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4.5 out of 5 stars
The Recently Deflowered Girl: The Right Thing to Say on Every Dubious Occasion
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
Everybody has those moments -- you have a problem or a personal encounter, and you can't think what to say. "The Recently Deflowered Girl: The Right Thing to Say on Every Dubious Occasion" provides you with the right thing to say on... well, occasions that involve being deflowered. It's a prim, genteel little guide with a deliciously naughty theme, and Edward Gorey's pen-and-ink drawings just make it better.

Anyway, every page presents you with a dilemma centering around deflowerment, which usually encounters some kind of problem: blind dates, marimba players, at a doctor's office, at a gypsy seance, after a wedding (not by your hubby), during a whodunnit by a Chinese detective, in a Moroccan harem, by a famous crooner, after eating possibly drugged lychee nuts, by an old friend of your family, by a complete stranger, in a Parisian dive in front of all the patrons, and so on.

In every situation, the person who "takes flower" presents you with a somewhat awkward response after the fact -- refusing to tell you their name, debunking an alibi, the revelation that Things Aren't What They Seem, the awkwardness of using the elevator the remark that your parents are in the next room, the return of your husband while you're having sex with the bellboy, et cetera. Sometimes these are absurd, sometimes they are all too likely.

Fortunately, Miss Hyacinthe Phipps has advice for each of these scenarios -- she provides a witty and appropriate quote for each scenario ("How did your wife get HER parents' consent?") and a little nugget of wisdom afterwards ("Your sorority can probably arrange for a later curfew by applying directly to the Dean of Women") which usually ignores basic post-flower awkwardness or embarrassment, and focuses on the real issue at hand.

The biggest problem with "The Recently Deflowered Girl" is that it's too short -- there are a scant twenty scenarios of awkward flower-taking etiquette. However, it's still immensely fun for the short while it lasts, especially since most of it is written in a sort of manners-book style -- sort of if Emily Post had written a guide to post-coital witticisms and awkward situations.

It's a bit stilted, but very funny since there is no effort at titillation, just witticism ("At seance conducted by smooth-talking gypsy, you ask him to produce spirit of Rudolph Valentino. Spirit of Valentino appears and you are deflowered"). And each scenario is accompanied by a tasteful little pen-and-ink picture of the people involved, usually a the most social awkward part of the entire encounter -- sometimes in a state of undress, sometimes just in the street, at a party, or whatever.

Miss Manners never got half so entertainingly naughty as "The Recently Deflowered Girl: The Right Thing to Say on Every Dubious Occasion." It's too short, but still immensely funny.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2010
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
A charming instructional on the value of diplomacy in the face of eminent disaster. Or maybe better, post-deflowerment oneupmanship. Positively Victorian, 'The Recently Deflowered Girl' maintains, above all else, that ones dignity must remain intact, and salvaging ones integrity - when more is lost than just face, is what we live for.
And it is thusly that Gorey's plaintive yet tender pen & ink portrayals of the moment of consequence, preceeding either disaster or recovery, best serves. Mel Juffe's advice can be worth memorizing too, as his wise words may come in handy when one feels all is about to be lost, that being deflowered of dignity can be best salvaged not by incredulity, but by a swift, delicate, yet diplomatic, reframing of the moment. A refreshing little volume, and rewarding collaboration.

-- G. Emil, [...]
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 9, 2009
Format: Unknown Binding
There is at least one point in her young life when a lady may find herself at a loss for words. As Ms. Phipps so eloquently demonstrates, deflowerment can come at the most unexpected of times, and any girl would be wise to prepare herself with these calm and well-reasoned responses. Mr. Gorey's tasteful illustrations provide a refreshing complement to the sturdy instruction contained in this modest little tome. A book easily gifted to your daughters, nieces and younger sisters emerging into blushing adolescence, and equally suitable for your college-aged friend who hasn't a clue how to comport herself.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2010
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I remember seeing this book online when it was out-of-print and rare to find. I envied the lucky person who had it. I was so excited when I found out it was being re-printed. It is quite witty and just a delight to read. A definite buy for Gorey collectors.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Edward Gorey delivers again, with his timeless wit, and utterly deadpan sense of humor. On this most delicate of subjects, one cannot help but find a terrible glee. This book is not safe for work. It is not safe for children. It is not safe on your bookshelf. Hide it somewhere nobody will ever find it, and enjoy reading it privately to yourself, under the covers with a flashlight so nobody will ever know you do so, lest they judge you.

Seriously, a short book, as many of his works are, Edward Gorey once again delivers. Book was in perfect condition, and filled with horribly understated images and utterly flat prose. A perfect work of art.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
It is okay but not one that I will keep forever. Amusing but not hilarious. Nice typical Edward Gorey illustration though.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I didn't even know this book existed! It made a perfect last minute Christmas present for my grandma who introduced me to the illustrator.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2010
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Hilarious writing, plus lovely Edward Gorey illustrations. What more could a recently deflowered girl (or even not-so-recently) want?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
we have a good collection of Edw Gorey so I was looking for something new. this did not measure up to the great original work.
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on February 13, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I should've looked at how many pages there were beforehand, honestly I thought the book was going to be longer or even with 48 pages, more words in it, but I admit I'm new to Edward Gorey's work so I did not know his style of writing. I read fast so I finished the book very quickly, like 25-30 minutes, looking at the pictures which were very tasteful and well illustrated.
As for the stories, despite the slightly inappropriate title, it is really just plain witty the situations that Mr. Gorey comes up with. Any random awkward situation that could pop up at any time in anyone's life. Deflowered by a Marimba Player? Gorey's got the answer. Deflowered by a Chinese Detective? Deflowered and Thrust Aside (Like an Old Glove)? This whole book just makes you chuckle, I really enjoyed it, just wish it were longer! If you buy it used, then sure it is worth the few bucks :-)
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