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The Portable Curmudgeon [Anglais] [Broché]

Various , Jon Winokur

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The believer is happy; the doubter is wise. Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Quatrième de couverture
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.4 étoiles sur 5  34 commentaires
47 internautes sur 51 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Just Walk Beside Me and Be My Friend 7 mai 2001
Par M. Allen Greenbaum - Publié sur
What is so admirable about a curmudgeon? I suppose that one answer is to ask what isn't so admirable about non-curmudgeons: People whose advise may reassure them more than you. After all, don't worry, be happy.
Sometimes just acknowledging the cranky, bilious soul is more effective than drowning it in bland sweetisms. This book recognizes your (or someone else's) bad self, and implicitly encourages you to go with it. Perhaps it's the mix that makes us more human.
This very funny collection of sarcastic, witty, cynical, caustic, and sometimes just downright... quotes will "speak" to you like the blues. Quotes are arranged alphabetically by topic, so that you can look up "G' for gratitude, and plagiarize Rochefoucauld: "Gratitude is merely the secret hope of further favors." Cynical--of course--but perhaps containing a grain of wisdom. This topical organization doesn't work that well; the categories are too fine grained (who would think of "dinner theatre?").
The best feature are the multi-page sections devoted to one of the masters: W.C. Fields, Oscar Wilde, George S. Kaufman, Dorothy Parker, Quentin Crisp, Oscar Levant, and others. These sometimes take the form of interviews, biographies, and/or several pages of quotes. However, sprinkled liberally throughout its 299 pages are gems ("If you can't say anything good about someone, sit right here by me." -- Alice Roosevelt Longworth) by such notables as Marx (Groucho), Mencken, Bierce, and Twain and contemporaries such as Vidal, Woody Allen, and Rita Mae Brown.
Oh--in case you were wondering--it was Paul Fussell who said the following about dinner theatre:"...a way of positively guaranteeing that both food and theatre will be amateur and mediocre, which means unthreatening and therefore desirable."
To its credit, the book stays away from most sexist and all racist "jokes," it doesn't confuse humor with stupid attack. Still, you may need a thick skin for some of the acidity here. Recommended for its humor and eclecticism.
25 internautes sur 27 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great little book, tons of laughs per page 18 décembre 2003
Par Keith Tokash - Publié sur
I'm a little young to know many of the people who are quoted in this book, but the hilarity of the quotes made me look up and start reading authors like George Shaw and Oscar Wilde. Those two names should give you an indication of the type of quotes you'll be reading in this little gem. Most are wry, a bit sarcastic, pessimistic and critical.
I have no idea what book the previous reviewer was reading when he talked about the author's interpretations of the quotes. I've had this book for years and went thru it tons of times; there are no interpretations. It is a bunch of quotes on topics arranged alphabetically with some selected biographies mixed in. It actually reads quite nicely.
Buy this book unless you agree with Oscar Levant..."I have given up reading books; I find it takes my mind off myself". (pg 34)
19 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A must for everyone who appreciates good one-liners! 18 mai 2000
Par K. L Sadler - Publié sur
I've had this book since they first printed it. It is definitely one of my favorite all time books. I sometimes have to go back like once a year and read it all over again. I drove my husband nuts with it, because he isn't as much of a reader as I am and so I would start reading some of the quotes from it. Since he is a humorist himself he enjoyed the smart alecky comments that many of these classical curmudgeons either wrote or said, and still managed to get away with it. What is so astounding is that many of the humorous sayings still make sense today, out of context. Winokur did some decent research on these people and provided some information into why these people had such acid tongues. But he doesn't overdo it, but rather leaves the quotations to speak for themselves. A good late night giggler of a book! Karen L. Sadler. Science Education, University of Pittsburgh,
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Love it 24 février 1998
Par - Publié sur
The Portable Curmudgeon collects an outrageous number of quotes, mostly from people who you have heard about. Some quotes are sidesplitting, and most of them sum up a piece of life in a wonderfully sarcastic fashion. Personally, I could have done without the "subject" headings; the quotes frequently don't address the subject very well. For my taste, a listing by author would have been better.
12 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Anyone who loves language used well will enjoy this book. 21 juillet 2003
Par Lucy Lee - Publié sur
A collection of quotes from a smorgasbord of irascible writers, critics, philosophers, and celebrities, this book is organized alphabetically, inviting you to thumb to a topic that rankles, finding just the right words (albeit someone else's) to express your cynicism, contempt, or outrage.
At a time when public discourse seems largely derived from the banalities of reality TV, it's reassuring to have at hand hundreds of sharp and sensible observations from curmudgeons, both classic and contemporary. And Jon Winokur's catalogue of curmudgeons also reminds us that the best curmudgeonly commentary is purposeful: its aim is to puncture pretense, to expose hypocrisy. Winokur provides illuminating profiles of some of the "greats" -- including two of my favorites, H.L. Mencken and Dorothy Parker -- letting us see the context that helped create their curmudgeonliness. The book is also sprinkled with brief but revealing interviews with successor curmudgeons, like John Simon and Calvin Trillin.
In teaching writing, I've found the quotes collected here invaluable for introducing students to such alien concepts as wit, irony, and the artful use of metaphor.
If you haven't yet become acquainted with this classic volume -- and with the eloquently testy people you meet on every page -- you're in for a treat.
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