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National Lampoon's 1964 High School Yearbook Hardcover – August 26, 2003

31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"A masterpiece of parody" -- ,Detroit Free Press,

"A masterpiece of parody"
- Detroit Free Press

"The finest example of group writing since King James Bible."
- Harper's Magazine

"Classic" - Frank Rich, New York Times
-- Review

"Classic" -- Frank Rich,New York Times,

"The finest example of group writing since King James Bible." -- ,Harper's Magazine,

About the Author

About the Editors:

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.

Doug Kenney (1946 - 1980) founded National Lampoon with Henry Beard and Rob Hoffman. The inspirational heart and soul of the magazine, Kenney went on to cowrite the screenplays for Animal House (with Chris Miller and Harold Ramis) and Caddyshack (with Brian Doyle-Murray and Harold Ramis).

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Rugged Land; 39 edition (August 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590710126
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590710128
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.6 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #972,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 53 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Goodman on September 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I really wanted to love this book...I still have my original copy of the 1964 Yearbook, and as far as I'm concerned, it's still the definitive edition. With the announcement of this HARDCOVER edition, I was hoping the publisher would take the opportunity to make this parody look like a REAL yearbook. One of the things the NL was great at doing was an Exact Parody of the thing they were satirizing. In the original edition the paper utilized different stocks for different functions. Also, the book could be placed upside down and backwards on a surface and aside from the paperback binding, it looked like a vintage yearbook. This version is loud, garish, the buttcheecks have been covered up, and the logo is wrong...Perhaps I'm a purist, but the design of this book is just all wrong. It should have been released in a dust jacket that could be removed, with a real looking binding of a yearbook underneath. Also, the printing inside the book looks like it was printed from an old copy of the yearbook magazine, instead of the original stats or negatives...Yes, the comedy is still great, but the design is greatly flawed...I'd only recommend getting it if you have to have it...Otherwise, hold out for an original copy, it just feels better!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By The JuRK on September 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I don't know how many copies I've had of the NATIONAL LAMPOON 1964 YEARBOOK PARODY over the years but they all disappeared. Shared them with friends and--POOF--they were gone. I just could not keep them to myself.
Thank God they've reprinted it! It's still one of the funniest books I've ever read.
I'd read an Esquire article about the life and death of Doug Kenney in the early 1980's and it described how Kenney threw himself into the project (reading yearbook after yearbook and even wearing his high school letterman's jacket to the Lampoon offices every day). He went on to co-write ANIMAL HOUSE (he played "The Stork") and then co-wrote/produced CADDYSHACK before he died in a hiking accident in Hawaii.
One weird detail: the picture of the kid who died (and no one seems to remember) is an actual school photo of Doug Kenney.
P.J. O'Rourke and the others also deserve the highest praise for creating what will be an enduring classic of American humor. I'll treasure this along with my own yearbooks!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Stefan Jones on August 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Oh WOW, it's back! I purchased the original edition of this classic ages ago.
This hilarious, elaborate, and merciless satire creates a complete little world: Dacron (motor home capitol of the world), Ohio's High School, circa 1964. It captures the slightly clunky look-and-feel of school yearbooks, and includes lots of great B&W photos of the classes, clubs, sport teams, and events. Like Matt Groening's _School is Hell_, it is humor with a healthy measure of grim insight and honesty.
Fans of "National Lampoon's Animal House" may find some of the student's names familiar.
As a bonus, the last few pages contain ephemera: little forms from the owner's "permanent record," pages from a mediocre history book, Dacron High's poetry journal, the school newspaper, and so on.
There are some new additions in this special edition, but they're kind of perfunctory: A mock-cutesy "What Happened To?" newsletter, and an introduction that breaks the versimilitude of the piece.
Perhaps there's hope that National Lampoon's equally brilliant, even more elaborate Sunday Newspaper spoof (The Dacron Republican/Democrat) -- which has references to the yearbook -- will be released.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Robert Mccrary on February 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I give this three stars because the original version - which you should not only own, but should put in your will - is one of the very funniest things that has ever been committed to paper. I, like another reviewer, had expected a hardcover edition to be definitive, but instead, we get an edited cover, glossy, one-dimensional paper, and an endless parade of poorly copied photos and advertisements. Whoever did this reprint was obviously just trying to do a quick and dirty job so that they could scrape a little more meat from the bleached bones of the America's Finest Humor Magazine.

If this is the only copy you have access to (and have never seen the original), it is so funny that you may not see the problem. The jokes are still there, after all, and I can still laugh out loud while reading it.

But....for $2.50 in 1974, we were given a diamond. This latest version feels like cubic zirconium.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Seigler on August 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
First things first: I am an admitted P.J. O'Rourke buff (the dude inspired me to start writing, which is either a good thing or bad), so I was interested to check this out. Plus, after reading Tony Hendra's book about the Lampoon and the creation of the Yearbook by Doug Kenney and O'Rourke, I decided to quit putting off my hesitancy to buying it and purchased it about two months ago. I haven't laughed as hard at anything in print since.

The context of the Yearbook is essential to understanding it; rather than just a "hey, look how crazy we were!" sort of Porky's approach, there's an underlying theme of "Animal House"-style anger at the authority structures that made social conformity and Vietnam possible. The writers had lived through the Vietnam era of the late Sixties, and they looked back in anger at the controls high school placed on them. There's real venom in these pages, if you know where to look.

But what struck me, and what made me appreciate this on the terms of being a simply good artwork, was the similarities to high school yearbooks even today. Sure, the layouts and hair/fashion styles change, but the general idea is the same: there are the popular kids, and then there's everyone else (including the "hero" of the piece, future Delta member Larry Kroeger). They all exist in the mythical Dacron, Ohio, and their school is really everybody's school. I can say, coming from a similarly awful school here in the great state of South Carolina, that nothing made me chuckle more than the laugh of recognition.
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