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The Onion Presents Our Dumb Century: 100 Years of Headlines from America's Finest News Source Hardcover – 25 Sep 2007

31 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (NY) (25 Sept. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307393577
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307393579
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 1.8 x 28.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 295,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 April 2000
Format: Paperback
I mean it - and I'm a hard man to please - even more so when it comes to Americans and what they often deem to be funny. My only caveat is a requirement for any reader to be capable of revelling in absurdly idiotic humour - think the absolute cream of Monty Python, Blackadder and Private Eye all rolled into one.
Dumb Century is a true piece of comic genius - incredible detail, a hit/miss gag ratio unmatched in anything I've read or seen recently. This is a book I will treasure for a very long time, dip into again and again, and dig out the second my future kids start struggling to maintain their interest in A-Level history. Brilliant.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Parodi on 12 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback
Satire is used to perfection in this book, a ficticious recounting of the headlines of the 20th Century. As the editor of this newspaper calls it, this is "funny fake news."
The great thing about this book is that the stories are often related with the utter indifference one suspects reporters must develop after years on the job, packaged for the short attention span the public often has. These articles take the folly and "real" stories behind the stories, the ones that were never talked about in their day, and prints them as front page and headline news. Try, for example: "Eleanor Roosevelt, Nation Hails our First Lesbian President." Or regarding Pearl Harbor, "Dastardly Japs Bomb Colonially Occupied US Non-State." Or how about terming Marilyn Monroe and Joe Dimaggio's magical appeal as, "Nation Captived by Fairytale Wedding of Sullen Loner, Depressed Pill-Popper." Or the optimistic, "Drugs Win Drug War" alongside a picture of a bong-smoking man in tie-dye approaching the presidential podium. Page after page of "reprinted" front pages (a joke in itself, because there certainly was no Onion in 1904) makes this a great read which literally brought tears to my eyes.
Life ain't always pretty, but with the Onion it is always funny.
Andrew Parodi
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 May 1999
Format: Audio Cassette
I have always been a little disappointed with the weekly editions of the Onion. The few comedic gems are tarnished by the more mundane body of material. Of course I have to admit that it is an immense task to publish a weekly full newspaper parody that keeps up with current events as well as the Onion does. So it is understandable that not every article reverberates with the hilarity of "Jesus converts to Islam". This book gives the writers of the Onion the opportunity to concentrate the key events of each year of the past century into one or two pages of material. The result is that all of the writers' talents shine through. The headlines and stories give an educated, irreverent, sometimes a tad offensive, and sometimes remarkably insightful twist to the most important events of the American twentieth century. The book is not perfect. I felt it faltered slightly from the mid 80s to the present (there could be a correlation between this sentiment and the fact that the period from the mid 80s to the present is the only period which I have personally experienced). Nevertheless, this is a wonderful book which I rate right up there with such classics as "Bored of the Rings".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Sept. 1999
Format: Paperback
DO buy this book if you are politically correct! It is a masterwork, with wonderful detail (see changes in the front page banner, changing from verbose to snappy as the nation's attention span dwindles with the century). If you are prepared to be offended by satisists using headlines like the above or "Al Jolson accidentally lynched by Ku Klux Klan" you probably wouldn't get much out of humorous books. See the review of the audio book by Royce Chang ("This Chinaman loved it") - the humour is at the expense of American/western society and attitudes, not the poor, racial minorities or whoever. Look at some newspapers of the 1910s and see if some published opinions were less or more offensive to modern eyes than the Onion's stories. I am ordering copies for all my friends' Christmas presents. Onion, you are perfect, don't ever change.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By funnyman@hotmail.com on 14 Feb. 2000
Format: Paperback
Finally, humour has reached a new level with "Our Dumb Century".
WAR ENDS AS ARCHDUKE FRANZ FERDINAND IS FOUND ALIVE - "How fares Europe" asks presumed dead count.
Salman Rushdie brings out new book: "F**k Allah"
Etc...Etc...
BUT, in order to enjoy the book, you must
1. Have very little political correctness 2. Be able to take a joke aimed at you (odds are there will be a lot) 3. Have a good knowledge of the century 4. Know how to read
Order and Enjoy
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 July 1999
Format: Audio Cassette
Visiting the sicker half of my family in British Columbia, I came across "The Onion" sitting on my aunt and uncle's coffee table. Unsuspectingly, I picked it up, assuming it to be one of those humdrum local papers....The further I read, the more I laughed. My cousin caught me with his paper in hand, and came back the next day to torture me some more with the "our dumb century". By supper time, we all stood around the book, letting the food burn, howling, pointing out various sick, satirical headlines. Definately not for the faint of heart, but if you've got a thick skin, a balanced sense of how the universe truly operates, and can crack a smile now and again when someone flies in the face of the insipid "PC" movement, this is for you.
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