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One More Time: The Best of Mike Royko

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  499 ratings  ·  72 reviews
With the incisive pen of a newspaperman and the compassionate soul of a poet, Mike Royko was a Chicago institution who became, in Jimmy Breslin's words, "the best journalist of his time." Culled from 7500 columns and spanning four decades, from his early days to his last dispatch, the writings in this collection reflect a radically changing America as seen by a man whose k ...more
Paperback, 275 pages
Published May 15th 2000 by University of Chicago Press (first published 1999)
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4.45  · 
Rating details
 ·  499 ratings  ·  72 reviews

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John Martin
Nov 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
When I was a newspaper copy boy in the late 1970s, one of my jobs was to clear the telex machine, rip the paper where appropriate and arrange all the incoming stories into piles - news, sport, features etc. Mike Royko's columns were syndicated then and even came to our little newspaper in Tasmania, Australia. I spent waaaaaaaay too long poring over his humorous/poignant/indignant/teasing columns to get the other piles right for when the cranky old news editor started work and began tasting the c ...more
Mar 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: essays, favorites
I laughed, I, I didn't hurl (though Royko's description of czernina did sound pretty gross). I felt like I got to know Chicago's personality a lot better through reading this book. It's a wonderful compilation of columns written about the average Chicago...Slats Grobnik (sorry, no Joe here), government corruption, social justice, poverty, and some of America's truly defining historical moments. The writing is clever, funny, and down-to-earth, and Royko is such a tough guy that that I ...more
Jan 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
This was my first foray into the columns of the legendary Mike Royko, and I have to say they weren't lyin'! He is the embodiment of his columns I don't see the Chicago of Michigan Ave. and Millenium Park. His Chicago is lower Wacker drive, and the old ethnic neighborhoods (many not so old or ethnic any more). I work right across the street from the original Billy Goat's Tavern on lower Michigan...a world apart from the restaurants and shops just a few blocks away. It has intrigued m ...more
Peter William Warn
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Leroy Bailey had a face before it was shot off in combat in Vietnam.

When he returned home to the country that sent him to fight communism in Southeast Asia, the U.S. Veterans Administration said it wouldn't pay for surgery to fix what remained of Bailey's face. His injuries had almost certainly stolen from him the possibility that an employer would hire him and the chance that a woman would love him. Bailey knew no surgery could repair his features so they would ever be anything other than repu
Dec 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a fine collection of Royko's columns spanning his long career from the early 60's to the late 90's. The consistent quality and originality of the columns, published five times a week for over thirty years, are a true, never to be duplicated accomplishment. The book revisits a type of journalism that no longer finds a home in the modern world. I speak, not just of the disappearance of the daily newspaper as a forum for local interest, but more of Royko's penchant for speaking truth to pow ...more
May 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you've never read this guy, read this guy starting with this book. It has it all...the Chicago stuff, the national political commentary, the humor, his feud with Rupert Murdoch, his heartbreaks with the Cubs. If nothing else, there are two columns (essays, really) in this book that are worth the cost of admission: "Jackie's Debut a Unique Day," which he wrote the day Jackie Robinson died, and the column he wrote after his wife passed (I'll look up the name and edit it in), which is heartbreak ...more
David Allen
Apr 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mike Royko's individual collections can be hit or miss. "One More Time," which winnows down 30 years of columns into a best-of, is a winner. He sticks up for Rodney King, predicts OJ will go free, eulogizes John Belushi, forces the Veterans Administration to help a destitute vet and critiques his own feet. Royko could go for the jugular, the tear ducts or the funny bone. His writing, especially his closers, are frequently astonishing.
Oct 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
This book is so well done -- really poignant and funny and indicative of a time and place. Read it, and you feel like you're back there in that time (even if you weren't really there at that particular time). I love the way its broken up, and the selections that are included. A great Royko reader. Or a great Chicago reader -- they're more or less the same thing. A terrific book.
Sep 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Great collection of articles. Very funny. Although my favorite was not funny but about the death of his wife titled: 'A November Farewell'

