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The Collected Dorothy Parker

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4.29  ·  Rating details ·  1,224 ratings  ·  57 reviews
Dorothy Parker, more than any of her contemporaries, captured the spirit of the Jazz Age in her poetry and prose, and The Collected Dorothy Parker includes an introduction by Brendan Gill in Penguin Modern Classics.

Dorothy Parker was the most talked-about woman of her day, notorious as the hard-drinking bad girl with a talent for stinging repartee and endlessly quotable on
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Paperback, 604 pages
Published May 31st 2001 by Penguin Classics (first published 1944)
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4.29  · 
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 ·  1,224 ratings  ·  57 reviews


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Dolly Delightly
Feb 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
I was once told by a friend that if Dorothy Parker was still alive she would buy me a big martini. I don’t know whether or not that’s true but I know that if I had the opportunity I’d buy her several. I discovered Parker very early on in my life and have returned to her writing time and again. A couple of months ago, I purchased her selected works in an Oxfam on High Street Kensington and have been meaning to flick through them since. Trying to review someone I admire as much as I do Parker is a ...more
Angela Randall
This woman was full of pithy quotes. See some here.

Dorothy Parker's poems are short and sweet, pointed and dark. Her short stories are colourful and intense and usually leave you feeling somewhat distressed about the human condition.

Her writing throughout is amazing, showing quite clearly that she has great intelligence, talent, wit, style, humour and education.

Her reviews of plays and books are magnificently written. When she hates something she ensures everyone knows precisely why. However, w
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Zanna
Jul 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Parker's acerbic stories, poems and criticism are collected here with all the power of an untamable progressive voice grating against patriarchy, directly and indirectly. I found her legendary reviews a fascinating historical document. Zadie Smith, in her laudatory essay on Katherine Hepburn, quotes Parker's immortal comment 'she ran the whole gamut of emotions from A to B' in qualified agreement. But though Parker was as unyielding in criticism to her fellow women as to men. I see her as one of ...more
Alice Furse
Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
I wish I was Dorothy Parker. THE END.
Rick Burin
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Her verse can be good and her stories can be great, but it’s Parker’s journalism that’s truly extraordinary. She turned reviewing into an art form, increasingly using some recent book as a jumping off point for a ruthless, coruscating comic sketch radiating her caustic, devastating wit.

I don’t mean for it to sound like she’s hard to live with as a writer, though: putdowns were only a twentieth of Parker’s repertoire, and her most brutal assessments are always of herself (or A. A. Milne). I gorge
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Honeythief
Jul 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Connoisseurs of wit
Shelves: humour, gift
Acerbic, rapier-sharp wit and clever word play at its absolute best.

I can't wait to read a book so egregious that it warrants the use of Parker's witticism, "This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force" in my review.

If, like Parker, your motto is, "If you haven't got a good word to say about anyone, come sit here by me" then you'll surely love the witty put-downs, sharp one-liners and cleverly crafted gags contained within her collected articles, reviews
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G. Lawrence
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant, witty, funny, poignant and touching. I prefer her poetry and articles to her short stories, but that's just personal preference. An absolute must read.
Judith Marie
I can only recommend "The collected Dorothy Parker".
It consist of short stories, poems, book- and play reviews and some other articles.
I loved practically all of the short stories. A lot of them are really funny, but also touching. Concerning the poetry I have mixed feelings. There were some poems which I just didn’t get (maybe because english isn’t my first language), but others made me laugh, others again made me sad or led me to think about them for quite some time.
Surprisingly, I loved th
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Clare
Oct 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: new-york
This collection of Dorothy Parker wit and wisdom, insight and lark that I read was not the well known 'Portable Dorothy Parker' which I had been after, but something better and more extensive, 'The Collected Dorothy Parker'.
This book includes the contents of the portable but with added stories and then play reviews, book reviews and articles towards the end.
I have to say that I wasn't overly keen on the poetry; I am decidedly an un-fan of poetry that rhymes, it just doesn't flow in a flattering
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Helerini
May 08, 2010 rated it liked it

Desperate Women, Indifferent Men
Sara
Nov 08, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
That life is bittersweet.
Caro
Apr 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
so dark and witty, brilliantly sad.
Mimi
Mar 10, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
DNF 40%

I decided to read this book this year as it has sat on my shelf for a long time.

It started off well and I liked a few stories, but I quickly got bored.

The poetry, I struggled with as I’m not of fan of it in general. It’s pretty much lost on me.

I can’t comment on her book reviews or play reviews as I never read on to them.

Overall, I feel disappointed as I really wanted to like her work.



