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The New Devil's Dictionary: A New Version of the Cynical Classic Hardcover – November 8, 2011
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“A witty and mordant compendium of brickbats and bon mots … refreshingly no-nonsense … a bracing bit of whimsy … an assorted and sundry admixture of sharp wit and woebegone drollery
… All-encompassing … Ambitious and devilishly addictive … An inspired and audacious accomplishment.” —BlogCritics Books
“Ambrose Bierce’s original Devil’s Dictionary defined basic truths in such a way as to surprise, shock, infuriate, and, not infrequently, delight his readers. Rhoda Koenig’s wonderful reprise attains that high standard again and again.”
—John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
“Bracing, provoking, often brilliant—I ran from one entry to another and was constantly amused and amazed.”
—David Denby, author of Snark
“So smart and mordant it must be read slowly and savored. A great idea, brilliantly executed.”
—Andrew Holleran, author of Dancer from the Dance
“The new devil in Rhoda Koenig’s entertaining dictionary attacks with the same ferocious wit, cutting insight, sulfurous humor, and hilarious pessimism as that of the first.”
—Nicholas von Hoffman, author of Citizen Cohn
“Provocative, engaging, laugh-out-loud funny. A sublime satire.”
—Chris Ver Wiel, author of Starbucks Nation
“Fine, bracing stuff delivered with wit and bile.”
—Nik Cohn, author of Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom
“The New Devil’s Dictionary brilliantly matches Ambrose Bierce’s original in wit, candor, and black humor.”
—Andrew Shaffer, author of Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love
About the Author
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Top customer reviews
But Koenig will have none of that. She has already filled with blurbs from her first team every spare inch of the jacket, which has been artfully designed to give the impression to the passing Christmas shopper that Ambrose Bierce has been resurrected by one of those new fangled biotech PCR contraptions and forced to pen an entire new complement of epigrammatic entries (that actually--I found this out in the small print--were written by Koenig herself!)
Already blurbed by David Denby, John Berendt, Virginia Woolf, Ludvig Wittgenstein, Nick Von Hoffman, ee cummings, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Nik Cohn, and a fictional character from Tom Wolfe called Simon Callow, Koenig needs no new blurbs. You write a blurb now and she won't even use it. So I won't actually give her a blurb.
What she wants is a *review*. You know...where some stupid professor somewhere is expected actually to read a couple chapters of the book himself and take vengeance on it, while citing all his own superior works such as Wealth and Poverty and The Israel Test. I could not do that with this book because I am not even a professor and it is seductively poised like a slippery slope--with shiny paper and illustrations by Peter Breese--to get you to dip or slip into it. Don't do it!!!
On every page there are scrumptious hors d'oevres, with devilishly cynical chocolate fillings and utterly demoralizing meringue messages with brandied vulvacious gooey glaze on them that slip, slide will ruin your life. You will be gobbling them up compulsively and embarrasssing your children by reading them aloud, as if they made sense, rather than being seriously sinful fattening thoughts about the world, the flesh, and the devil. They aren't the kind of thing that can be reviewed at all, except maybe by Tim Zagat.
So I will have to take a pass, *actually* ("conveys the idea that, while the speaker has not performed the work, he or she has been thinking about it, if only how to get out of doing it [actually], and therefore deserves a degree of credit."
I read an advance copy of "The New Devil's Dictionary" and loved it. It's more than just an updated version of the original "Devil's Dictionary" (by Ambrose Pierce), but if you know and love the original, you'll appreciate the dark humor in Koenig's version.
My favorite definition from this edition: "Women's Magazine n. Periodical in which half the articles tell how to trap a man, the other half how to put up with him, purchased by readers who have not come to the obvious conclusion."