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The Portable Dorothy Parker

4.35  ·  Rating Details ·  9,316 Ratings  ·  454 Reviews
This collection ranges over the verse, stories, essays, and journalism of one of the twentieth century's most quotable authors.
Paperback, The Viking Portable Library, 610 pages
Published December 9th 1976 by Penguin Books (first published May 1st 1944)
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Community Reviews

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Jun 03, 2007 Cambra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sassy postmodern ladies
today the Algonquin Hotel bar offers for the ultimate fan the "Mrs. Parker" = a $15 cosmopolitan. If you're as nerdy as me, you'll bring the book with you to read while you nurse the shit out of a week's food money.
Joe Valdez
Jul 09, 2015 Joe Valdez rated it liked it
Shelves: anthology
This portable library of short stories, poems and reviews by the author, poet and critic Dorothy Parker was loaned by a friend who attached the following advice: "Parker might be best digested one bite at a time." Over the past two months, I've been doing that, eating lunch and digesting Parker's wit twenty pages at a time.

My first impression, which I was proud of myself for making at the time, was that these pieces read like something that would appear in the New Yorker. I soon discovered that
Jun 04, 2016 Stephy rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book enormously. I used to love it. I still like it a great deal. Her writing has not changed, it is still rich and full of wonderful words arranged into beautiful, sentences, clever paragraphs. The whole work still has great value. Dorothy Parker's legendary acerbic wit amused me no end as a young woman. What has changed is my perspective. As I have gotten older, I have come to view it as an internal rage, vented upon everyone around her. She remains a great read, but now I feel ...more
Sep 04, 2007 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Shelves: women, new-york, ha-ha-ha
So you want to write? Pick up this collection of poetry, short stories, essays, and criticism and bow to the master. Looking for a cutting remark? Dorothy Parker already said it, and said it best. But the sharpness of her critical knife and the sharpness of her wit do not undercut, and in fact enhance, the truly earned moments of deep feeling that keep her characters from being merely brittle.
I thought everyone knew who Dorothy Parker was, regardless if everyone has read her or not. But then recently I mentioned at work that I was reading her and the guy I was talking to said "Oh, who is Dorothy Parker?"

I read a lot of these stories back in my early 20s, which I think was the right time to read Dorothy Parker for the first time. I was much more impressed back then, like most readers in their early 20s are. But what's funny is that as the yeas have passed, I realized I forgot most of
Apr 17, 2009 Clare rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After I wrote a particularly scathing review of the unedited re-release of Apocalypse Now for my Critical Reviewing class in college (actual line from the review: "Around the third hour or so, I became convinced that the real genius of this film was not Coppola himself but rather the person who forced him to cut at least an hour out of Apocalypse Now in the first place"), my professor compared me to Dorothy Parker. Or maybe he just suggested I read her, but my ego prefers the first version. Anyw ...more
Dec 17, 2007 Jessica rated it liked it
Recommends it for: maybe better if you can't relate so much to it?
Well, I know just how she feels, which might be why I don't always enjoy this stuff so much. Reading Parker is a bit like having an IM conversation with myself, if I were a lot smarter, a much better writer, and a way bigger alcoholic.
May 30, 2008 Ramsey rated it it was amazing
Such a witty woman. I want to have lunch with her and listen to the ramblings of a dark, entertaining mind. She wrote humorous poems about how bad she is at committing suicide. She talked about the men in her life the same way us guys talk about women.

A Certain Lady by Dorothy Parker
Oh, I can smile for you, and tilt my head,
And drink your rushing words with eager lips,
And paint my mouth for you a fragrant red,
And trace your brows with tutored finger-tips.
When you rehearse your list of loves
Nov 28, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meikes-bücher
So würde Charlotte Roche schreiben, wenn sie nicht bescheuert wäre!
Dec 16, 2015 Amanda NEVER MANDY rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, funny-people
I can best describe this book as a brick; in physical size and in emotional weight. I went into it expecting simple stories laced with a sarcastic sense of humor that would rival my own. What I ended up with at times was overwhelming waves of disgust that dripped with feelings of melancholy towards the human condition. Depth and insight that cut to the bone with sarcasm and humor as a shot of vodka to numb the spirit; what a breathtaking combo.

