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It's a Bitter Little World Paperback – October 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Writer's Digest Books (October 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582973873
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582973876
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #922,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Charles Pappas has written for many US publications.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Sharp, unsentimental dialogue that says it like it is and apologizes for nothing is one of the reasons that the popularity of classic film noir endures. Those brutal lines delivered with machine-gun timing and precision are seared onto the minds of their audience. Writers and directors strive to capture that hard-boiled style in modern noir crime films. Madison Avenue knows that smart, blunt tag lines sell stuff. Such is the power of terse, cynical repartee. "It's a Bitter Little World" collects many of the most memorable, most brutally honest quotes from film noir, 1940 to 2005, into a single volume of gleefully pessimistic lines, organized by theme and by decade and accented with stark graphics.

Author Charles Pappas starts the reader off with a story of his own real-life femme fatale, followed by an overview of film noir through the decades written in a forceful style reminiscent of hard-boiled crime novels. Then to the quotes, which are arranged by theme in 5 chapters: "The Dicks and the Desperate", "The Dames and the Mugs", "The Brutality and the Barbs", "The Money and the Grubbing", "The Life Lessons and the Death Wishes". The chapter titles give some idea of the subject of the quotes. It's not always obvious why quotes are placed where they are, but there is a handy index in the back of the book, where you can find quotes by film if you're looking for something in particular. Within each chapter, the quotes are organized by decade, with the name and year of the film clearly indicated. It's nice to be able to see the evolution of film noir dialogue from the laconic 1940s to the more vulgar late 20th century.

Chapter 6, "The Quotes that Dreams Are Made Of", contains new quotes in the noir style contributed by contemporary writers, actors, and media personalities.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jake Justus on March 15, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Every once in a while, and it's not often, you run across a book whose contents seem ready to bust its covers. ITS A BITTER LITTLE WORLD is one of those beauties. Charles Pappas has created a multi-media experience in book form. Not only do you get the best film-noir quotations ever uttered by the most desperate guys and dolls, but you get them surrounded by graphics and design that pull you right into the shadows. Visually, it's a striking book. And, as if that wasn't enough, you get a healthy dose of Mr. Pappas' own observations, written in a style that has all the bite and brains of the genre he obviously loves so well. ITS A BITTER LITTLE WORLD is a labor of love, and it pulls no punches. I can't imagine a worthier tribute to the film-noir genre, and I can't imagine anyone pulling it off half as well as Mr. Pappas. Film-noir has given us the greatest dialogue in the history of cinema, and ITS A BITTER LITTLE WORLD is a feast of imagery and phrases whose like we won't see again. This is a book for every library.
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Format: Paperback
Charles Pappas' It's A Bitter Little World: The Smartest Toughest Nastiest Quotes From Film Noir represents the author's sixty years of film noir surveys to locate quotes and dialogue which pertain to life's challenges and answers. Arranged by decade, these are scalding quotes and even fun, memorable lines and dialogue bits which reflect a love of language and an eye to fun. It's A Bitter Little World is a fun, revealing compilation lending to leisure browsing by any who love film noir and literature.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By NOIRDOWELL on March 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
What a fun little read, chockablock full of delectable saturnine, sardonic and downright surly one-liners that spew from the smirks and smiles of our favorite dicks, dames and dolls. "My first wife was a second cook at a third rate joint on 4th St." -The Glass Key, is particular favorite of mine...But there are so many more to chew on...like so many mordant morsels. Some are complimentary,e.g. "You'd look good in a shower curtain" -Cody Jarrett -"White Heat" but most bite to the bone. "You've gotta study to get that stupid" -Radak "Desperate" This tiny compendium of sarcasm is complimented with an arrestingly appropriate graphic style that is both simple and effective. Have this by the bedstand and the next time your wife or hubby gives you some grief...turn to page...30 "I'll never think of our moments together without nausea". Now what can you say to that? -NDW
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G. Charles Steiner TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
From 1981, "Body Heat":

Matty Walker: I'm a married woman.
Ned Racine: Meaning what?
Matty Walker: Meaning I'm not looking for company.
Ned Racine: Then you should have said, "I'm a happily married woman."

-- page 111, "The Dames and the Mugs"

From 1974, "Chinatown":

Telephone caller/Ida Sessions: Are you alone?
Jake Gittes: Isn't everyone?

From 1949, "The Set-Up":

Tiny: How many times I gotta say it? There's no percentage in smartenin' up a chump.

This is a lovely, fun, smart and funny book like a Bartlette Book of Quotations for Wise Guys and Detectives Living in the Noir World. There's an introduction like a regular book and six chapters that move forward chronologically, from 1941 to 2005. There's an Appendix, some Web Site References and an Index, too. Well worth your moolah. A keeper.

From 2000, "The Way of the Gun":

Longbaugh: You know what I want to tell God when I see him? I'm gonna tell him I was framed.
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