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Headless Body in Topless Bar: The Best Headlines from America's Favorite Newspaper Hardcover – March 25, 2008

17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The staff of the New York Post—for all the paper's illustrious history—is a fairly irreverent bunch. One way or another, the staffers who wrote these headlines have been around since 1801. Or rather, the spirit surrounding them has.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: It Books (March 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061340715
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061340710
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #404,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jean E. Pouliot on April 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I'm a sucker for wordplay, especially when it takes communication to a new level. In this hit-and-miss volume, the New York Post puts its wordplay artistry on display, giving us the best of the wild and irreverent headlines from the last few decades. The most clever of the headlines move beyond merely play on words. "Sin in the Clones," blares one, accompanied by the photo of a couple of lab monkeys, is both a clever play on the song "Send in the Clowns" but also says something about the story -- that the Church finds sin in cloning humans. The headline from the book title does not skewer a song title, but is artful anyway: "Headless body found in topless bar" is gruesomely funny wordplay PLUS has the attraction of accurately describing the story. The Post (at least by its own accounting) lays claim to dubbing Ronald Reagan's anti-missile defense system "Star Wars." The name stuck, being more memorable and descriptive than "Strategic Defense Initiative." Alas, only a few of the Post's "best" achieve this level of art or incisiveness. "The Lady is a Trump," announcing one of "the Donald's" marriages, says little about the event other than that it occurred.

The book starts off with a 2-page history of the Post (mostly changes of ownership) followed by several pages bent on sliming the 1993 owner, real estate mogul Abe Hirschfield. Revenge is a dish best served cold, and the Post can't seem to get enough of laying this gentleman low. The rest of the book is devotes to covers and memorable inside pages. The chosen covers are taken from the world of politics ("The Full Monica"), sports ("May the Curse Be With You" -- odious to this Red Sox fan, but clever nonetheless) and the Mafia ("Gotti's Greatest Hits").
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robin on August 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Tabloid editors know that what sells their papers are headlines and pictures, the stories can fill up what space is left. The New York Post does a nice line in play-on-word headlines (the grammatical term is: paronomasia) set in big type. The book mostly reproduces the Post's front page with headlines and the stories continue elsewhere.

As the Post is a down-market tabloid the headlines are no-nonsense grabbers that are history by the next edition which is why I found so many of them rather superficial and that only pointed up several that I thought classics. The arrest of Panama dictator Noriega in 1990: CANNED PINEAPPLE (because of his pock-marked face), Mike Tyson fight: BITE OF THE CENTURY, Russel Crowe court case: CROWE FLIES.

What did intrigue me about the Post pages was the sloppy design. There seemed to be no tabloid style of locking the headlines, pictures and text in a tight page design. Odd because Murdoch's News Corporation who owns the paper also owns Britain's best selling tabloid the Sun, which daily produces great newspaper pages in the best tabloid style. The best selling German tabloid Bilt also has tightly designed pages, yet the Post, from what is shown in the book, rather ignores the tabloid look.

As a collector of great headlines, I've enjoyed these:
* The war of the obese parsnip: will sugar cane take a beating
* Lone rower may miss Australia
* You Pretend to Drive, We Pretend to Get You There (about taxi drivers in Moscow)
And my favorite from the British Sunday Times in 1993 about the Inspector Morse TV series: Backward reels the mind in the dotty dash to give Morse a name

***SEE SOME INSIDE PAGES (and some from the Brit Sun) by clicking 'customer images' under the cover.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lambert McLaurin on July 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This collections of headlines from the New York Post is a lot of fun. I got it to use in teaching a photography course to use in the section on captions, headlines, and descriptions. Other than that its best use is likely on the bedside table in a guest bedroom. Its not a work of creative genius, but it does tell us about taste3 and what sold in the 490s and 50s.
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Format: Hardcover
It used to be that if someone wanted to keep educated with current events, a person would read THE NEW YORK TIMES. That paper used to be the paradigm of all the news that was "fit to print." Unfortunately, THE N.Y. TIMES isn't the paper that it used to be, has lost its objectivity, and has largely become a paper filled with little more than left-leaning political banter. Thank goodness for the NEW YORK POST! Started in 1801 by Alexander Hamilton the paper has gone through numerous shifts in ownership, but still exists not only as a newspaper, but also as one of the most amusing, interesting, and sensational papers in the country. I know that there are some that find the direction the Post has taken in recent years to be negative, but personally I find it refreshing compared to some of the more bland and completely uninformative writing in many large market newspapers.

HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR is a collection of famous and infamous headlines taken directly from the Post. The book is divided into seven chapters: general news, politics, interior headlines, celebrities, sports, mafia, and international news. There is a preface to the book from the Copy Desk of Robert Walsh. There's also an introduction that provides a short history of the newspaper and ends in a lambasting of former owner Abe Hirschfeld, who nearly drove the paper into the ground. Some of the Post's headlines became newsworthy in and of themselves, such as the Thursday, March 24, 1983 headline that named President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative "Star Wars". Others are just amusing such as the cover story that gives the book its title, "Headless Body in Topless Bar." The book is mostly composed of copies of front pages with an occasional background about some of the headlines.
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