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Inventory: 16 Films Featuring Manic Pixie Dream Girls, 10 Great Songs Nearly Ruined by Saxophone, and 100 More Obsessively Specific Pop-Culture Lists Paperback – October 13, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Inventory is awesome and will provide you with endless hours of reading and arguing with friends. I love this book, except for page 124. I don't care what anybody says, Bowie's 'Young Americans' sounds terrific with the saxophone. Go f*** yourself, A.V. Club." -- Joel McHale, The Soup

"In a culture that worships the disposable, lazy lists obligatorily put together by self-serving editorial staffs at the likes of Barely Information Magazine, The A.V. Club has decided to embrace what it parodies until it meets itself just outside of heaven and shakes its own hand while flipping itself, and you and me, off. Kudos, A.V. Club!" -- David Cross, Mr. Show and Arrested Development

"I'm going to put this awesome book on my coffee table so when people come over they'll think I'm fun, clever, and sophisticated, but charmingly populist. And when they see my name on the back cover, they'll also think I'm famous!" -- Mindy Kaling, The Office

"Despite the fact that they declined to ask me to participate in this award-winning* book, I bear no ill will toward the writers because they are all geniuses; buying this book will make you feel a genius, too.** (*This book has not won any awards. **No, that was not a typo. I literally meant you would feel a genius.)" -- Michael Ian Black, The State and Michael And Michael Have Issues

"I did look at the book and enjoyed it, but didn't have time to come up with a quote, unless 'Seems like a pretty good book. I had a great time skimming it' works." -- Eugene Mirman, Flight Of The Conchords and The Will To Whatevs

Review

"Inventory is awesome and will provide you with endless hours of reading and arguing with friends. I love this book, except for page 124. I don't care what anybody says, Bowie's 'Young Americans' sounds terrific with the saxophone. Go f*** yourself, A.V. Club." -- Joel McHale, The Soup

"In a culture that worships the disposable, lazy lists obligatorily put together by self-serving editorial staffs at the likes of Barely Information Magazine, The A.V. Club has decided to embrace what it parodies until it meets itself just outside of heaven and shakes its own hand while flipping itself, and you and me, off. Kudos, A.V. Club!" -- David Cross, Mr. Show and Arrested Development

"I'm going to put this awesome book on my coffee table so when people come over they'll think I'm fun, clever, and sophisticated, but charmingly populist. And when they see my name on the back cover, they'll also think I'm famous!" -- Mindy Kaling, The Office

"Despite the fact that they declined to ask me to participate in this award-winning* book, I bear no ill will toward the writers because they are all geniuses; buying this book will make you feel a genius, too.** (*This book has not won any awards. **No, that was not a typo. I literally meant you would feel a genius.)" -- Michael Ian Black, The State and Michael And Michael Have Issues

"I did look at the book and enjoyed it, but didn't have time to come up with a quote, unless 'Seems like a pretty good book. I had a great time skimming it' works." -- Eugene Mirman, Flight Of The Conchords and The Will To Whatevs --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Original edition (October 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416594736
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416594734
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 1.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,012,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Miranda VINE VOICE on October 19, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I make it a point every Monday to read the AV Club's new Inventory. These pop-culture lists are almost always interesting, even if I'm not necessarily interested in the subject at hand. When they hit on a subject that does interest me (such as the list of great movies that are too upsetting to see twice), it's absolutely fascinating.

I debated whether or not to buy the book; my main reason to buy it was for the book-only content: guest lists by people including Andrew W.K., Patton Oswalt, John Hodgman, and others. The guest lists are pretty disappointing, on the whole; they certainly don't hold up to the quality of the AV Club's writing, and many of them are not even in the spirit of the AV Club Inventory. (The first one, by Robert Ben Garant, is a simple list of gross-out moments from movies. It's not particularly witty or interesting; any blog commenter worth his "firsties" could have come up with it. Sorry, Mr. Garant; you're far from alone.) The only guest list writer who really gets it is Patton Oswalt; his list is smart, insightful, and funny.

But really, the suckiness of the guest lists is my only complaint (and you'll see, I didn't even ding the book a star for it). I bought this book for my Kindle, because it's a great thing to have in portable form and be able to read in bits and pieces while waiting around. It would also be a great book to buy and keep in the bathroom or nightstand; it lends itself perfectly to being read in small doses.

Next time, AV Club, skip the guests and give us more of your own writing!
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Format: Paperback
If you were an alien from another galaxy needing a crash guide to the underpinnings of US pop culture, you couldn't find a better guide then The Onion's new book, Inventory. I have always enjoyed the A.V. Club reviews of music, movies and books in "America's Finest News Source." They may be hip and ironic but their analyses are always insightful. Now here is a catalog of that department's occasional groupings. Enjoy such things as "6 Keanu Reeves movies somehow not ruined by Keanu Reeves," "26 songs that works as short stories," "15 Dr. Seuss characters that sound like sex toys, "5 essential books about film," "25 sure signs that a sitcom is terrible," etc. etc. Unless you are a big fan of movies about dancing or terminal illness, this book will send you to Netflix or your local DVD rental store without fail.

Plus it got me into the library site. Let's face it, most bookstores have long forgotten Abbie Hoffman's Steal This Book and Tom Robbins's Even Cowgirls Get the Blues both adroitly featured here in "14 must-read books for aspiring young rebels." And what about Kurt Vonnegut. He formed our lives. Inventory reminds us how he wrote in Mother Night, "We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." If nothing else this compilation shows us that we have not progressed as much as we like to think. We just conveniently forget the old contexts. The A.V. gang isn't letting us. Some of their smart-ass gives way to the profound. Stop for a minute and think of books or movies that you think define the decades of the past, then take a look at their lists and the rationale for each.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Do you like lists? Do you like smarmy pop culture references? Are you in on all the in-jokes?

Good. I knew you were. I can tell an intelligent, discerning reader when I see one. Since you are here, let me tell you about the product on which page you are browsing.

The book is torn from the pages of the sage periodical publication known as "The Onion". First of all, the tearing was done really carefully so it does not even look like they ripped anything. Secondly, this is from the real part of the paper/website/media empire. First order real, not second and third level sarcastic real like how the Onion invented the Daily Show but does not get any credit for it real. I mean these are lists compiling things that you might not have thought about and presents them in list format. I will give you an example. I have it sitting right here and I will give you a sample list at random from the middle of the book.

List: "Not Dead Yet: 8 great Films Made By Directors After They Turned 70"

There are better ones. I read this cover-to-cover and giggled and learned the whole way through. I would also envision this as a perfect piece of literature to be consumed in discrete time chunks. Just open it up and pinch a little list off until you reach the end.

One last thing, the lists are not just single items. Each individual list unit has a paragraph of description about how the list item fits within the list's larger theme. It is pretty awesome and a lot of bang for your buck.
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I read this on my breaks at work and sometimes at lunch. It's great for something to read when you don't want to get too involved in a book (I'm a read-all-the-way-through-don't-want-to-put-down type reader) so the short articles and hilarious titles/articles are perfect to get me through the day. Some are longer than others, you can pretty much open to any article or read straight through. I will definitely be passing this along to fellow pop culture junky friends of mine!
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