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Modern Manners

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  831 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
In Modern Manners cultural guru P. J. O'Rourke provides the essential accessory for the truly contemporary man or woman-a rulebook for living in a world without rules.

Traditionally, good manners were a means of becoming as bland and invisible as everyone else, and thus of avoiding calling attention to one's own awkwardness and stupidity. Today, with everyone wanting to app
ebook, 0 pages
Published December 1st 2007 by Grove/Atlantic, Inc. (first published 1983)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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This book was hilarious! It reminded me of David Sedaris and Running With Scissors. I liked the way his rules of life are divided into sections. People who enjoy comedy in their books should read this. Its also good for advisory reading because people usually get bored and distracted but this is entertaining enough to stay focused on.
P.J. O'Rourke was my first introduction to politics back in elementary school (I always was a bit ahead of the curve.) I read an excerpt from this book in Rolling Stone Magazine in the early 80's, and he's been one of my favorite writers ever since. Who would've ever guessed I had so much in common with a Republican Baby-Boomer from New England? Well, at least as far as making fun of the politics, not necessarily of the policies themselves...
This started out hilarious, with a lot of very cutting comments about the changes in America's basic standards of courtesy, but I thought the book started to lose steam part of the way through. It was worth finishing and enjoyable, but by the end I was no longer gasping for air because I was laughing too hard to breathe.
Aug 08, 2007 Ak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
doesn't really make one like men very much, but boy is he funny. spoiler fav (paraphrased) quote: about being on acid: "it is difficult to observe all the niceties of social etiquette when one is being chased down the street by a nine-headed cactus."
Jul 30, 2008 Wendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fanfuckingtastic! A random birthday gift from Daniel, who shares my caustic, bitter love of the idiotic as well as the futile task of keeping up appearances.
Jul 29, 2007 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: humor
I really enjoyed this book. It was laugh-out-loud funny. I only wish he would write and updated version to include cell phones and other vices of today.
Aug 13, 2007 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finito, ah-youth
I remember buying this book at a college bookstore while on vacation. I remember laughing out loud at nearly everything in it. I remember reading aloud from it to my sister and my friend Spencer. We thought it was genius, at the time. Whether or not it would still strike me as genius, I don't know. I've since kind of come to hate P.J. O'Rourke. So there's that. I probably only liked it because it had bad words in it.
David Ward
Modern Manners: An Etiquette Book for Rude People by P.J. O'Rourke (Atlantic Monthly 1989) (818). This is an updated guide to interpersonal relations from a writer who just tries too hard to be witty. I recommend that readers take a pass on this one. It's neither clever nor original. My rating: 5.5/10, finished 5/11/15.
Jul 05, 2015 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Don't get me wrong, I went into this book figuring there'd be something to like and something to dislike. I enjoy the author's NPR shenanigans. This book was very much written in a previous decade, though, and it's a bit dated, and it was hard to read in 2015. I think that's a function of the genre (humor is often context-specific) and not a function of the writer.
Sep 18, 2007 Nathan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: comedians, ventriloquists
I honestly read this because it was in my school's library and it ended up on the back of one of the toilets. I'm not kidding. It is an excellent send-up of a guide to social conventions, albeit already a bit dated (it was published early 90's I believe). It's not going to change the world, but it's very funny.
Jul 01, 2008 Miriam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Extremely funnny. I laughed out loud, and I'm usually more of the wry smile type. I read this in the 90s and suspect that some sections may be a bit dated now, but I think it will hold up pretty well. This is not very political, so don't be put off by thinking of O'Rourke's later conservatism.
James Patterson
Mar 09, 2015 James Patterson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge fan of PJ O'Rourke. This is by far his weakest work ever. While there are a few decent chuckles, for the most part the book is a bore. It completely lacks the bitter irony and sarcasm of his better work.
Nov 08, 2014 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This has some hysterical humor inside. That's mainly on the line level. The whole is a little short, just being organized around a central satirical theme. Of course, it isn't exactly pretending to be anything other than a funny little book. Just expect that and you should enjoy it fine.
This book is satirical and funny. But watch out, it has some naughty language and subject matter. Being old and married and all, I don't feel as fazed as I used to, but I wouldn't recommend this book to a young, immpressionable mind.
Witty, though only occasionally funny. Some material is of questionable taste even in chrono-context, and it seems to help avoid being offended if you repeatedly remind yourself that he's actually one of the good guys.
Jun 03, 2009 Anthony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was written in the late 80's, so not everything is current - but it's surprising how much is. It's laugh out loud funny. PJ makes you go "that's so wrong" but then realize how true what he says is.
John Jamison
Aug 18, 2014 John Jamison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Deeply funny, damning and delicious. This book has everything you'll ever need to know about not caring at all about other people.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 10, 2008 Magda rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book tries to be as witty as Ambrose Bierce, but only occasionally comes close, so really achieves high-school or college student humor. I got to page 31 before giving up.
Mar 20, 2008 Mace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
doesn't the title say enough! what a hoot! LOVED it!
Matthew Dambro
May 27, 2015 Matthew Dambro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Somewhat dated; written in the mid 80s, but still bitter and sarcastic. An excellent piece of work that cries out for revision and updating.
Jan 23, 2008 angrykitty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: satire-essay
very funny. very snarky. again, you can tell this was one of his earliest books. it's not that political, but still really funny.
Jan 07, 2015 Gena rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not what I expected, kind of dated but still fun.
Jan 07, 2009 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very funny!
Lyn Crocker Secrest
Dated, but still entertaining.
Apr 30, 2011 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shiraz
great once
Andrea Merchant
Nov 15, 2008 Andrea Merchant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
HILARIOUS! I love all of the books written by this author. MUST READ!
Vasudevan VM
Apr 24, 2013 Vasudevan VM rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice look about teenagers and the way they react, perhaps there is some boigraphy of O'Rourke in this.
I found an autographed copy of this at a 2nd hand store for super cheap. I have no idea if it's worth anything.
Mike Smith
Jun 28, 2014 Mike Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A classic.
"Don't wear a tweed jacket to work unless you expect to flush a covey of quail from behind the Xerox machine."
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Patrick Jake "P. J." O'Rourke is an American political satirist, journalist, writer, and author. O'Rourke is the H. L. Mencken Research Fellow at the Cato Institute and is a regular correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, The American Spectator, and The Weekly Standard, and frequent panelist on National Public Radio's game show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!. Since 2011 O'Rourke has been a columnist ...more
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“Cats are to dogs what modern people are to the people we used to have. Cats are slimmer, cleaner, more attractive, disloyal, and lazy. It's easy to understand why the cat has eclipsed the dog as modern America's favorite pet. People like pets to possess the same qualities they do. Cats are irresponsible and recognize no authority, yet are completely dependent on others for their material needs. Cats cannot be made to do anything useful. Cats are mean for the fun of it. In fact, cats possess so many of the same qualities as some people (expensive girlfriends, for instance) that it's often hard to tell the people and the cats apart.” 48 likes
“A hat should be taken off when greeting a lady, and left off the rest of your life. Nothing looks more stupid than a hat.” 27 likes
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