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New Devil's Dictionary: A New Version Of The Cynical Classic Hardcover – November 8, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A witty and mordant compendium of brickbats and bon mots … refreshingly no-nonsense … a bracing bit of whimsy … an assorted and sundry admixture of sharp wit and woebegone drollery

… All-encompassing … Ambitious and devilishly addictive … An inspired and audacious accomplishment.” —BlogCritics Books

 

“Ambrose Bierce’s original Devil’s Dictionary defined basic truths in such a way as to surprise, shock, infuriate, and, not infrequently, delight his readers. Rhoda Koenig’s wonderful reprise attains that high standard again and again.”

—John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

 

“Bracing, provoking, often brilliant—I ran from one entry to another and was constantly amused and amazed.”

—David Denby, author of Snark

 

“So smart and mordant it must be read slowly and savored. A great idea, brilliantly executed.”

—Andrew Holleran, author of Dancer from the Dance

 

“The new devil in Rhoda Koenig’s entertaining dictionary attacks with the same ferocious wit, cutting insight, sulfurous humor, and hilarious pessimism as that of the first.”

—Nicholas von Hoffman, author of Citizen Cohn

 

“Provocative, engaging, laugh-out-loud funny. A sublime satire.”

—Chris Ver Wiel, author of Starbucks Nation

 

“Fine, bracing stuff delivered with wit and bile.”

—Nik Cohn, author of Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom

 

The New Devil’s Dictionary brilliantly matches Ambrose Bierce’s original in wit, candor, and black humor.”
—Andrew Shaffer, author of Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love

About the Author

Rhoda Koenig was born in New York City, where she became literary editor and then book reviewer of New York magazine. She has written for Harper’s, the New York Times, New Republic, New York Review of Books, and Vogue

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press (November 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762772476
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762772476
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,589,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anastasia Beaverhausen on October 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"The New Devil's Dictionary." n. A modern-day version of the satirical classic The Devil's Dictionary that brilliantly matches Ambrose Bierce's original in wit, candor, and black humor.

I read an advance copy of "The New Devil's Dictionary" and loved it. It's more than just an updated version of the original "Devil's Dictionary" (by Ambrose Pierce), but if you know and love the original, you'll appreciate the dark humor in Koenig's version.

My favorite definition from this edition: "Women's Magazine n. Periodical in which half the articles tell how to trap a man, the other half how to put up with him, purchased by readers who have not come to the obvious conclusion."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Heilpern on December 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Rhoda Koenig, a writer long admired on both sides of the Atlantic for her wit and rigorous intelligence, has written an inspired, delightful sequel to Ambrose Pierce's turn-of-the-century masterpiece. She brilliantly updates the old malcontent's worldly cynicism and more than matches his mordant way. The happy outcome is a total treat. Here's Koenig's unbeatable one-word definition of stress: "Life." Her definition of a psychiatrist: "One who believes that a problem shared is a problem solved." Or this on shopping, "Newest and most popular of the religions..." There's even the bonus of her new proverbs: "The wages of sin are whatever you can negotiate." "A boy's best friend is his mother's new squeeze." "A fool and his money are soon popular." But I am in danger of quoting the entire book, such a pleasure did I find it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By lilagreen on November 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I can`t wait to give this book to my friends who are as irritated as I am when certain words are used and cannot always articulate the annoyance and frustration this causes . This book says everything I feel and more ! One definition that really made me laugh out loud was "advise v. To urge someone of different tastes,temperament.and financial standing to proceed in the way you found successful twenty years ago " I could quote others but it is too difficult to make a choice !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Clive Hirschhorn on December 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Taking on Ambrose Bierce is no mean feat, but Rhoda Koenig, an American critic who has chosen to grace British journalism with her wit, erudition and enviable prose style, succeeds brilliantly. Her highly personal take on The Devil's Dictionary is the equivalent of a bumper literary hamper from London's prestigious Fortnum and Mason - full of delicious things. Highly recommended.
Clive Hirschhorn
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