Encyclopedia of Bad Taste
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Encyclopedia of Bad Taste

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  133 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Alphabetically arranged, this humorous compilation of bad taste and mediocrity covers topics as diverse as fashion, music, people, places, food, furniture, automobiles, and more.
Published July 4th 1992 by Random House Value Publishing (first published 1990)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 261)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
The subtitle of this heavenly concoction is: A celebration of American pop culture at its most joyfully outrageous.

This is not so much a book as an aspirin to banish gloom. Of course, America marches on and this book needs a major update to include such modern phenomena as Celebrity Rehab and Autobiographies by People who Aren't 25 Yet - still, it's a wonderful panorama of some truly ghastly shit. For instance

Aerosol cheese
Boudoir photography
(That special present for that special someone)
A re-read, I got the Encyclopedia of Bad Taste as a library discard a few years ago.

As you'd probably guess from the title, this book has short articles (1-3 pages) about kitsch, tackiness and faux pas. Art, cuisine, music, fashion & celebrities are all represented. There could be more pictures for my taste, but the articles are relatively well-written and concise. Written in 1990, it focuses on 1950's- 1980's, with a strong emphasis (IMHO) on the 60's & 70's.

You may not agree with their...more
David Ward
The Encyclopedia of Bad Taste by Jane & Michael Stern (Harper Collins 1990)(306.4). Man-oh-man, whoever provided the ratings shown on Goodreads for this book were either reading something else or were members of the authors' press team. This book is poorly done, not funny, and dated. I'd recommend this to no one. My rating: 3/10, finished 1/21/14.
My friend gave this to me as a present one year. I gave her the only compliment that I thought was vaguely worthy of the book: it's in my bathroom library. This is a hilarious book that has topics from Jayne Mansfield and paint by numbers to Liberace and sweatsuits. It also works well as a bathroom book because all of the entries are pretty short. Liberace took a little while; his whole lifestyle was elaborate. If you can find a copy of this book, buy it. It will be well worth your money.
I discovered this book when I lived in Switzerland--yes, it was one of the very few books at our public library about American life. And it contains a hilarious caricature of the worst of American excesses. I was annoyed, and amused, that this is the image of our country that makes it out of the borders [and, quite frankly, I have to admit that it mirrors the image that many Europeans have of americans:] Big: big cars, big breasts, big paintings on black velvet.
Strange book. Vacillates between undisguised classism and racism (see: Low Riders, Mobile Homes) and loving, poetic devotion to The Rise of the Common Man (see: Jello, Cool Whip). I don't know what to make of it all. Beautiful presentation though.
I never laugh out loud, except when reading from the Encyclopedia of Bad Taste, AKA the Book of Tacky. Truly wonderful, and the best present I ever got.
Quite fun to read, though if you're like me, you'll blush while reading it because you actually like a lot of the stuff that appears (e.g., Twinkies).
Sep 16, 2007 Gina rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who appreciate crap
Shelves: non-fiction
Second favorite book of all time. The Sterns are geniuses and the photography is amazing, especially in the Twinkie and Artistry in Denim sections.
From Accordians to Zoot Suits, this book has all things Bad Taste. The photos are great and the topics are entertaining. Kitschy americana.
Interesting range of subjects, but ugly design. Worth it for the photo of Doris Day with those poodles.
Mildly entertaining.
The pictures! My eyes!
Radisyn marked it as to-read
Jun 28, 2014
Wade added it
Jun 03, 2014
Clover added it
May 18, 2014
Thom added it
Mar 09, 2014
Vanessa marked it as to-read
Jan 29, 2014
Junichi Sato
Junichi Sato marked it as to-read
Jan 02, 2014
Emily added it
Feb 05, 2014
Mike marked it as to-read
Oct 29, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Ambulance Girl: How I Saved Myself By Becoming an EMT Two for the Road: Our Love Affair with American Food Roadfood 500 Things to Eat Before It's Too Late: and the Very Best Places to Eat Them Square Meals: America's Favorite Comfort Cookbook

Share This Book