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Republican Party Reptile (O'Rourke, P. J.) Paperback – 29 Sep 1995


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Product details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing (29 Sept. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871136228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871136220
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.1 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 113,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Book Description

In the twenty-one pieces collected in this book, P.J. O’Rourke visits the Lebanese civil war and the Marcos election campaign, sees Russia through the bottom of a vodka bottle and examines sundry aspects of Western civilization, such as the great bicycle menace, the history of the last fifteen minutes and ‘How to drive fast on drugs while getting your wing-wang squeezed and not spill your drink’ ‘This boozy hymn to home – to America – is funny because it is resonantly true . . . For conservatives and liberals, or for anyone bent double under the weight of political earnestness, Republican Party Reptile is a wonderful bonus indeed’ Wall Street Journal ‘He is funny. As with Evelyn Waugh, I can see why he makes me laugh, but I can’t see why he makes me laugh so much’ Chris Peachment, The Times ‘The funniest wind-up artist to emerge from America since Hunter S. Thompson’ Time Out ‘P.J. O’Rourke has to be the funniest writer going, and boy does he go. This is high-octane wit, S. J. Perelman on acid’ Christopher Buckley ‘Extremely literate, funny, irreverent and refreshingly unpatriotic . . . these essays are a delight’ Daily Telegraph ‘The funniest American writer I have read since Thurber’ Tom Sharpe --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Jan. 2001
Format: Paperback
'Republican Party Reptile' is a collection of essays and journalism in which P J O'Rourke sets out to prove that it's not just liberals who know how to crack jokes. He aims his special brand of sex, drug and beer fuelled humour on such diverse subjects as war torn Beirut, leafy New Hampshire and prime-time TV. Democrats, liberals and others whose political colours are tinged pink should not be put off, O'Rourke's chauvinistic and flag-waving convictions are at least honestly expressed and are tempered with equally as much self-depreciation and compassion. He is surely one of very few writers who can, with all sincerity, combine a tearful vigil in a Manilla church with a high speed chase across his beloved USA in a Ferrari within a hundred pages. O'Rourke is a writer of contrasts and contradictions so he is unlikely to change too many minds or challenge many sacredly held beliefs, but you may fall off the fence with laughter, proving at least the hypothesis that Republicans can have a good time.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Sept. 1998
Format: Paperback
This was PJ's first anthology and it's a wicked delight. Two highlights: the immortal, "How To Drive Fast On Drugs While Getting Your Wing-Wang Squeezed Without Spilling Your Drink", the essential guide to irresponsible driving: "There's lots of argument about what kind of car drives best. Some say a front-wheel drive car. Some say a rear-wheel drive. I say it's a rental car. There are things you can do with a rental car that are just impossible with any other kind of vehicle." (I may be paraphrasing slightly here.) Equally dazzling is "Ship of Fools", a stunning and riotous account of PJ's trip down the Volga "as seen through the bottom of a vodka glass" in the company of some very dodgy "peace activists": "She thought the Soviet Union was heaven on earth, but she was bringing her own toilet paper."
I've howled over this collection (which also contains the first of PJ's brilliant travel pieces, which have come to dominate his writing for Rolling Stone) innumerable times. Pour some iced Stoli, kick back and enjoy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert R. Foss on 23 May 2010
Format: Paperback
Ohhhhhh so good. Dry, acerbic, breathtaking, slightly shocking, incredibly self-aware post-teen humour from the best American author ever. If you don't laugh out loud at this book, then you have never really tried to enjoy yourself properly.

