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VINE VOICEon November 4, 2011
P.J. O'Rourke has spent some part of his life observing manners, their uses and mis-uses. He prefers the latter as they provide territory, though he approaches it with hesitation, to ponder on paper. And we are much improved for that. Where else could we learn how to run a first class funeral which is also a study in themes and variations on how to be deceased yet remembered properly by divergent groups of persons, some family, some unfriendly, some friend.

While he is rather inclined to hold his nose as he steps over the bodies of the too merry makers, he is observant and reports what he's seen and others doing.

His tongue may be in his cheek but his observances are chillingly close to accurate. The way he puts it, the satire doesn't seem real but one senses the cruel truth that lies not very far away. Persons who have read this may hesitate before inviting him to any sort of function but, as the consumer of his dissections of what occurred, one rather hopes he'll at least sneak a peek over the fence.

While not a stop on the road to perdition himself, he well knows the path that leads to it and is only to happy to point the reader toward Modern Manners done badly.
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on October 17, 2010
I read this book a couple decades ago, then ordered it via Amazon as a present for a friend. Those of you expecting O'Rourke to do political analysis in this book are looking for the wrong sort of thing. This is more in keeping with his writings for National Lampoon back when he was managing editor. I still like his hat advice: "A hat should be taken off when you greet a lady and left off for the rest of your life. Nothing looks more stupid than a hat."
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on January 15, 2007
If you enjoy the intelligent and biting humor of a Dennis Miller and the vocabulary of a George Will you will love this book. If your idea of a great satirical read is "Mad Magazine" you will enjoy this book. If you think the Als - Gore and Franken - are brilliant you will hate this book.
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on March 1, 2013
I'm 46 now. When I was 19 my girlfriend bought this book for me as a gift. And to this day one of the funniest if not the funniest book I've ever read. Of course that may depend on your sense of humor. If you are a person who prefers clean comedy like family sitcoms. This probably isn't for you. If you like edgy, intelligent adult humor this was a great book 27 years ago and I'll bet still holds up well today.
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on February 15, 2011
This book is hysterical. I have given copies of it to all of my friends. If you are sarcastic, you will love this.
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on March 28, 2000
Appropriate dress and which type of wine to drink with chicken is something that baffles those of us who aren't privy to actually having somewhere to go that we need to be dressed appropriately for. I found this book extremely enjoyable for a fun read that doesn't require too much thought. I especially enjoyed the sections on "The Horrible Wedding" and "Travel Etiquette". It is possible to jump around the book and read at your lesiure which makes it an ideal book to read while waiting in lines or driving. Maybe Modern Manners II will tackle that subject.
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on May 25, 2014
Exceptional entertainment. Fresh, rebellious, he is teaching us to think, making us lough hsrd and What a hell. Be yourself without compromise and tell others to go .... PJ we love your wit and the idea to lie to your teeth. Who will know the difference? Invent yourself if necessary because You can.... & Just read the damn book ♡♥
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on January 28, 2014
what an author. such novel and random ideas in this book. A must read for unique people. ;)
It's silly, yet poignant and relevant.
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on March 2, 2012
This book is brilliant, witty and erudite. PJ O'Rourke has a sharp eye for the sublime and the ridiculous. I liked this book so much that I bought it in paperback and when I bought my Kindle, in e-book form. My query is: WHY DOES THE KINDLE VERSION HAVE SO MANY TYPOS? A wonderful book does not deserve to be marred this way. Please, Amazon, fix this.
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on March 5, 2010
This book is a good satire of our society and its mores. Written nearly 30 years ago, it still applies to American culture today. Unlike most of his political works where he blends semi-funny jokes with right-wing ideology, in this book P.J. O'Rourke generally leaves politics alone to focus on ridiculing every aspect of modern American culture: from the drugs we take, to our sexual morals, to the insipid youth culture, and on and on. His main point, from what I can tell, is that in modern America, we've all become self-absorbed bastards. He may be on to something.
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