Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
The Clan of the Flapdragon and Other Adventures in Etymology, by B.M.W. Schrapnel, Ph.D.
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Top Customer Reviews
Technically the book is a collection of thirty short pieces on a wild variety of topics. Three titles give you an idea of the range of Schrapnel's interests: "The Protean Obscenity and His Sister," "Romanticism Now and Then," and "Ted Nugent Must Die!"
Almost every article is followed by letters purportedly written in response to the piece in question. This feature is called "Cleopatra's Basket," and I suspect many readers, like me, will find it the funniest part of the book. It's filled with classic spoofs of the kind of missives sent in by readers of serious literary magazines.
It's hard to pin down exactly where Dr. Schrapnel stands on the numerous political, artistic, academic and cultural issues he rants about. He's an equal opportunity satirist, as every good satirist should be. For instance, he spends a lot of time skewering people like the "slime-cake politician who's on the secret payroll of big industry and rampant development at any cost." But just when you have him pegged as a tree-hugger, you come across something like, "Most environmental organizations are a crock of wormy fools who get off watching itsy-bitsy birds, or identifying pukey-colored butterflies, while the habitat near and around them goes down at a more methodical and embarrassing rate every year, sort of like your Buffalo Bills at the Super Bowl."
Or take feminism.Read more ›