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Our Dumb World

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4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  4,839 ratings  ·  239 reviews
OUR DUMB WORLD is the world's most comprehensive fake atlas: a repository of all known information about the planet Earth (except where covered by clouds).

In late 2007 the hardcover edition became one of the hottest books of the holiday season, entertaining and offending hundreds of thousands of readers around the globe. This new, easy-to-carry paperback edition is perfect
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Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 27th 2008 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Thomas
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
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Lydia
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
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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
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Stacy Alesi's BookBitch.com
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
Booboo
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
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Jackie "the Librarian"
Dec 30, 2007 Jackie "the Librarian" rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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Sarah
May 28, 2008 Sarah marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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.
Anica
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...
Stan
Sure, it doesn't carry the laser-beam focus and freshness of The Onion's "Our Dumb Century" before it, but "Our Dumb World" is just as packed with genuinely hilarious jokery.
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
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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
E
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
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Jonny99
Say what you want about this book you have to admire the amount of work it took to write something funny about every miserable little sovereign state in the world. Some of it is fairly offensive such as calling Minnesota “Land of 10,000 retards” and a photo illustration of extremely underage prostitutes in the Thailand entry. Some of it is so offensive it wound up in the media, in particular a photo illustration of cannibalism under the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, some of it hits the ...more
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
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Jeff
This world ‘atlas’ is the perfect showcase for The Onion’s distinctive and very determinedly un-PC “Oh wow, that’s RUDE…. but they have a point, unfortunately” brand of snarky humor. Look up the countries that interest you most — or those which you dislike worst. (For the record, I was best amused by Mexico, Cuba, Ireland, and the Netherlands). Be prepared to laugh out loud. Or at least to do a lot of guilty snickering.

— Alan

What makes a perfect gift? I am glad you asked : something original, in
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Zach
Scathing, dry humor like you would expect from the Onion but a little more based in stereotypes than actual political humor for a lot of countries. Not that I can really blame them, you can't expect them to research the political and social realities of literally every country on Earth, but I still felt like it relied on them too much--especially in the case of France, where the whole article boiled down to "French people are arrogant and surrender a lot lol." Of course, being the Onion it was s ...more
Gerry
The funniest book I've ever read. The riding is rough halfway through Africa--who knew there were so many ways to joke about starvation and genocide?--but it's worth the trip.

How funny is Our Dumb World? The entire entry for Nicaragua is a description of the Sega Genesis game Contra. The caption for a picture of a bald eagle reads, "The symbol of American Freedom, the bald eagle is not surprisingly nearly extinct." In the United States, the South is described as the place "where the mistakes of
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Patrick
WARNING: not for the easily offended. I haven't actually finished this book, but it is an atlas, so you really don't read it straight through. I don't think I have ever read anything as offensive in my life... which is why it is so funny. From the Bono Awareness map to the description of Sudan as "All Better Now Thanks to You" (all because "a woman in Iowa was wearing a 'Save Darfur' T-shirt") to the entry on France ("One Nation Above God") to Rwanda: "The Land That Time, Newsweek, And USA Today ...more
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
Robin
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
Malbadeen
Nov 07, 2007 Malbadeen rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cold hearted, soulless, sons of bitches
I was at powells the other day feeling too old in the graphic novel section and too young in the poetry section, so I ended up....once again, in the humor section. Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon this new Onion collection.
Imagine my horror as I read headline after headline. I mean come on! It is not easy to offend my sensibilities (sometimes I wonder if I still have sensibilities) but OY! this was really, really bad.
I'm fully willing to laugh at anything and everything American but I j
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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
Nate
I agree with some of the other reviewers in that some of the jokes in this book went a bit too far, were a little distasteful, or tried to score easy points on cliched racial stereotypes. However, this book made me laugh enough that I'd recommend it to anyone that has at least a moderately thick skin for politically incorrect humor.

It's also dense and long enough that even if you were to sit and read the whole thing cover to cover, you will almost certainly forget enough of the jokes that you co
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Alfonso
Really entertaining satire on the all the countries around the world, however, some parts of the book become a bit too redundant, especially in some African countries. The highlight of the book is the fictional statistical and geographical information they put up for each country, which is often very hilarious. I'd recommend this to anyone who's up for a good laugh, though it's pretty useful to have a good background knowledge of world history and geography to understand the jokes behind most of ...more
Aaronb
My favorite was the Central African Republic. Generic chaos!
Lauren
The quality of this book varied very widely between the different entries, with the best jokes largely being social satire. Generally, the rule of thumb is, the larger the entry, the closer the entry will come to social satire. That said, a lot of entries were really stinking depressing (Almost the entire Africa section, for example). While I understand why that happened - the world can be a depressing place - when reading a humor book, it's really not my aim to wind up down in the dumps, and th ...more
Becka
This book is my new favorite....it 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
Dru
I don't know if it's considered blasphemous to award five stars to a humor book, but in the world of humor books, the Onion people have put together a masterpiece. I read this book casually over a period of four months, and there was plenty of material to keep me occupied. Each country has enough sly comic whimsy to cover seven or eight issues of The Onion, and in many cases (like the U.S. entry) much, much more. And there are a lot of countries, it turns out. (I was never much for geography.) ...more
Jamie
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
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
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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 TheOnion.com in 1996 expanded its signature brand of satire to a national and international audience. Online expansion opene
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More about The Onion...
Our Dumb Century Dispatches from the Tenth Circle: The Best of the Onion The Onion's Finest News Reporting, Volume 1 The Onion Ad Nauseam: Complete News Archives, Volume 13 The Onion Book of Known Knowledge: Mankind's Final Encyclopedia From America's Finest News Source

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