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P. J. O’Rourke is the bestselling author of ten books, including The CEO of the Sofa, Eat the Rich, Parliament of Whores, and All the Trouble in the World. The former editor in chief of National Lampoon magazine, O’Rourke now writes for Rolling Stone and The Atlantic Monthly and lives in New Hampshire and Washington, D.C. John Hughes was an editor and writer at National Lampoon and wrote the script for National Lampoon’s Vacation, which was based on a short story he wrote called “Vacation ’58.” He went on to write and direct Sixteen Candles; Weird Science; The Breakfast Club; Ferris Bueller’s Day Off; Planes, Trains, and Automobiles; She’s Having a Baby; and Uncle Buck, and wrote and produced Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful, Home Alone, and Home Alone 2. He also collaborated on a script with P. J. O’Rourke inspired by the Sunday newspaper parody entitled The History of Ohio from the Beginning of Time to the End of the Universe, which was never made.
This is my favorite kind of humor. It looks like a local newspaper, divided into the usual sections. It reads like a local newspaper. But it's insanity sliced and diced in every possible way. The more you read, the more you'll find. Here's an advertisement from a local barber shop; look closely and you'll notice the special service is free ear and nose trim for senior citizens. There's an article advising how to use your golf gear to repel burglars, and which iron to select. There are comics and classified ads and movie listings and contests. If you keep reading, you'll find how the stories connect to each other to build to a higher level of absurdity. It's funny at a glance and funnier in depth.
This was originally published in newsprint in 1978, back when National Lampoon was at the height of its power. I've got the original, which has become brittle with age. Should have used acid-free paper! Anyway, this reprint is a large bound volume. It's not as realistic as the original, but it's probably more durable, and it's complete. Grab it!
Of course, the Dacron Republican-Democrat is an all-time classic of parody, and on that basis alone, this is well worth a purchase.
But something that hasn't been mentioned yet -- this edition has been "restored" by the folks at Rugged Land, and it's obvious that they did not have access to the original 1978 printing plates. Nearly all of the text has been re-typeset, and it's not fully 100% accurate; I found at least one place where text "went to Courier" in the typesetting process -- something that didn't happen back then. And I found a couple of typos that might not have been in the original -- I don't have my newsprint copy anymore, so it's tough to tell.
Also, most of the simpler ads have been re-typeset, but the more complex ones have apparently been scanned from an original copy of the Republican-Democrat, giving them a noisy, low-res quality that stands out painfully on these high-gloss pages. The Swillmart circular, in particular, is of particularly low reproduction quality, but still mostly readable.
Don't let these goofs stop you from buying, but be aware that you're not getting the original product.
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I remember when this first came out years ago and it is still just as funny. This is a complete Sunday paper from a boring town in Ohio. It includes local and national news, wedding annoucements, comics, classifieds and a sunday magazine as well as complete TV listings!
I laughed out loud at several pages. For any humor book there are some duds but they are few and far between with this excellent parody. You want to read this out loud to friends.
Some poor taste and not PC which is what makes it great. For example, this newspaper not only lists births but also lists abortions.
You'll enjoy reading this over and over.
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It's the little details in this book that really send it across. The advertisements, the classifieds, all the minutiae that has been carefully reproduced and parodied by the NL crew. I first picked this up X number of years ago in college, where I was just amazed that someone went to all the trouble of doing this. For heaven's sake, they even did ad circulars! They basically have done exactly what it says on the cover, created an entirely Sunday edition of a hometown newspaper, in the process creating an entire world around it. Dacron Ohio is a real place by the time they get done with it, or it might as well be. It's internally consistent, and every article, every ad, every little bit and piece adds to an overall consistent picture. Look, I'm sorry to be going on about this, but these people really did a job and a half putting this sucker together. As a writer who does a little world-building on the side, my hat is off to them.
I still have one copy of the old original done in an actual newspaper format, but am thinking of getting the paperback reprint just to read.
After an absolutely interminable, nearly fruitless search for the original newsprint version (no - the book version just wouldn't cut it), I finally came across the grail, thanks to the amazing Jeff Goodman of Portal Books (you rule, dude!). I bought the thing back when it first came out in '78, and of course I eventually lost it. To read it again is like going back in a time capsule, and still funnier than s***! (actually, Jeff - I myself have always preferred this over the Kefauver yearbook) Coolest thing P.J. O'Rourke ever did. (or - more specifically - took the helm of). Bruce McCall's Swillmart supplement is especially awesome. ultra-kudos!