short stories are funny, well-written, but also thought-provoking. Parker is a woman with a lot of sass and sarcasm, but also a difficult life. She tried to kill herself three times.

I thought I'd get tired of her stories, and she did have one type of a monologue that was actually a conversation that started to wear, but everything else was wonderful. All the plots were new, the characters deep and interesting,and her way of expressing herself made even the most doubtful s
...more
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Marion Meade is an American biographer and novelist, whose subjects stretch from 12th century French royalty to 20th century stand-up comedians. She is best known for her portraits of literary figures and iconic filmmakers.

Her new book, Lonelyhearts: The Screwball World of Nathanael West and Eileen McKenney, is a joint biography of a husband and wife whose lives provide a vivid picture of the art
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