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The Enlarged Devil's Dictionary (Twentieth Century Classics) [Paperback]

Ambrose Bierce
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

29 Mar 1990 Twentieth Century Classics
An incomparable satirist, Ambrose Bierce became the "laughing devil" of the San Francisco news media, for he was about as discreet as a runaway locomotive, according to H.L.Mencken, and nowhere are his uninhibited irony and gift for verse parody more in evidence than in this "dictionary".

Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (29 Mar 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140182799
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140182798
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 651,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An acid classic 26 Sep 2000
By T. J. Turner VINE VOICE
"Dictionary: A malevolent literary device for cramping the growth of a language and making it hard and elastic."
Before he disappeared into Mexico in 1913, never to be heard of again, the acerbic Ambrose Bierce had left behind a great body of journalism, satire and fiction, but 'The Devil's Dictionary' is what he'll be remembered for.
It's a bleak satirical work, taking apart received ideas and redefining ordinary words to give an acid, ironic view of human affairs. Whether Bierce is throwing off a quick quip "Brute: see Husband" or looking at something from a wholly original angle (the definition of the cross for example), what emerges is a deeply cynical, darkly humourous view of the world.
Whether you dip in and out for some sardonic entertainment, or read it cover to cover (perhaps keeping something like P.G. Wodehouse to hand for when Bierce's bile becomes too overwhelming, this is a book to be treasured, a sheer slice of black philosophy.
Surrounded by humbug and spin, it's a relief to read someone who couldn't be naive if he tried.
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