My other favorite (which is funny) is titled: 'Demoition Derby' aka 'Who actually demolished Carlos Rodriguez's beautifully renovated house?'
Nov 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I keep this book by my bed and read and re-read Royko columns when I'm in between novels. Absolutely loved this guy as a writer. He makes me laugh -- as well as cry -- and his insightfulness remains engaging even after so many years. A great book to own.
Jan 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-2014
Timeless. Chicago at its truest, gritty-city, self.
Jan 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My Grandmother gave me this book during my brief stint in Chicago. You can practically taste the town while reading this collection. He was a true master of the written word.
Tom C.
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic. My parents, both from the Chicago area, are huge Royko fans and read most of his stuff as it was written. This collection is both entertaining and revealing. Roykos approach is witty and insightful. ...and the topics, well, same as they ever were. Its amazing how little things really change. Awesome read.
Rick Bublitz
Jun 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read this book several years ago based on the recommendation of an Army buddy raised on the southside of Chicago. This book is about a journalistic legend that lived and breathed Chicago and had the talent to write about both the good and the bad of the Windy City. I thought I should put out this review since I recently met a person from Chicago where I live now in Vancouver, WA. In our conversation he told me that he had never heard of Mike Royko. Being raised in Texas myself I had never hear ...more
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
There is no one like Royko. I think no one has represented Chicago as he has and it's the Chicago of the working stiffs, the immigrants and ethnic groups, and the most "American" of all big cities. I always liked how he stuck up for the little guy against the politicians, the bureaucracy, the greedy and the selfish. I regularly read his column from the late 60s right through the 70s. Then lost touch in the 80s and after. So most of the earlier columns are ones I remember, but the later ones, es ...more
Mar 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Royko was one of the best newspaper columnists of all time. You can learn more about what the Chicago of his era felt like in five of his columns than you could in five histories.
This collection of columns is a good place to start for anyone unfortunate enough to have never read his work.
Royko was hilarious, wise and good-natured with just the right amount of bastard in him.
You can know a lot about what's wrong with newspapers these days by wondering why the business doesn't produce his kind a
James Rozoff
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It's hard to look back so many years later and read old newspaper columns and appreciate them as much as when they were first published. Royko wrote about current events, many of them reflecting Chicago politics. But Royko was great, one of a kind. The world is worse off for his absence. There could have been better articles chosen for this collection, but there are some here that are not only powerful but relevant for today.
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bazin
If you’re looking for a grand overview of Mike Royko’s essays, One More Time is a great place to start. It includes his very first essay from September 6, 1963, and provides some of his best works from the sixties, seventies, eighties, and nineties, ending with his very last column from March 21, 1997, which was, fittingly, about both the Cubs and Sam Sianis of the Billy Goat Tavern.
Nov 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who love Chicago
Now I understand why Mike Royko was a living legend of a newspaperman. I was about 16 when he died and too young to appreciate his columns. This man had a unique grasp of the dynamics of his native Chicago as well as a dry sense of wit in his social criticism of the developments in American culture and politics across his three and half decade career. I wish I could be so damn pithy even one day of the week.
Aug 03, 2007 rated it really liked it
Thought this guy was one of the finest users of the English language I ever encountered in a newspaper. Still think a lot of his stuff is worth reading and re-reading, even tho some of it may be 'dated'. Nobody agreed with Mike Royko all of the time, but readers always knew exactly what he was trying to say, exactly where he stood. Pretty high honesty rating for a newspaper columnist!
May 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This guy's got to be one of the best columnists ever to write. If you want to understand Chicago, you have to read Royko. Whether his target is Daley, Sinatra, or Mrs. Smith from Ohio who wrote him a letter, he doesn't pull any punches. He's extremely funny, doesn't suffer fools of any variety, and has a great social conscience in a no-nonsense midwestern kind of way.
Rick Homuth
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chicago
royko's perspective was that of the radical left in a city full of militantly right-wing democrats. at least, as i understand it. part of the reason reading this book is so cool is because it helps you realize how little you understand about the political climate in chicago in decades past. for better or for worse, it's interesting as hell
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Mike Royko was an excellent, excellent writer. All of the articles reprinted in this volume are a joy to read, although in some cases their continued relevance is a little depressing (his bitter remarks regarding gun control in America after the JFK assassination could have been written yesterday). A must-read for Chicagoans, and a powerful really-ought-to-read for everyone else.
Chris Sienko
Oct 17, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own
An excellent primer, but the original books can still be had from Amazon Marketplace and the like for pennies. There might be some work in here not in the other books, and really, that's enough to recommend it. How big a volume would a "complete Royko" have to be? How many volumes??
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
A good selection of columns spanning 30 years of his career. I'd forgotten how good of a writer he was, especially when he was 'on.' There's enough biographical information about Royko to tie the columns together, but not so much to make reading this maudlin.
Mar 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
A co-worker warned me that Mike Royko's columns may no longer be as accessible and entertaining as they were forty+ years ago. I was pleasantly surprised; despite the generational gap between me and Royko, his sarcasm and discussion of racism, violence, and bureaucratic corruption are timeless.
Apr 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I thought a bunch during this one. Mike and I fail to share the same politics yet his concerns are clear and abiding. I would suggest those farther right than me could learn from and chuckle with Mike. More later
Oct 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
The Indianapolis Star carried Royko's syndicated columns and I got hooked as a sophomore in high school. Royko told it like it was but always was a little smarter than the guy at the end of the bar on Chicago's south side.
So many to choose from, but I always chuckle at 'Bellying up to Success.'
Mar 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An interesting compilation of Mike's columns that span the entirety of his career (64-97). With the backdrop of Chicago, the commentary, issues, and subject matter seem in some ways as relevant today as they were when first published. Very entertaining.
Jul 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Royko at his best!
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Pulitzer prize columnist, Mike Royko was nationally known for his caustic sarcasm. Over his 30 year career he wrote for three leading Chicago newspapers, "The Daily News", "The Sun-Times", and "The Chicago Tribune", and was nationally syndicated.

The Polish-Ukranian son of a cab driver, Royko grew up on Chicago's southside and never left the city. At age 64, he died in Chicago of complications aris