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Encyclopedia of Bad Taste

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  180 Ratings  ·  15 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)
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(showing 1-30 of 387)
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Paul Bryant
Jul 07, 2010 Paul Bryant rated it really liked it
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)
Sep 06, 2007 Tracey rated it liked it
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
Kelsey McAfee
Aug 25, 2014 Kelsey McAfee rated it really liked it
Apparently, several things I like are in super bad taste (meat snacks, accordian music, Hamburger Helper, white-lipstick, sno-globes, etc.)Don't care, I love them still!

The tack factor on some stuff is undeniable - telethons, frass, monster trucks, matching jogging suits - but I didn't realize VANS were in bad taste! Regardless, I got a kick out of this book, especially learning origins of fun tacky stuff I've taken for granted over the years.
David Ward
Jan 21, 2014 David Ward rated it it was ok
Shelves: humor, non-fiction
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.
Lisa Cattrone
Jan 19, 2015 Lisa Cattrone rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I highly recommend this book
Dec 14, 2011 A.C. rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 15, 2009 G-- rated it really liked it
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.
Dec 01, 2013 Denise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 27, 2012 Clover rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 16, 2007 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, humor
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 it was amazing  ·  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.
Jan 28, 2008 Lee rated it really liked it
From Accordians to Zoot Suits, this book has all things Bad Taste. The photos are great and the topics are entertaining. Kitschy americana.
Jul 17, 2007 Rie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting range of subjects, but ugly design. Worth it for the photo of Doris Day with those poodles.
Jan 06, 2009 Grant rated it it was ok
Mildly entertaining.
Oct 26, 2013 Koeeoaddi rated it really liked it
Shelves: funny
The pictures! My eyes!
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