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Unexpurgated Code: A Complete Manual of Survival & Manners Paperback – September, 1979


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Dell Publishing Co (September 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440192293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440192299
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,389,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By James K. Fowler on August 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book was reviewed at the time as "The SOB's Emily Post" and I can't think of a better short description. Absolutely the wittiest and most laugh-out-loud book I've ever read -- and I've read a lot of books. Donleavy careens from one social faux pas and calamity to the next... "On being caught with your best friend's wife"... "On determining that you are on an aeroplane that is about to crash"... and provides true Looking Out for Number 1 self-preservation, the-world-can-bite-me advice. Beautifully crafted, as is all Donleavy's work, sometimes shocking in its juxtaposition of words, and deriving its true impact by couching its directives in the stilted language of the 1930's English Country Folk -- I must advise you: Do NOT read this book in a room or situation that requires silence; otherwise you will try to restrain laughter to such an extent that you'll give yourself a thrombosis. It's the only paperback book that I've guarded and kept for over 20 years.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
It is a royal shame that Donleavy's best work since The Ginger Man is so insanely out of print. I discovered this book at a very young age, thanks to my dad, and finally acquired my own copy in Canada, of all things. Donleavy's take on the old Emily Post manners books is spot-on evil, giving advice and directions for even the stickiest situations. By starting from the assumption that you are an S.O.B. to begin with, this book will merely add fire to your arsenal. If a bee should sting your you-know-what while on the golf course, you'll hope you've read this book, as it tells you the most socially appropriate response! Other sections deal with how to attend your own funeral, where to blow your nose at a party when no hankerchief is avialable (see summary line), what to do if you find you are at an erotic massage parlor, only to discover that your masseuse is a family member, and so much more. The misanthropy it must have taken to write this book seems boundless and endless, and finishing the entire book almost feels like an endurance test. Resoundingly negative in a healthily positive way. Search every used book store everywhere for a copy. I plan to buy every copy I find so I can lend them out without worrying about whether the cad S.O.B. I'm lending it to will bother to give it back.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dickey on November 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Much of the book is very funny. Perhaps you have to have a British (or Irish) background, rather than American, to really appreciate some of its finer points. A great deal of it is timeless - the British (particularly the English) have never really rid themselves of class distinction and Donleavy's genius hits home. But in many respects the culture has moved on and left some of his advice feeling dated and lacking the original humorous impact. My rating is based on my opinion of the effect on a reader in the year 2010 - probably much harsher than when originally published.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Timothy P. Scott on August 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
If you are intoxicated with the the creative possibilities of the English language, and are of "a certain age", you should find this book irresistible. Yes, the language is dated; as it was when it was originally written (in the 70s?). But the satire on the English upper crust/peerage and the clawing parvenus who are attempting to become same are priceless.
Donleavy is an acquired taste, possibly, but I think his works are all excellent in their own way. Do check it out; you should be utterly enchanted.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I had this book some 20 or more years ago & somehow misplaced it in a move. I've been trying to find it for years! Am still awaiting search results - I MUST HAVE THIS BOOK in my possession again & one for my brother. It is ridiculously funny - a great better-than-spoof of the usual Miss Manners and Emily Post advice. I want to read it again and again.
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