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Complete Stories (Penguin twentieth century classics) Mass Market Paperback – 30 Nov 1995

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (30 Nov. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140189394
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140189391
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,905,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Dorothy Parker was born in West End, New Jersey, in 1893 and grew up in New York, attending a Catholic convent school and Miss Dana's School in Morristown, New Jersey. In 1916 she sold some of her poetry to the editor of Vogue, and was subsequently given an editorial position on the magazine, writing captions for fashion photographs and drawings. She then became drama critic of Vanity Fair and the central figure of the celebrated Algonquin Round Table.

Famous for her spoken wit, she showed the same trenchant commentary in her book reviews for The New Yorker and Esquire and in her poems and sketches. Her collection of poems included Not So Deep as a Well and Enough Rope, which became a bestseller; and her collections of stories included Here Lies. She also collaborated with Elmer Rice on a play, Close Harmony and with Arnaud d'Usseau on the play the Ladies of the Corridor. She herself had two Broadway plays written about her and was portrayed as a character in a third. Her cynicism and the concentration of her judgements were famous and she has been closely associated with modern urbane humour.

Her first husband was Edwin Pond Parker II, and although they were divorced some years later, she continued to use his name, which she much preferred to her own of Rothschild. Her second husband was an actor-writer Alan Campbell. They went to Hollywood as a writing team and went through a tempestuous marriage until his death in 1963, when Dorothy Parker returned to New York. She died in 1967.

Regina Barreca is a professor of English and feminist theory at the University of Connecticut. She is the editor of seven books, including The Penguin Book of Women's Humor, and the author of four others. She writes frequently for the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and the Hartford Courant. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ms. Parker's collection of short stories are modern and funny. Many of the dialogues detailed in her works can still be heard uttered today between men and women.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wonderful, heart warming and funny and gives a great picture of the time in New York . Made my commute to work enjoyable
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I had never read any Dorothy Parker but was looking for a new seam of reading and having enjoyed my first Patricia Highsmith found this on the "customers who also shopped for this" link and highly recommended on a listmania list.I took it on holiday but I just didn't really enjoy these stories. I read about seven of them and gave up. I found the stories had dated badly and that the tales of relationships lacked resolution/conclusion. Is that it? I found myself saying at the end of each one - they seemed very slight tales or entirely predictable compared to many of those of her peers such as Somerset Maugham.Notfor me.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x90ebf15c) out of 5 stars 30 reviews
50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91072c78) out of 5 stars A Lime-Green Look at the Battles of the Sexes 24 Aug. 2001
By Infovoyeur - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
And I thought I knew all of the short story writers who write good social satire, especially about the Battle of the Sexes. Do you like John Updike's dissonant couples the Maples? John Cheever's middle-class suburban sashayings? John O'Hara's accounts of evil-propelled mis-treatments and non-treatments? Ring Lardner's tales of hamfisted bunglings? Katherine Mansfield's dry-point etchings of looming males and tendril-like females?
To these I can now add Dorothy Parker--whom I discovered only last month after enjoying the above social-critics for decades. A sharp-tongued journalist, Parker wrote in New York City in the 1920's through the 1950's. She's a key addition to the "fruit salad" of these writers--call her a lime, perhaps--small, tart, acid but somehow quenching our thirst for the truth however tangy?
Parker precisely pinpoints interpersonal shipwrecks. Marriage is--what happens. Often it's like this:
In "New York to Detroit," on the telephone, a man mechanically shoves a desperate woman out of his life. The bad connection aids his "misunderstandings" of her frantic pleas.
In "Here We Are," a just-married couple travel by train to their New York City honeymoon hotel. But we see already the stress-fractures of immature overreactions, and how out of them starts to ooze the lava of hatred which will surely melt down (or burn out) the marriage soon.
In "Too Bad," women are perplexed, even astonished, that the Weldons separated. Such an ideal couple! Except Parker eavesdrops us into the couple's typical evening at home. Its genteel vacancy, polite non-communication, and quiet distancing tell the tale.
Is Parker too crude a caricaturist? Heavy on the satire, too bitter personally? True, her women seem simplified: helplessly-hysterical, nice-nice faceless patseys or creampuffs, captives of bland routines--and of men. Her men similarly seem generic males-of-the-species, "blunt bluff hearty and...meaningless," conventionally-whiskered and all, chauvinistically-insensitive if not cruel. Okay... But if it's overdone, why do I feel I have known and seen these people, or traces of them, often, and not in New York of the 1920's-1950's either?
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91176e2c) out of 5 stars Smarter than you, not that you'd know it 28 Dec. 2001
By Rob Lightner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mrs. Parker possessed a venom that incapacitated its victims with sheer brainy pleasure. Her stories are tight, sparse, and crunchy with wit--Oscar Wilde looks like Krusty the Klown in comparison. While some would complain that she rarely strays from critiquing the hypocrisies of the wealthy and powerful, it's hard to argue that there isn't enough material therein to fuel a thousand careers. Her work is essential reading for those of us who aren't perfectly at ease with the ways of the world but find ourselves coping with it anyway.
The Elaine Stritch readings of seven of these stories are also tremendously entertaining and worthy of separate purchase. The delight of sitting in a darkened room, listening to a master actress reading Mrs. Parker, sipping from a tumbler of whiskey, must be experienced to be believed.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x911ecf30) out of 5 stars Best Short Story Writer 2 May 2011
By Peter Cocchia - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Publishers Weekly: I will likely never read your magazine after reading your review of Dorothy Parker's Complete Stories. I had never really intended to--but now, after that awful, sophistic review of one of the best American short story writers of the 20th Century, I can be certain that the words you print hold absolutely no weight. How truly embarrassing for your publication.

Dorothy Parker: a phenomenally talented short story and verse writer, and one of the most powerful feminists of her time. She fought racism and sexism--unlike some of her contemporaries like Hemingway and Fitzgerald, who abetted it--and was one of few during the 20's and 30's to write about such taboo topics as abortion ("Mr. Durant"). In 1929, she won the first place O. Henry Award for her short story "Big Blonde," and her story, "Here We Are," has been duly collected in The Best American Short Stories of the Century, edited by John Updike. Also notable: her poetry collections Enough Rope and Sunset Gun were both bestsellers, an unprecedented accomplishment for poetry in general.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91124fc0) out of 5 stars Men never make passes at girls reading Dorothy Parker 6 Feb. 2003
By Jacquie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Dorothy Parker is one of the great women writers of the twentieth century. Though her life was marred by alcoholism and rather poor choices, her biting, insightful stories are a window into the twenties and women in general. I read her stories whenever I've had a rough day and need a giggle.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91265888) out of 5 stars Biting wit abounds. 12 Mar. 2005
By S. Hebbron - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Dorothy Parker was a great writer and a great social observant who now gives us a clear window into the past. Her wit is biting and at it's best in this collection, favourite reads are for the individual to decide, however, for me, as well as cheering me up with her razor sharp observation and almost cruel wit. Parker also saddens me for her wit must have been based on the cynacism of one who viewed her life as overindulged and wasted by circumstance, as a wealthy woman and as a woman in her time. Reading her is alawys like laughing with a red hot tear in your eye, for her work is as much an insight into her soul as it is to her lifetime and lifestyle.
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