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4.17  ·  Rating details ·  59 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Popular satirist Joe Queenan proves that cynicism in literature flourished long before Generation X in this acerbic compendium of the best classic satirical writing from the last several centuries, as well as from Ancient Greece. The collection encompasses essays, short stories, plays, and novels, with Queenan's insightful biographies of each featured writer. Selections in
Paperback, 1056 pages
Published March 3rd 2004 by Running Press (first published 2002)
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Becca Martinson
May 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fellow Malcontents and Cynics
Shelves: alreadyread
I'm not alone in my periodic despair of humanity and the world and this book proves it. I can never decide which of the collection is my favorite, although the suggestions of Jonathan Swift to his fellow Irishmen- and women- of how to control overpopulation is one of my favorite bad day reads. And no student can miss Mark Twain's scathing essay on the idiosyncracies of the English language and the American school system in 'English as She Is Taught'. Perfect for a bad day when you hate everyone ...more
There are some great stories in here, but I, like most people who would likely pick this up, had read most of them already (it was a gift). That said, I do like having it around in case some unsuspecting soul wanders into my life needing an elementary introduction to satire. Hey, it could happen. ;)
Jul 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I haven't read this all the way through yet. However, any anthology of satire edited by Joe Queenan that includes selections from Swift and Twain cannot possibly be anything but great...and incredible fun. Jane Austen's "Lady Susan" is surprisingly vicious.
Jan 04, 2008 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
:-) I am always reading this book. Great collection of crotchety old men writing about their crotchety old lives. And some Marquis de Sade for good measure. How can a reader go wrong?
Beth Wood
Apr 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is quite a large book. I didn't read it all, although I have already read many of the selections contained within - the book collects works by 19 authors that Joe Queenan considers to be cynics and satirists.

The introduction alone is worth checking out this book. I got amazing insights into these 19 authors, delivered with humor and no small amount of sarcasm. I learned from the introduction which authors I wanted to read, and which I did not. Well worth it.
Mar 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a great collection of satire. Then again, I say this as a cynic.
Jan 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: done
My favorite story The Good Little Boy by Mark Twain. I think I'd read with my children...and discuss.
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Joe Queenan is a humorist, critic and author from Philadelphia who graduated from Saint Joseph's University. He has written for numerous publications, such as Spy Magazine, TV Guide, Movieline, The Guardian and the New York Times Book Review. He has written eight books, including Balsamic Dreams, a scathing critique of the Baby Boomers, Red Lobster, White Trash, and the Blue Lagoon, a tour of low- ...more
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