Kirsten
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Yes, she's amazing. Sharp, funny, the most lovely cutting sentences I've ever read. But must she hate women so much? Every once in a while there's a despicable or silly male, but every story contains a ridiculous woman.
Pandora K
Oct 18, 2017 rated it liked it
The stories were alright but some poems were exceptional.
Eleanor Thom
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
love it, dip in and out, poems, stories- caustic wit, huge insight and beautifully written
Kevinjwoods
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Should be required reading for anyone thinking of writing anything consisting as it does of classic short stories, amazing poetry and quite interesting reviews.
Natalie Dunning
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite short story collections.
Louise
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read & enjoyed some of her work decades ago. My opinion remains the same after reading this collection.
Gavin
Oct 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Sharp and funny but insubstantial. Good for Sunday nights maybe.
Mike Clarke
Feb 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Dorothy Parker, the original Girl Gone Wild, makes Madge, the Spices and god help us Atomic Kitten look thoroughly pallid. Yet they all owe her something as a template and a role model, a clever woman with an excellent business head, but more importantly a sharp eye and deft pen.

Mrs Parker is thoroughly anthologised here and for those who know her only for her epigrams ("If all the starlets in Hollywood were laid end to end, I wouldn't be surprised.") and pithy put-downs (on being told of the de
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Chris Purser
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very enjoyable read, I would advise people who have a good sense of humour to read this collection of Dorothy Parker writings.
Dianna
This collection is mostly made up of Parker's short stories, poems and play/book reviews.

I didn't finish, because I got bogged down early with her short stories. Clever at times, but they feel half-done. Mostly, they are little vignettes of 'let's have a conversation where we don't say what we mean, but it's clear what we mean.'

The famous poems I read and still thought funny, but the rest didn't do much for me. It's possibly worth suggesting that if you do want to read this book for enjoyment, y
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Hazel
Not sure I'll finish this.

I don't remember how it seemed 20+ years ago, but on this reading few of Mrs Parker's short stories impressed me. Many seemed sterile and empty. The poems were sometimes clever, but always facile. So, I skipped to the reviews, and found myself more interested in the plays themselves, even the ones I hadn't heard of before.

I must look for a good biography, and try to find out how someone as bright as Parker became so unhappy.

Addendum
I take it all back! I've moved on to
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Adam Armstrong
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Prose so sharp you'd slice your eye just from glancing at the page.
Nickie
Aug 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Because as everybody knows, Dorothy was never anything but collected.

Short stories - some of which are so perfect that they made my heart hurt. One made me sigh out loud in the dentist surgery because of its ending. Funny, acerbic, and something that is very rare, I think - women written well.

Not all the stories are perfect, but when they are good they are very, very good. The book reviews answer all of my questions about how to write a book review that has the personality of its author but isn
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T-Reader
Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, poetry
Really enjoyed this.
Bought this book in college. Some of Mrs. Parkers best stories and poems are collected here - Frustration, Lullaby, LoveSong and Resume, all the greats! Dorothy Parker (nee Rothschild) was a witty writer and a woman of excess. Her star rose in the heady 1920's when she hung out with other writers, actors and critics of the New York set known as the Algonquin Round Table.
You've got to take your time with this book, I think most people would enjoy the poetry, many of her stor
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Graham Crawford
Jun 29, 2014 rated it liked it
It is a delight being able to read stories from long ago that are still fresh. Most of these are still very much of their time, but the emotional foibles Parker chooses to dissect may unfortunately be universal and timeless. It would be nice to think these needy jealous insecure neurotic women, and the callous vain shallow men they desperately desire are products of gender roles we have outgrown. The scenery and language may have changed, but I could still think of contemporary examples for most ...more
Kate
Jun 05, 2011 rated it it was ok
I expected to love this but I got the feeling from the stories that Dorothy Parker doesn't like women very much. Her female characters were written so unflatteringly and with very little compassion. In fact, I misplaced this book halfway through the last story and didn't even bother trying that hard to find it. Despite the fact that scathing wit is usually my favourite thing to read, I was disappointed by these stories.
Chris
Sep 09, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who doesn't resort to emoticons to express sarcasm, irony or derision
Whether writing short stories, poetry or book or theater reviews, Dorothy Parker boiled her topics down to their universal formula, to those few basic elements that compose similar such topics in our own lives. Through the critical eye of a sardonic humorist, however, these observations of human behavior and motivation strike us as absurd, hypocritical, even repulsive - far from flattering and uncomfortably close to home.

It's funny because it's you.
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Dorothy Parker was an American writer, poet and critic 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
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“I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I'm under the table,
after four I'm under my host.”
1206 likes
“I like best to have one book in my hand, and a stack of others on the floor beside me, so as to know the supply of poppy and mandragora will not run out before the small hours.” 178 likes
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