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Pranks! (RE/Search, No. 11) Paperback – January 1, 1987


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Paperback, January 1, 1987
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 233 pages
  • Publisher: RE/Search; 2nd edition (January 1, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0965046982
  • ISBN-13: 978-0965046985
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #619,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

V.Vale has been publishing cultural subversion since 1977, with his publications "Search & Destroy," "RE/Search," and "V/Search."

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By William Errickson Jr. on October 30, 1998
A life-changing, perception-altering wonder! "Pranks!" is unlike anything I know. I discovered it by accident when I was working in a used bookstore, about 8 or 9 years ago. I was a teeneager just becoming aware of how repressed and stultifying suburbia was--and of the people over the decades who have tried to blast open our minds. Even so, I didn't quite know what to make of people like Joe Coleman, who geeked mice & blew himself up at performances (check out the photos, as well as the video "Mondo New York.") or Mal Sharpe & Jim Coyle, who tape-recorded some of the most absurd pranks ever. They walk into a pharmacy & ask the pharmacist for advice on home surgery! The pharmacist just freaks out after talking to them seriously for awhile--the whole transcript is here. Then there's Mark Pauline, with his Survival Research Laboratories (robots/machines he programs to destroy one another, often decorated with animal corpses) and the infamous Karen Finley. Of course there are the usual suspects--Tim Leary, Abbie Hoffman, Jello Biafra, plus a whole host of misfits, misanthropes, iconclasts, outcasts, and outlaws to round out this wildly in-depth work. Tons of pictures, millions of words. It really blew me wide open. I love this definition of pranks. They're exposing reality for the social construct it is, showing how easily people go along with it, how they adapt to even the most bizarre "set up" and often revealing the power structures that control our lives, and subvert them with not (only) political action, but humor, razor-sharp wit, sparkling, spiky intelligence--and a whole lot of balls. Absolutely worth every penny!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "zzyzx@seanet.com" on March 14, 2001
Like all Re/Search stuff it can get a tad fawning and smug, but in this case it's deserved. The distinction between these kinds of pranks and the hand in warm water pranks is that a GOOD prank should make the person it was played on as excited as the person who played it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ziggy on February 8, 2006
This is the ultimate prankster handbook, an inspirational guide to mischief and mayhem. It is one of those books you can read bit by bit as there is a lot of material to absorb (not that you couldn't read it all at once, but it's like a rich cheesecake, you will want to savour each bite instead of gorging). The interviews are of varied allurement, some yielding more elation than others, but then you can't please everyone all of the time. Some of the stories told seem almost too wild to be real, until you see the accompanying photographs or news clippings and realize that some people have far better stories to tell than you or I ever will. And they aren't kidding, either.

Definitely makes my top 5 must-have "non-fiction or reference" books.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 21, 1999
A great volume, presented in the same engaging interview style as the 'incredibly strange music' volumes. Some sections are almost unbearably funny; some are grotesque and sick. All in all the book is unmissable - it makes a pretty good case for certain types of subversive behavior.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Alston on September 20, 2006
Among the lighter and more overlooked sorrows of living in a post-terroristic era of conflict is all of the fun that could once be had, but no more, like - arguably - everything that takes place in this engrossing and extremely, extremely funny book, but one in particular: cleaning out one's refrigerator by mailing everything rotten (there's a way to do this with no postage, though you'll have to read this book to find out, and if you were to try it now, you'd have 10 SWAT teams on your doorstep in 36 hours or less) to everyone who might have ever annoyed you in some way.

Sigh...

Read this book, and I promise you'll never forget it.

-David Alston
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By jwqm@juno.com on August 15, 1997
This book interviews some of the late 20th century's greatest pranksters and conceptual artists. From Abby Hoffman to Henry rollins, the interviewees are sometimes funny, sometimes challenging but never boring. It is a must for anyone from Jesse Helms to Dave Foreman because it helps one see into the psyche of the people who are challenging our cultural perceptions of reality in art and practical jokes. Despite the publisher's retraction (which is probably a prank in itself), I say BUY THIS BOOK
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