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Funny Letters from Famous People

2.97  ·  Rating details ·  94 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
In this humorous collection of celebrity wit, acclaimed broadcaster and humorist Charles Osgood offers witticisms penned by luminaries ranging from Abraham Lincoln to Andy Rooney.

Known for his clever commentary and witty radio-show rhymes, Charles Osgood here selects and introduces a collection of hilarious correspondence from some of our best-loved politicians, authors,
Paperback, 240 pages
Published October 12th 2004 by Three Rivers Press (first published January 1st 2003)
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Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read most of the presidents, and then just flipped through the rest and read the ones I was interested in. Fun fact, there were only two (2) letters from women. One was hilarious, a scientist's wife killing 58 monster bugs in their cabin, and I forget the other. It was short. Both were short! Smells of sexism.

Also, Beethoven was apparently hilarious (excerpt from the book):
Ludwig van Beethoven had very little—if any-control over his temper, which swung wildly in all directions. Here are two br
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was honestly quite surprised to see the low overall rating of this book here on GR (currently it's averaging a 2.97/5 star rating). I looked at some of the reviews, and I guess I can understand why.

This book is a collection of letters from famous people - just as the title suggests. There is quite a variety here, including famous people such as Beethoven, Benjamin Franklin, Julia Child, Oscar Wilde, Groucho Marx, Charles Dickens, etc. In order to understand the subtle humor in letters written
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, humor
Good for a couple of chortles out loud. Apparently, only four women have written funny letters worthy of inclusion (among the 74 people featured here). This is almost as hard to believe as how incredibly hilarious many former US presidents were. Herbert Hoover's musings that it is unfortunate horses weren't built more like centipedes for smoother conveyance about made me fall off my chair.

Picked up at random looking for a light beach read.
Taryn Pierson
I found this book to be absolutely delightful. It was a great pick-up-put-down-pick-back-up kind of book. Hopping up in a few minutes to do laundry? Have a little time in your minivan while the kids finish up at practice? Find yourself in the waiting room at the dentist? Then you have time to read a few pages of this book and brighten your day simultaneously. Two birds!

Osgood collected a whole bunch of witty missives from a variety of people and—this is the best part—edited out most of the borin
Connie N.
I'd rate this a solid 2.5 stars but will mark it 2 stars for GR.

This was mildly enjoyable, but it wasn't the funny I was looking for, so I was disappointed. The stories were clever, I guess, but they were mostly written by people dozens (or even a couple hundred) years ago, so I didn't quite get the "jokes." Someone who reads classics or who is interested in history would enjoy this much more than I did. I applaud Osgood for the time it must have taken to collect all of these letters, but it was
This book is simply a collection of letters written by many different famous people, from Mozart to Carl Sandburg to Isaac Asimov to Andy Rooney and lots more. The variety is great but some letters are so hard to understand that you really have to be able to understand the word usage of the time to get the subtle humor.

The letters can be very short of a few words to a couple of pages depending on the person. If you enjoy reading letters other people have written to find out more about how they
Aug 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't care what your political leanings, the letter from George H.W. Bush to Barbara imploring her to "watch how Mike and Kitty do it" and incorporate more displays of public affection "for good television" during his campaign is hilarious. "I am practicing the loving look and the creeping hand." I had to put down my drink so I didn't choke.

It would appear that he's not the only president who had a sense of humor. George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, too. And Winston Churchill! This is good
Nov 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my book for the 800's for the year - now I've completed my challenge! Yippee!

Fun letters from people of the past. Might not appeal to anyone younger than me, though. Or they wouldn't have any knowledge of who the people are, why they were/are famous. Had to read several sections out loud to my husband, laughing all the time.

Last letter was from Julia Child with a recipe for a healthy life:
Small helpings,
no seconds,
eat a little bit of everything,
no snacking,
have a good time,
and pick
Nov 03, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just what the title says: funny (or at least mildly amusing) letters (or excerpts) by, from and to famous (or nearly so or used to be so) people.

I enjoyed the letters by Groucho Marx the best - what a shame he's not as well known now.

Recommended for: those who lament the death of good old-fashioned letter writing and people who enjoy reading those who were known for their wit.
Sep 26, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not the laugh riot I hoped for. You might enjoy Charles Osgood on Sunday Morning, but that doesn't mean you'll like this book. He managed to find utterly unfunny writing from some of the funniest writers in the world. What a shame.
Jul 30, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't get into this. Many authors were unfamiliar to me and therefore not that appealing to me. Also, the selections and the reasoning were not very compelling to me.
5-stars for effort that must have occurred to compile it all; Otherwise, it's just okay.
Jul 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Parts of this book are laugh-out-loud funny. Charles Osgood looked at compilations of letters by famous people and chose the best ones. I really enjoyed this book.
Nicole M.
Mar 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
Yes, some of these correspondences are witty and entertaining to read, but none of them is particulary funny.
A good book, but many of the letters aren't Laugh Out Loud funny so much as dry and witty. A light read to be picked up and put down with ease.
Aug 25, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was hoping that as the titled indicated, there would be funny letters. Not so. It would be more appropriately titled, "Funny Excerpts...."

Mar 09, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short little book of entertaining letters. Pretty good collection, for what it is.
May 04, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-11
False advertising.

While a handful of letters in here were truly delightful, the majority of them were written by people too in love with their own words.

May 26, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Twitter-style look at history: Hard to say what i liked best- Giggling at Lincoln's responses to his detractors? old-timey off color humor? Love letters with SAT words? I loved this little book.

Cheryl Bonnell
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Sep 14, 2016
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Lucia Coale
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May 14, 2015
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Sep 30, 2014
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Dec 19, 2011
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Jul 26, 2010
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Jun 11, 2016
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Mar 14, 2010
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Dec 23, 2012
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Charles Osgood (born Charles Osgood Wood, III on January 8, 1933) is a radio and television commentator in the United States. His daily program, The Osgood File, has been broadcast on the CBS Radio Network since 1971. Osgood hosts CBS News Sunday Morning. He is also known for being the voice of the narrator of Horton Hears a Who!, an animated film released in 2008, based on the book of the same na ...more
More about Charles Osgood...