After reading a sampling of her stories, reviews and
Sep 19, 2016 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's a constant concern: Are You In A Dorothy Parker Story? And does your laugh sound like a suicide attempt? So, in the interest of research, here are some Dorothy Parker stories.

Big Blonde is Parker's most famous short story. It's a direct response to Anita Loos's terrific Gentlemen Prefer Blondes - an unauthorized sequel, in fact. And if you thought Parker was all blithe sarcastic one-liners, here's her at her most cynical. Here's what happens to good sports - ain't we got fun? It's a great s
Aug 16, 2015 Catherine rated it it was amazing
I love Dorothy Parker!! Smart, witty, biting, sarcastic, and so true to life. Even though these stories were written years ago, the themes and mood ring true today. I'd been wanting to read some of her work for a while and am glad I finally picked up this book.

This is a collection of short stories, many of which focus on the relationships between men and women. Parker seems to have had a fairly negative view of romantic relationships as many of her stories highlight the miscommunication within a
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I only read from page 445 to the end. Her short stories take up the first several hundred pages. They are dry and boring and contain not a hint of her trademark wit, so I skipped them.

The miscellaneous non-fiction pieces at the back of the book are the jewels in her scribbler's crown. Book reviews, theater critiques, magazine articles, and private letters -- a cornucopia of her peculiar observations and famed turns of phrase. Parker was a very funny lady, and a brutally honest one as well. Her
Oct 21, 2015 Zanna rated it liked it
Shelves: 500gbw
I'm cheating - I've read The Collected Dorothy Parker so counting this to bulk up my meagre 500 Great Books by Women score
Jun 06, 2008 Andy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: jazz age chicks
"Big Blonde" is the best story in the book, and one of the greatest short stories ever written. Dorothy Parker is the greatest chick-lit writer of all time. If you like Louise Brooks movies you will kiss Dorothy's literary feet!
Writing a review for Mrs. Parker's Potable Dorothy Parker is a little difficult because she was a critique herself. I'll start this by giving a little background to who Mrs. Parker was and why I think she is an important female writer to read. Dorothy Parker is known to some people as a writer for several magazines and famous for her one liners like "What fresh hell is this?" However, like most writers she did so much more then just make witty comments. She was a "feminist" too, said so herself. ...more
Patrick Gibson
Aug 02, 2009 Patrick Gibson rated it liked it
Recommends it for: you all
Recommended to Patrick by: Noel Coward
Shelves: poetry
Lover her. Hate her. Her poetry is always sardonic fun.

"Now it’s over, and now it’s done;
Why does everything look the same?
Just as bright, the unheeding sun,—
Can’t it see that the parting came?
People hurry and work and swear,
Laugh and grumble and die and wed,
Ponder what they will eat and wear,—
Don’t they know that our love is dead?

Just as busy, the crowded street;
Cars and wagons go rolling on,
Children chuckle, and lovers meet,—
Don’t they know that our love is gone?
No one pauses to pay a tear;
Stacey (wanderlustforwords67)

I love Dorothy Parkers wit. I really enjoyed some of the stories, and others felt like they droned on and were similar to previous stories. I think eliminating some of the stories or not reading this book all at once, but a story once in awhile would remedy that problem.

The end of the book is interesting and more serious. It speaks to DP's political statements.

I may try to read this again, breaking it up into small pieces, one story every once in awhile. I think it's an important piece of
Feb 20, 2016 Kristina rated it really liked it
Ahhh, Miss Parker....

I always wanted to sit with that illustrious group at the Algonquin round table in those heady days during my favourite era - 1920s.

I have always been a fan of Ms Parker's poetry, snarky commentary and famous quotes, not so much her short stories.

"Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses"

"You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think"

"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to"

"It serves me right for keeping all my
Mar 19, 2009 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Witty? Hmmm, how about erudite, clever, and ahead of her time...

Dorothy Parker had much to say about 20th century married life and said so when such things were not talked about. She was known as the "wittiest woman in America" and after reading this collection of her work I understand why she disliked the moniker. Her stories read more bittersweet than witty and are a glimpse into an era with rigid roles.