Massively recommended.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 April 2001
Format: Paperback
This book contains a chapter entitled "How to drive fast on drugs while getting your wing-wang squeezed without spilling your drink". That about sums it up, really. It is damn funny and you should buy it. Now.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 14 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Mixed, with a few gems 30 Jan. 2002
By Eric Gudorf - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is somewhat of a mixed bag. Unlike some of his other works, this has no central theme, but is instead a motley collection of articles written over the years for various and sundry publications on subjects ranging from why he hates bicycles to chasing down a story in the Bahamas about the involvement of high government officials in the drug trade. A few are real clunkers, such as a fictionalized account of his family life back in Ohio, titled "The King of Sandusky" or an over the top piece called "Just one of those days" in which he portrays an executive whose daily routine includes gunfights with his neighbors, raping his secretary and setting off bombs on the subway in order to get to work on time (so his boss won't have him shot). Most are OK, like the aforementioned bicycle piece, which he wrote for "Car & Driver" magazine back in the mid 80's. It was funny at the time, lampooning bicycling just about the time it was becoming trendy, especially with the eco-weenie set. In fact, this article brought howls of protest in the form of letters in the following issue, thus basically making his point appear all the more valid, namely, that too many bike nuts at the time suffered from an acute overdose of self righteousness accompanied by a chronic lack of a sense of humor. Like I said, it was funny at the time, but now seems rather dated.
Still, this entire effort was greatly redeemed by a few pieces that were absolutely spot on. One was "Ship of Fools" in which our intrepid reporter signed up for a cruise ship tour on the Volga in the USSR, based on an ad he'd read in "The Nation" magazine. He joins up with myriad groups of American leftists whose desire to see Soviet life in the best possible light overwhelms any qualities of observation or common sense they might happen to possess. These unfortunates are the targets of PJ's satire at its absolute best as he rips into them repeatedly for their blatant toadying on behalf of the Soviet system. Rarely has the banality of evil been described with such zest.
But even this pales in comparison to the book's crown jewel, namely a short article entitled simply "Ferrari refutes the Decline of The West". It is, on one level, a great road trip story, in which he and his boss drive from New York to LA in a brand new Ferrari 308GTS at speeds as high as 140 mph. Anyone who's ever lusted after exotic sports cars, or fantasized about driving on public roads at double or even triple the speed limit will love it on a purely visceral level, but that's only part of the pleasure, since PJ uses this drive as a metaphor for what makes Western Civilization, and America specifically, great. PJ describes an encounter with a black salesman in a Cadillac on the top of Hoover Dam in which the latter, after hearing their account of blazing through Arizona and New Mexico, looks at the Ferrari and says, simply, "Goddam, that's BEAUTIFUL!" PJ states, after finally turning over the car to a Hollywood studio "It was a glow that wouldn't fade. And I still felt good when I flipped the keys to the receptionist ...... And in fact I still feel good today." So will you after reading it, it is, in fact, worth the price of the entire book.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Worth reading. 27 April 2000
By James Yanni - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is not P.J.'s best work, but it's far from his worst. Better than, say, "Modern Manners" or "Age and Guile Beat Youth, Innocence, And A Bad Haircut", but not nearly as good as "Parliament Of Whores", "All The Trouble In The World", or "Give War A Chance"; about on a par with "Holidays In Hell".
For those of you unfamiliar with P.J. O'Rourke, be warned: P.J.'s humor is not for everybody. He is outspokenly politically incorrect, and can be downright insulting to those who disagree with him politically. What I find to be his saving grace on that score is that he doesn't seem to take himself or those who DO agree with him terribly seriously, either. So if you're politically to the left of Spiro Agnew, and easily offended, this book is not for you. But if you're thick-skinned enough to be able to recognize humor even when it's insensitive and coming from someone you disagree with, there truly is a great deal of very funny material here.
If you're only going to read one book by P.J. O'Rourke, this shouldn't be it. It should be "Parliament of Whores", unquestionably his best. But if you've tried that and liked it, you may enjoy this as well.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Easily worth the cover price... 2 May 2000
By "wbichteman" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"Republican Party Reptile" is a collection of essays and ramblings by P.J. O'Rourke, a sometimes Journalist for Rolling Stone magazine. Although not every one of these pieces is a masterwork there are several stories that simply must be read. One of my favorites is a story where P.J. is asked by Car and Driver magazine to drive a Ferrari cross country to California to be used in a film. When our deadline-challenged hero approaches his editor about taking time from his other projects to make the trip his boss invites himself along. What follows is one of the greatest road trip stories I have ever read. Not because it is filled with adventurous predicaments but because it conveys the thrill and freedom of both the automobile and the road with such a romantic slant that the story stands alone as a thing of beauty. Several other stories featured are simply hysterical. From analyzing drunk driving methods to taking a Russian cruise with a bunch of...activists to railling against the menace of bicycles, P.J. O'Rourke has made an art of sarcasm. I dare you to read this book without laughing out loud.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Savage, hilarious collection of essays 18 Sept. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This was PJ's first anthology and it's a wicked delight. Two highlights: the immortal, "How To Drive Fast On Drugs While Getting Your Wing-Wang Squeezed Without Spilling Your Drink", the essential guide to irresponsible driving: "There's lots of argument about what kind of car drives best. Some say a front-wheel drive car. Some say a rear-wheel drive. I say it's a rental car. There are things you can do with a rental car that are just impossible with any other kind of vehicle." (I may be paraphrasing slightly here.) Equally dazzling is "Ship of Fools", a stunning and riotous account of PJ's trip down the Volga "as seen through the bottom of a vodka glass" in the company of some very dodgy "peace activists": "She thought the Soviet Union was heaven on earth, but she was bringing her own toilet paper."
I've howled over this collection (which also contains the first of PJ's brilliant travel pieces, which have come to dominate his writing for Rolling Stone) innumerable times. Pour some iced Stoli, kick back and enjoy.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A Great Set of Humorous Essays 1 Sept. 2002
By Charles E. Joubert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
P. J. O'Rourke is an incredibly funny writer and incisive commentator on the contemporart scene. This collection of essays, while from a libertarian point of view, should be found enjoyable by all readers. In this book he skewers the Safety Nazis, pro-Soviet visitors to the USSR, the New York Review of Books, horrible Protestant hats, cocaine pirates, and other odd ducks in flight. P.J. O'Rourke is one of the funniest writers around, and I also recommend his PARLIAMENT OF WHORES and GIVE WAR A CHANCE.
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