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Republican Party Reptile: The Confessions, Adventures, Essays, and (Other) Outrages of... Paperback – September 29, 1995


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Product Details

  • Series: O'Rourke, P. J.
  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press (September 29, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871136228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871136220
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,024,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Like I said, it was funny at the time, but now seems rather dated.
Eric Gudorf
What I find to be his saving grace on that score is that he doesn't seem to take himself or those who DO agree with him terribly seriously, either.
James Yanni
One of my favorites is a story where P.J. is asked by Car and Driver magazine to drive a Ferrari cross country to California to be used in a film.
"wbichteman"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Eric Gudorf on January 29, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is somewhat of a mixed bag. Unlike some of his other works, this has no central theme, but is instead a motley collection of articles written over the years for various and sundry publications on subjects ranging from why he hates bicycles to chasing down a story in the Bahamas about the involvement of high government officials in the drug trade. A few are real clunkers, such as a fictionalized account of his family life back in Ohio, titled "The King of Sandusky" or an over the top piece called "Just one of those days" in which he portrays an executive whose daily routine includes gunfights with his neighbors, raping his secretary and setting off bombs on the subway in order to get to work on time (so his boss won't have him shot). Most are OK, like the aforementioned bicycle piece, which he wrote for "Car & Driver" magazine back in the mid 80's. It was funny at the time, lampooning bicycling just about the time it was becoming trendy, especially with the eco-weenie set. In fact, this article brought howls of protest in the form of letters in the following issue, thus basically making his point appear all the more valid, namely, that too many bike nuts at the time suffered from an acute overdose of self righteousness accompanied by a chronic lack of a sense of humor. Like I said, it was funny at the time, but now seems rather dated.
Still, this entire effort was greatly redeemed by a few pieces that were absolutely spot on. One was "Ship of Fools" in which our intrepid reporter signed up for a cruise ship tour on the Volga in the USSR, based on an ad he'd read in "The Nation" magazine. He joins up with myriad groups of American leftists whose desire to see Soviet life in the best possible light overwhelms any qualities of observation or common sense they might happen to possess.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By James Yanni on April 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is not P.J.'s best work, but it's far from his worst. Better than, say, "Modern Manners" or "Age and Guile Beat Youth, Innocence, And A Bad Haircut", but not nearly as good as "Parliament Of Whores", "All The Trouble In The World", or "Give War A Chance"; about on a par with "Holidays In Hell".
For those of you unfamiliar with P.J. O'Rourke, be warned: P.J.'s humor is not for everybody. He is outspokenly politically incorrect, and can be downright insulting to those who disagree with him politically. What I find to be his saving grace on that score is that he doesn't seem to take himself or those who DO agree with him terribly seriously, either. So if you're politically to the left of Spiro Agnew, and easily offended, this book is not for you. But if you're thick-skinned enough to be able to recognize humor even when it's insensitive and coming from someone you disagree with, there truly is a great deal of very funny material here.
If you're only going to read one book by P.J. O'Rourke, this shouldn't be it. It should be "Parliament of Whores", unquestionably his best. But if you've tried that and liked it, you may enjoy this as well.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By "wbichteman" on May 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
"Republican Party Reptile" is a collection of essays and ramblings by P.J. O'Rourke, a sometimes Journalist for Rolling Stone magazine. Although not every one of these pieces is a masterwork there are several stories that simply must be read. One of my favorites is a story where P.J. is asked by Car and Driver magazine to drive a Ferrari cross country to California to be used in a film. When our deadline-challenged hero approaches his editor about taking time from his other projects to make the trip his boss invites himself along. What follows is one of the greatest road trip stories I have ever read. Not because it is filled with adventurous predicaments but because it conveys the thrill and freedom of both the automobile and the road with such a romantic slant that the story stands alone as a thing of beauty. Several other stories featured are simply hysterical. From analyzing drunk driving methods to taking a Russian cruise with a bunch of...activists to railling against the menace of bicycles, P.J. O'Rourke has made an art of sarcasm. I dare you to read this book without laughing out loud.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 17, 1998
Format: Paperback
This was PJ's first anthology and it's a wicked delight. Two highlights: the immortal, "How To Drive Fast On Drugs While Getting Your Wing-Wang Squeezed Without Spilling Your Drink", the essential guide to irresponsible driving: "There's lots of argument about what kind of car drives best. Some say a front-wheel drive car. Some say a rear-wheel drive. I say it's a rental car. There are things you can do with a rental car that are just impossible with any other kind of vehicle." (I may be paraphrasing slightly here.) Equally dazzling is "Ship of Fools", a stunning and riotous account of PJ's trip down the Volga "as seen through the bottom of a vodka glass" in the company of some very dodgy "peace activists": "She thought the Soviet Union was heaven on earth, but she was bringing her own toilet paper."
I've howled over this collection (which also contains the first of PJ's brilliant travel pieces, which have come to dominate his writing for Rolling Stone) innumerable times. Pour some iced Stoli, kick back and enjoy.
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