Jan 04, 2008 Megan rated it really liked it
I was really obsessed with Dorothy Parker and the whole Algonquin Round Table in high school. I've read most of this book, maybe not all of the short stories. I always liked her play reviews the best, where she was truly snarky and not just sort of a 1920's version of emo; all whiny and overly ironic and desparate for attention. This collected edition has a lot of her play reviews, most of her poetry and I think all of her short stories.
Dec 13, 2013 Rincey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
I think I'll finally move this over to the "read" shelf.

I didn't read every single page of this book. I love Dorothy Parker and think she is witty and clever. But reading every single thing she ever wrote was a bit wearing and started to feel repetitive and her humor even started to seem a bit mean.
love the short story "the game." amazing.

p. 599 OMG DP WAS IN A TUBERCULOSIS SANATORIUM. v. exciting discovery.

She calls fox "20th century fucks."

I love this book! Poems, short stories, book reviews, articles, letters, all of it. Took me nearly a year to read and I'm still sorry to be done. No doubt will be picking up again & again.
Jan 09, 2016 Marie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
Ich kann mir niemand passenderen im deutschen Sprachraum vorstellen, Dorothy Parker zu interpretieren, als Elke Heidenreich. So was von herrlich!
Mar 10, 2016 Juliana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dear-to-my-heart
2016. Good start.
Jul 21, 2013 Trice rated it liked it
Recommended to Trice by: Rory Gilmore
Mixed feelings on this. In the end I enjoyed the articles and reviews the most, though I wouldn't say her writing left me awestruck. Its strength in these pieces was in its conversational style and how much cultural criticism she slips into it sideways. But as a style, I wouldn't say her writing grabbed me.

Her stories were great little sketches of individuals over sometimes brief, sometimes extended periods of time, with such clear images of who these people were, even in their quickly passing p
Oct 15, 2009 Colleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even after renewing this book twice, I was still not able to finish this 613-page tome and am now out of time. So I reluctantly return it. Each of Dorothy Parker's short stories, poems, essays, and letters is a morsel to be savored. It's best kept at your bedside where you can pick it up, read and ponder, then set it back down again. There's no hurry to get through it--you won't forget the plot or who the characters are. This is not my normal genre so it was nice to break out and try something n ...more
Dec 30, 2014 Amy rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
Both beautiful and frustrating to read. I enjoyed most of the stories...but eventually grew weary of perpetually nagging, depressed women longing for an unattainable man. Or those women now older, deadened, walking through life without a spark of hope. Intermixed with these stories occasionally pops out something unique, amusing yet mocking, and totally memorable.
Her play and book reviews were fun to read. It made my own writing feel...normal. She is quirky. Occasionally speaks in pare
Elke Heidenreich liest toll. Diese Geschichten drehen sich vor allem um den Snobbismus und die Oberflächlichkeit der New Yorker High Society. Darum waren die Kurzgeschichten weniger mein Ding als die Geschichten von Katherine Mansfield oder Alice Munro. Eine Geschichte allerdings war herausragend lustig: Der Walzer. Darin hören wir die Gedanken einer jungen Frau, die aus Höflichkeit einer Tanzaufforderung nachkommt. Den ganzen Tanz über lästert sie innerlich über ihren Tanzpartner, der sich als ...more
Jul 08, 2014 Kaethe rated it it was amazing
I have a major literary crush on Parker. I'm a sucker for a funny line, and Parker had a lot of those.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author by this name in the Goodreads data base.

Dorothy Parker was an American writer and poet best known for her caustic wit, wisecracks, and sharp eye for 20th century urban foibles. From a conflicted and unhappy childhood, Parker rose to acclaim, both for her literary output in such venues as The New Yorker and as a founding member of the Algonquin Round Ta
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“What fresh hell is this?” 858 likes
“I won't telephone him. I'll never telephone him again as long as I live. He'll rot in hell, before I'll call him up. You don't have to give me strength, God; I have it myself. If he wanted me, he could get me. He knows where I am. He knows I'm waiting here. He's so sure of me, so sure. I wonder why they hate you, as soon as they are sure of you.” 505 likes
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