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Pissing in the Snow and Other Ozark Folktales Paperback – November 1, 1976

4.2 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

@RANDOLPH\Pissing in the Snow@"As ripe, raunchy and unprintable as honest 'country humor' could possibly be... Randolph is absolute tops among America's folklorists." -- Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Vance Randolph was the author and coauthor of several books, including "Ozark Superstitions, We Always Lie to Strangers, "and "Who Blowed Up the Church House? "

Green is director of the American Indian Program, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institute.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 153 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press; Reprint edition (November 1, 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0252013646
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252013645
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #525,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I took a strange but ultimately interesting course in American Folklore back at good old MWC. Our Professor made us read this book, and I can never thank him enough. I am still not sure what the purpose of us reading this book was, but the stories were hilarious. I laughed so much reading these stories. Many of which were simply extended dirty jokes. This was by far the best book I read at college. I don't know much about Folklore, but at the very least if you want to read a funny book, get pissing in the snow.
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Format: Hardcover
I have a copy of this book that has been with me for a number of years now and every now and again, I find myself leafing through it. It never ever fails to bring a chuckle or a down right laugh. This is a collection, for lack of a better word, of Dirty Jokes, dating back to the 1800's. The jokes and stories range from the cute to the absolute raunchy. They, for the most part are presented in the dialect of the teller. The author has gone to great pains to research their origins and has given credit to the individual teller when ever possible. Being well in to my dotage now, these jokes are the ones I grew up with here in the Ozarks (in fact, I personally know some of the individuals mentioned in the book), and they never fail to bring back fond memories. Most of the jokes, like most of the people in this area at that era, are very earthy and to the point. I suppose there may be those who might be offended, but they are, the jokes and stories, apart of our heritage and I am grateful to the author for having preserved them. For those that are offended, and I rather pity them, well they certainly need not read past the first page. Many of these stories would be lost now for not for his research and his recordings. Recommend this one highly and recommend this one be one you buy and keep as you will no doubt want to give it a reread and it is certainly something that future generations should have.
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Format: Paperback
When I fetched this book from a friend I knew it was a-going to be a good'un. Filled to the brim with rural anecdotes, for womenfolk and fellas alike, "Pissing in the Snow" is sure to get any reader plumb excited.

All regionalisms aside, I truly did enjoy this book. It starts a bit slow, but once the old-fashioned nature is understood and appreciated, the country boy jokes about bodily functions and not-so-veiled references to intercourse keep the laughs coming. Replete with colloquialisms such as "twitchet" for female sexual anatomy and "tallywhacker" for the male organ, the stories should elicit a sense of nostalgia from anyone who's heard a good campfire joke told by someone from The Great Generation.

Most of the time the stories revolve around a preacher, a traveling salesman, clever country folks tricking dumb city folks, or the ubiquitous farmer with a young naïve daughter about to be deflowered. The language used throughout is interesting to say the least, with improper verb conjugation and pronoun usage sentences like, "That's just what Bobby Ray done, too!" are not uncommon.

My favorite part of each story was the ending. Each ending is supposed to confirm the veracity of the story, but only adds doubt. It's like hearing someone end every story with, "For real!" They come across like a story from your Grandpa, creating a positive, enjoyable vibe that amplifies the innocence past. Without what would be considered vulgarity by today's standards, "Pissing in the Snow" proves there is more than one way to skin a cat when it comes to humor. There may be times when readers from the big city will dismiss this as boring or unintelligent, but I reckon if you-uns read this here collection of stories you'll think differently, because Amazon readers is smarter than that, anyhow.
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Format: Paperback
After the kids were snug in their sleeping bags and tents, their parents would pop the corks on their favorite brews and this collection of dirty, one-pager, country stories was passed from person to person around the campfire and read aloud. People would literally fall over, roaring with laughter, gasping for breadth. And often,the reader was paralized with laughter and couldnt continue. The stories are red neck filthy and funny beyond words. I didnt get the cultural relevance, I was too busy laughing. Not for the politically correct.
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Format: Paperback
When I first read this book 20 years ago, I had no idea that this type of material (dirty jokes, to be precise) constituted folklore or any other basis for serious study. I merely thought that it was a guilty entertainment. You might imagine my delight to find that in addition to some very funny, albeit very crude and crass, stories, there was a thoughtful, intellectual critical introduction and a series of short annotations after each nasty excerpt, including thematic code numbers under the Stith Thompson indexing system. I simply can't recommend this book to highly for anyone with earthy tastes, but an aspiration toward the higher and more thoughtful aspects of the vulgar. Also, it's very reasonably priced, compared to the other works in the genre.
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Format: Paperback
This is a book of dirty stories. Some of us can remember when this sort of thing attracted attention. Probably few things are more boring now.

But they're special dirty stories. Special because they're old, and I'm just old enough to remember hearing, occasionally, from people who were already old, the kind of stories found in this book. They're mostly of a sexual nature, but some deal with defecation or sex role or some other aspect of human life not referred to directly in the newspaper or on the radio, in those days.

They're also special because they were collected by a folklorist who practiced his trade conscientiously. Previously this sort of thing would circulate in small pamphlets, insofar as they got into print. Vance Randolph, originally a newspaperman from Kansas who married into the Ozarks had been working on Ozark folklore since the Thirties. Over time, he trained himself in all the tools available from the tradition of the Russian Afanasjev onward. These short tales (none more than a page or so) are all annotated; the original teller and date are indicated along with parallels in other folk traditions world wide.

Although Randolph truthfully says that he took a single version and transcribed it without homogenizing it with other tellers' versions, he re-tells all the tales in a uniform robust style that I have always found very readable. Quite a number of the tales were genuinely funny, and I rarely find sexual humor funny.

The book is an artifact of its time, that period in American letters when material that any competent social scientist had built up but couldn't get published suddenly became printable. It's a bit hard to evoke that atmosphere if you don't yourself remember it.
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