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The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary Paperback – 14 Dec 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Createspace (14 Dec. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144997256X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449972561
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 0.6 x 25.4 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,092,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Ambrose Bierce (1842 -1914) was an American editorialist, journalist, short story writer, fabulist and satirist. Today, he is best known for his short story, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" and his satirical dictionary, The Devil's Dictionary. The sardonic view of human nature that informed his work - along with his vehemence as a critic - earned him the nickname "Bitter Bierce". Despite his reputation as a searing critic, however, Bierce was known to encourage younger writers, including poet George Sterling and fiction writer W. C. Morrow. Bierce employed a distinctive style of writing, especially in his stories. This style often includes a cold open, dark imagery, vague references to time, limited descriptions, the theme of war, and impossible events. In 1913, Bierce traveled to Mexico to gain a firsthand perspective on that country's ongoing revolution. While traveling with rebel troops, the elderly writer disappeared without a trace.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique 30 Oct. 2011
By M. J. Ellison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an extraordinary work but one that I should not have bought on Kindle. Yes, I like the convenience of the electronic reader but there are some things that an old-fashioned book does better - such as not break when you drop it. I expect that this comment will earn me a visit soon from the Amazonian police but my point really is that a book such as this, one for dipping into at random rather than reading cover-to-to cover, is more manageable on paper rather than a screen which takes so much longer to navigate. Bierce himself, though, is beyond reproach.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Medicine 4 Oct. 2010
By Obeespunone - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is great reading if want to laugh with pleasure. Very few people have the ability to convey information to the extent that this author demonstrates. Great for the wait in the car as wife shops or any other downtime.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why isn't this taught in school or college?? 29 Aug. 2011
By JD - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Devil's Dictionary is the first book by Ambrose Bierce I've read and I think it's one of the most brilliant in American literature. It is timeless in a rare, hilarious way, yet chances are you have never heard of it unless you are an AmLit scholar working on satire or found it by chance like I did while prowling the web for free ebooks.

Bierce took no prisoners; the book is both politically incorrect and timeless. This is not a contradiction in terms. It is as relevant now as it was a hundred years ago, and will remain relevant and funny for centuries to come, because human character doesn't change on such small time scales. By the standards Bierce sets to intelligent humor and satire, Mark Twain is a bumbling schoolboy and whoever spawned South Park is an aspiring amoeba.

In a different country, The Devil's Dictionary would be taught in school and university, and the author would have streets and landmarks named after him. (I know, because I'm from such a country, and we have a Bierce equivalent who lived in the same period and is now considered a classic.) The reason why "The Devil's Dictionary" is virtually unknown, ignored in the classroom, and excluded from the list of American classics is that the US is such a God-fearing country. There are two obstacles to this book being afforded its rightful place among the best in American lit: the devil in the title and the atheism of the author. (One can only guess what Bierce would have written after putting together the Biblical story of Jesus throwing the businessmen out of the temple and the decision to inscribe "In God We Trust" on American money, for example. Ambrose, we need you so badly!)
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Have enjoyed rereading Bierce for over thirty years! 21 Dec. 2010
By FrankC - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Bierce's style won't be appreciated by everyone, the folks I know who have eagerly read his work for the first time return again and agsin for snippets of his unique humor.
5.0 out of 5 stars An Oldie But A Goodie 26 Dec. 2013
By Seattle Cat Woman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This old collection of humorous definitions by Ambrose Bierce is a gem. I enjoyed it so much that I purchased this for a friend.
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