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Encyclopedia Paranoiaca Hardcover – November 20, 2012
“Be afraid: Henry Beard and Christopher Cerf’s Encyclopedia Paranoiaca is deadly to the humor averse.” (Vanity Fair)
“Encyclopedia Paranoiaca . . . [is] the only guide to super-paranoia that you’ll ever need. . . .While the authors’ tongues couldn’t be more firmly in cheek from first entry to last, Encyclopedia Paranoiaca is written and compiled with scrupulous attention and extensive research. . . . Start worrying now.” (The Scientific American)
“An amusing and cruelly accurate cultural critique, offering a “comprehensive and authoritative inventory of the perils, menaces, threats, blights, banes, and other assorted pieces of Damoclean cutlery” that hover over our collective head. . . . Beard and Cerf gleefully fan the flames of our paranoia” (The Wall Street Journal)
“A humorous look at all of the ways, obvious and not, that humans have of doing harm to themselves. . . . The writing is witty and verbose, almost Monty Python-ish, but the science is good enough that hypochondriacs should be shielded from this book at all costs.” (The Daily Beast)
“The madcap brainchild of National Lampoon alums Henry Beard and Christopher Cerf, Encyclopedia Paranoiaca comprises a smartly researched, apocalyptic alphabet of exotic and everyday dangers and dreads—from bananas to fracking to sleeping on your back—that is scary, amusing, and informative.” (Elle)
“Perversely enjoyable.” (Details magazine (No. 1 in "Five Things We Emphatically Endorse"))
“What we think is healthful and harmless may well be deadly, or at least harmful, say the humorists. They’ve compiled a long list of everyday foods (cherries, carrots), clothing (skinny jeans, flip-flops) and items (drinking straws) that we can now worry about like never before. Thanks, guys.” (The Sacramento Bee)
“As two founders of the National Lampoon, Henry Beard and Christopher Cerf are responsible for some of the sharpest satirical humor of the past forty years. Their latest opus is a tongue-through-the-cheek encyclopedia of modern neuroses -- a work that will both confirm all your fears, then dispel them with fits of laughter.” (B&N Review)
“Despite its presentation of contemporary dangers, the book is charmingly old-fashioned, with a structure and format that pay tribute to the reference books that lined the shelves of academics and nerds before the Internet reshaped the personal library. . . . Beard and Cerf write with wit in this ironic take on a world where we live in constant fear of dairy products, lemon wedges, shopping carts, and vitamins.” (Publishers Weekly)
About the Author
Henry Beard attended Harvard University and was a member of the Harvard Lampoon. He went on to found the National Lampoon with Douglas Kenney and served as its editor during the magazine’s heyday in the 1970s. He has written numerous bestselling humor books, including Miss Piggy’s Guide to Life and (with Christopher Cerf) The Official Politically Correct Dictionary and Handbook.
Christopher Cerf is an Emmy and Grammy award-winning author, composer, and producer. A charter contributing editor of the National Lampoon, Cerf has written more than 300 songs for Sesame Street and co-edited the celebrated newspaper parody Not The New York Times.
Top customer reviews
The only way to reconcile ourselves to this conundrum - and to so many more - is to curl up in front of a wood stove (that is undoubtedly polluting my farmhouse air) on a too warm (global warming induced)December day and read this marvelous compendium of brilliantly cross referenced truths.
Reading the Encyclopedia Parandiaca is also a great way for me to recall my sweet mother who would have believed every single word had she lived. Of course, she didn't, and you might not either unless you memorize this book.