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Viva la Repartee: Clever Comebacks and Witty Retorts from History's Great Wits and Wordsmiths Hardcover – Bargain Price, November 1, 2005
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“If words could be weapons, this book is a collection of weapons of mass delectation.” (-- Anu Garg, author of Another Word A Day)
“It’s a must for anyone who loves a quick word from a quick wit.” (-- Erin McKean, editor of Verbatim: The Language Quarterly)
“A glittering display of comebacks and put-downs from the funniest people on earth.” (-- Robert Byrne, compiler of The 2,548 Best Things Anybody Ever Said)
“Viva La Repartee is a spectacular feast of the most brilliant retorts and wittiest zingers ever delivered.” (-- Don Hauptman, author of Cruel and Unusual Puns and Acronymania)
“A joyously fun compendium of wit and one-upmanship by the world’s great riposte artists....A brilliant stocking stuffer.” (Forbes FYI)
“If you’ve ever delivered a razor-sharp riposte or rebuff...you’ll savor this collection.” (Hartford Courant)
“Ever wish you could wow people with your wit? Viva la Repartee, by Mardy Grothe, tells you how. ” (Dallas Morning News) --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Dr. Mardy Grothe is a retired psychologist, management consultant, and platform speaker, author of six "word and language" books, and creator of Dr. Mardy's Dictionary of Metaphorical Quotations, the world's largest online database of metaphorical quotations. Dr. Mardy—as he is known to his many fans around the globe—is one of America's most beloved quotation anthologists.--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
In his introduction, Grothe defines two terms which certainly apply to the selections which follow: citing the OED, a retort is "a sharp or incisive reply, especially one by which the first speaker's statement or argument is in some way turned against himself" and repartee is "1. A ready, witty, or smart reply; a quick and clever retort" and "2. Sharpness or wit in sudden reply; such replies collectively; the practice or faculty of uttering them." With great skill, Grothe creates a context within which each selection is the response. Here are four examples:
During a noted opera singer's "perfectly dreadful performance," one of the guests leaned over and whispered in President Calvin Coolidge's ear, "What do you think of the singer's execution?" to which Coolidge replied, "I'm all for it."
Shortly before his death, W.C. Fields (a lifelong agnostic) was visited by a friend who was astonished when he entered the hospital room. "What are you doing reading a Bible?" to which Fields responded "I'm looking for loopholes."
After losing the Republican presidential nomination to George H.W. Bush, Robert Dole was asked by a reporter how he felt. "Contrary to reports that I took the loss badly, I slept like a baby -- every two hours I woke up and cried.Read more ›
Far more than once, I found myself spontaneously laughing at some of the clever wit on display in this relatively thin book. Dr. Mardy's commentary is also not only insightful, but amusing as well.
Put some brightness in your day and get this book. And if you're a writer of any kind, definitely get this book: it is a rich resource.
That being said, the anecdotes that make up the bulk of the work are, for the most part, extremely well-written and enjoyable to read. They are succinct, interesting, and well-formulated. I wish I could say the same for the rest of the book.
In _Viva la Repartee_ Grothe follows the format that served him well in his previous books, _Never Let a Fool Kiss You or a Kiss Fool You_ and _Oxymoronica_. He begins each chapter with a discussion of that chapter's theme illustrated by a few examples. Then he provides additional examples without discussion. Themes include repartee in the following areas: stage and screen, literature (one chapter being devoted to the Algonquin Round Table), politics, relationships, senior citizens, and sports. Other chapters feature chiasmus and oxymoron, the literary devices celebrated in Grothe's earlier books. The ultimate example of laconic repartee, in the chapter with that theme, is an exchange of telegrams, each consisting solely of one punctuation mark.
The gems in Grothe's earlier books could stand alone as brief quotations -- often no more than a sentence. However, in order to appreciate a reply, one must know the words and the situation that prompted it. _Viva la Repartee_, then, is a collection of anecdotes. Grothe masterfully crafts the set-ups for his rejoinders. In taut prose that could well serve as models for aspiring writers, he provides the details of time, place, and circumstance.
Most of the remarks featured in _Viva la Repartee_ were uttered by celebrities. Grothe's collection, which includes a helpful index of names, gives us personal glimpses that bring these people to life for us.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Some things are meant to be learned the right way it helps builds ones Character and helps the building blocks of our livesPublished 25 days ago by MaggieLarue
I'd encountered some of these before. I appreciated Grothe's attempt to verify sources. This should be read in small bits rather than devoured whole. Read morePublished 8 months ago by James K. Burk
Mardy Grothe has become a fave of mine. He's done a fun job on a series of word play books that I so enjoy!Published 9 months ago by cnighti
Very entertaining book by an expert on the subject. I really enjoyed this book - hope to use some of its material in my public speaking.Published 9 months ago by S. Uehlinger
OH WHAT I WOULD GIVE TO THINK SO FAST WHEN FACED WITH AN INSULT!!! This book is filled with men and women who were/are quick witted. Read morePublished 10 months ago by I'd rather be at the Beach
As a humor writer I often use this book as a resource for inspiration.Published 10 months ago by Madcap Mary