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4.28  ·  Rating details ·  630 ratings  ·  35 reviews
A prank is a trick, a mischievous act, and a ludicrous act. Although not regarded as poetic or artistic acts, pranks constitute an art form and genre. Here, pranksters such as Mark Pauline, Monte Cazazza, Jello Biafra, Joe Coleman, Karen Finley, Henry Rollins, John Waters and Henry Rollins challenge the sovereign authority of words, images and behavioral convention. Some t ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 1st 1987 by Re/Search Publications
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Average rating 4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  630 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great photo/story book to possess, read aloud, be inspired by. I'm still telling stories I read in this. One about a cathouse for dogs was a priceless prank illuminating concern trolls long before we called them concern trolls. When I first saw it I knew "my people will be in here". It's about pranksters, folks I'd call interactive cultural anthropologists.
David Raffin
Mar 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
If you learn nothing else from this book you will at least learn this important lesson:
If you look like you belong somewhere -- people will generally ask no questions.

This is one of the most important things for an urban prankster to know.

This book is a series of interviews with people about pranks. One of the highlights is the interview with noise musician Boyd Rice. Rice also often appears as one of the interviewers.

Had this book come out more recently it would probably be called "culture jamm
Jul 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Among other things, I learned that one should not dress a portly child in yellow.
Feb 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor
One of my all-time favorites. I laughed until I cried for twenty minutes straight. Several times. If you're suicidal, I recommend this. Now watch, you'll probably hate it...
Sep 05, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book when I was a teenager. It was the inspiration for all kinds of ridiculous art projects. The Jeffery Vallance stuff is my favourite.
Scott Fisher
Jan 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books of all time. I read it regularly.
Xavier Graye
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Read this years ago, was delighted & inspired, as with many of the first runs of ReSearch, they were splendid provocative magazines for a teen get hold of, lead to further exploration into many topics, writers, performers. ...more
Willy Boy
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
You NEED all Re/Search books ... this one in particular. Possibly their masterpiece - exactly as the title suggests, a selection of Pranks solicited from sundry underground notables. The perfect gift that keeps giving!
Gabriel Smith
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
funny, good pranks
Jun 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone looking for creative inspiration
This book is exquisite!

I didn't know what catagory to put it in, but decided on art because many of the folks in this book are artists, and favorites because (duh!) it is one of my favorite books.

It's a series of interviews with folks who have pulled colossal pranks. Some of these folks have been pulling pranks their whole lives. The pranks are really clever (not slapstick) and often make people question their assumptions and the things they take for granted about the world that we live in. I th
Ryan Mishap
Dec 27, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: anthology
Jesse had this back when we lived in Ashland. It's a collection of underground artists recalling various pranks they've done or had done to themsleves. Entertaining, yes, but don't stop there, it could also be highly instructive for the aspiring prankster. Just don't play one on me, because I won't laugh with you at the joke--I will beat you to death.
So think about that before you plan.
Jan 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The RE/Search series of interviews, amazing quotations, and marginalized information influenced much of my editing approach; i.e., find the people that you have the most fascinating conversations with (preferably those who other people are afraid to talk to) and publish the results. Pranks is surprisingly informative about more than just tomfoolery - situationism, the conditions of war, and the power of radio can be explored in this volume.
Feb 21, 2008 rated it liked it
Chock full of crazy stories, and crazier people. Maybe the best one is the sicko who dosed his parents with acid, replaced all their white light bulbs with colored ones, shaved their poodle in punk patterns, and tossed the pup into the middle of the living room. Like pretty much the entire RE-Search output, it ain't for the squeamish.
Kati Giblin
Dec 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Worth it mostly for Boyd Rice. That guy has a great attitude. After that, each interviewee has at least one funny or interesting story. The story of the Earth First "Smokey the Bear" guy fighting with the park ranger in front of little kids made me laugh out loud.

There's a lot of crazy art stuff in this book.
Jan 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art, favorites
This book would be essential just for the contributions of Joey Skaggs, Abbie Hoffman, Jeffrey Vallance, and Alan Abel. But you get Joe Coleman, Karen Finley, Paul Krassner, Bob Zoell, Mark Pauline, Paul Mavrides... when I was younger I though Boyd Rice's ideas were funny as hell but now much of that stuff seems cruel and pointless.
Jan 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A crazy collection of interviews, instructionals and stories that will inspire and scare you. One side band I was in - Chicken in a Casket (with a song "For the Love of Blinky") - we owe it all to one of the stories recounted in this book. Classic (but perhaps a bit dated now).
Jeremy Hornik
Nov 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Pranks as art, art as prank. I think I really liked to read about naughty behavior, especially when it could be justified in an intellectual way. I still find this kind of stuff fascinating. Coyle and Sharp! Paul Krassner!
Feb 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I don't usually believe in favorites, but this is an exception
Apr 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: pranksters
This book is so full of ideas for insane pranks that the mind reels. Even if you don't play pranks, this is one of the funniest books you'll ever pick up.
Jun 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone With a Healthy (and Twisted) Funny Bone
Although it's probably dated now - this was always one of my favorite books. Classic from start to finish.
Mark Giddens
Jun 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
incredibly fun book of pranks by noteworthy and famous people...
Die Todeskönigin
Jul 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
the funniest part of this book is henry rollins "black guys scare white guys" story. i laughed my ass off!
Mustafa Al-Laylah
Jul 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ars, politics
Another amazing entry in the RE/Search catalog. The sections on Joe Coleman and Jello Biafra alone were worth the price of admission. Highly and dangerously inspiring (rubs hands conspiratorially).
Sep 05, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun, weird, bizarre, brilliant "pranks" from a host of characters.
Dec 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
A collection of interviews with various artists, musicians, and troublemakers about pranks they had committed. Pretty awesome.
Nov 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a bountiful source of inspiration for those who enjoy well-crafted pranks. I had the good fortune to have Timothy Leary autograph my copy.
Geoff Sebesta
May 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
If I had carried out more of the lessons I learned from this book I would be a better man.
T. Smith
Jul 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-search
Probably my favorite RE/Search book, although they're all fantastic!
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my go to books that can always make me laugh out loud. The Boyd Rice entry about the "Bean Qhrqwhqhr" makes the whole book worth reading.
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Japanese-American writer and publisher. He also played keyboards for the later famous power trio Blue Cheer.

In 1977 he started to publish the punk fanzine "Search and destroy" In 1980, he began publication of RE/Search, a tabloid format zine focusing on various counterculture and underground topics.

RE/Search later became always a format for books, of which Vale is a regular contributor.

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