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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Our Dumb Century: The Onion Presents 100 Years of Headlines from America's Finest News Source » User review

One of the funniest books I have ever read, but you need to know some history

  • Aug 29, 2006
Rating:
+5
This book contains the funniest satire that I have ever read. The Onion is a fictitious newspaper that contains satire of the news rather than news. The first page is dated January 1, 1900 and the last page January 1, 2000. A great deal of knowledge of history is necessary to appreciate some of the stories. For example, the headlines for August, 1914 are

*) British Croquet Mallets Prove Useless at Front
*) Belgian Forces Halt German Advance Using Cream-Topped Waffles: Huns No Match for Delicious Regional Confection
*) Infectious Diseases Celebrate Opening of Panama Canal

If you are unaware that this was the month that World War I started, then the headlines and stories will make little sense to you.
Each headline is then followed by a short story that is also satirical and I laughed through most of them. No historical figure or event of the times is immune to the satirical wit of the writers. The main headline of October 29 is "Allen Funt Lets President in on Hilarious `Cuban Missile Crisis' Prank." Funt was the host of the "Candid Camera" television show of the sixties where people were filmed in situations that were not what they appeared to be.
This is one of the top five funniest books that I have ever read. Nearly every major event and personality of the twentieth century is lampooned in some way.

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More Our Dumb Century: The Onion Pr... reviews
review by . September 17, 1999
Pros: Not a weak era; 100 years of hilarity     Cons: Format means the narrow-minded won't recognize the genius behind it     ...one has only to hope that the next dumb century produces a similar grade of satirists.      'The Onion' is one of those things you can use as a barometer of your fellow man: if somebody doesn't get it, you probably don't want to be their friend.      I was a bit worried about this getting repetitive, …
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Charles Ashbacher ()
Ranked #73
Charlie Ashbacher is a compulsive reader and writer about many subjects. His prime areas of expertise are in mathematics and computers where he has taught every course in the mathematics and computer … more
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Wiki

Every Wednesday, work at Amazon.com--along with just about every other company connected to the fantastical "information superhighway" invented by Vice President Al Gore and actress Hedy Lamarr--grinds to a halt as employees hasten to read the latest issue ofThe Onion, America's most popular newspaper based in Madison, Wisconsin. But most of the paper's fans have started reading it only within the last few years, and are sadly unaware ofThe Onion's mighty journalistic legacy. To combat this cultural illiteracy, Editor in Chief Scott Dikkers and his writing staff have assembled this collection of great front pages from the last hundred years. Here is just a sampling of the headlines:

A New Century Dawns! McKinley Ushers in Bold New "Coal Age"

Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria Boasts: "No Man Can Stop Me"

AWESOME! Nation Wowed by Tremendous Hindenburg Explosion

Martin Luther King: "I Had a Really Weird Dream Last Night"

Clinton Denies Lewinsky Allegations: "We Did Not Have Sex, We Made Love," He Says

And those are just the headlines; the stories themselves are all masterpieces of the journalist's trade. Of course, readers with delicate sensibilities may find some of these accounts a bit too risqué, and perhaps even tasteless. (Among the potential offenders: Rosa Parks's decision to "screw this bus shit" and take a cab.) But if you're looking for an antidote to all the 20th-century hoopla promulgated by stuffed shirts like Peter Jennings and Harold Evans--not to mention ...

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Details

ISBN-10: 0609804618
ISBN-13: 978-0609804612
Author: The Onion
Genre: Entertainment
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
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