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The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose…
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The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary

by Ambrose Bierce

Other authors: S. T. Joshi (Editor), David E. Schultz (Editor)

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Too clever by half. Enjoyable in small doses, but it quickly palls. ( )
  Laurelyn | Oct 20, 2017 |
I love this little book! Bierce really had a sly way with words. ( )
  AntT | Jan 24, 2015 |
I love this little book! Bierce really had a sly way with words. ( )
  AntT | Jan 24, 2015 |
Recommended reading for the cynical and satirical.

ABSURDITY, n. A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.
ACADEME, n. An ancient school where morality and philosophy were taught.
ACADEMY, n. [from ACADEME] A modern school where football is taught.
APOLOGIZE, v.i. To lay the foundation for a future offence.
BOUNDARY, n. In political geography, an imaginary line between two nations, separating the imaginary rights of one from the imaginary rights of the other.
CHRISTIAN, n. One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.
CONSERVATIVE, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.
EDUCATION, n. That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.
FRIENDLESS, adj. Having no favors to bestow. Destitute of fortune. Addicted to utterance of truth and common sense.
FRIENDSHIP, n. A ship big enough to carry two in fair weather, but only one in foul.
MAN, n. An animal so lost in rapturous contemplation of what he thinks he is as to overlook what he indubitably ought to be. His chief occupation is extermination of other animals and his own species, which, however, multiplies with such insistent rapidity as to infest the whole habitable earth and Canada.
MONUMENT, n. A structure intended to commemorate something which either needs no commemoration or cannot be commemorated.
PAST, n. That part of Eternity with some small fraction of which we have a slight and regrettable acquaintance. A moving line called the Present parts it from an imaginary period known as the Future. These two grand divisions of Eternity, of which the one is continually effacing the other, are entirely unlike. The one is dark with sorrow and disappointment, the other bright with prosperity and joy. The Past is the region of sobs, the Future is the realm of song. In the one crouches Memory, clad in sackcloth and ashes, mumbling penitential prayer; in the sunshine of the other Hope flies with a free wing, beckoning to temples of success and bowers of ease. Yet the Past is the Future of yesterday, the Future is the Past of to-morrow. They are one—the knowledge and the dream.
PHILOSOPHY, n. A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.
PRAY, v. To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.
SCRIPTURES, n. The sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based.
SELFISH, adj. Devoid of consideration for the selfishness of others.
VOTE, n. The instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country. ( )
  gvenezia | Dec 26, 2014 |
Ambrose has a fierce, if sarcastic and cynical, wit. I think this book is better in smaller doses. ( )
  publiusdb | Aug 22, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ambrose Bierceprimary authorall editionscalculated
Joshi, S. T.Editorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Schultz, David E.Editorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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The Devil's Dictionary, The Enlarged Devil's Dictionary, and The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary are separate works. Please do not combine.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0820324019, Paperback)

If we could only put aside our civil pose and say what we really thought, the world would be a lot like the one alluded to in The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary. There, a bore is “a person who talks when you wish him to listen,” and happiness is “an agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another.” This is the most comprehensive, authoritative edition ever of Ambrose Bierce’s satiric masterpiece. It renders obsolete all other versions that have appeared in the book’s ninety-year history.

A virtual onslaught of acerbic, confrontational wordplay, The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary offers some 1,600 wickedly clever definitions to the vocabulary of everyday life. Little is sacred and few are safe, for Bierce targets just about any pursuit, from matrimony to immortality, that allows our willful failings and excesses to shine forth.

This new edition is based on David E. Schultz and S. T. Joshi’s exhaustive investigation into the book’s writing and publishing history. All of Bierce’s known satiric definitions are here, including previously uncollected, unpublished, and alternative entries. Definitions dropped from previous editions have been restored while nearly two hundred wrongly attributed to Bierce have been excised. For dedicated Bierce readers, an introduction and notes are also included.

Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary is a classic that stands alongside the best work of satirists such as Twain, Mencken, and Thurber. This unabridged edition will be celebrated by humor fans and word lovers everywhere.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:43 -0400)

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