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Selected Readings from The Portable Dorothy Parker | [Edited by Marion Meade]

Selected Readings from The Portable Dorothy Parker

When it comes to expressing the pleasure and pain of being just a touch too smart to be happy, Dorothy Parker is still the champion. Along with Robert Benchley, Alexander Woollcott, and the rest of the Algonquin Round Table, she dominated American popular literature in the 1920s and 1930s. This collection of more than 30 short stories and poems is essential for any Parker fan and an excellent way for new listeners to make the acquaintance of one of the 20th century's most quotable authors.
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Publisher's Summary

When it comes to expressing the pleasure and pain of being just a touch too smart to be happy, Dorothy Parker is still the champion, after all these years. Along with Robert Benchley, Alexander Woollcott, and the rest of the Algonquin Round Table, she dominated American popular literature in the 1920s and 1930s.

This collection of more than 30 short stories and poems is essential for any Parker fan and an excellent way for new listeners to make the acquaintance of one of the 20th century's most quotable authors, whose memorable lines include: "She runs the gamut of emotions from A to B", "This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force", and "Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses".

©1944 by Dorothy Parker, ©1973, 2006 The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Introduction ©2006 Marion Meade; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Nominee, 2008 Audie Award, Short Stories/Collections

"Dorothy Parker doesn't just reveal the hypocrisies, vanities, myths, and foibles of her characters, she skewers them in a style that is merciless, wickedly funny, and often sad." (500 Great Books by Women)
"To say that Mrs. Parker writes well is as fatuous, I am afraid, as proclaiming that Cellini was clever with his hands....Mrs. Parker has an eye for people, an ear for language, and a feeling for the little things of life that are so immensely a part of the process of living." (Ogden Nash)
"[Parker's poetry is] characterized by brilliant concision, flippant cynicism, and caustic variations on certain dominant themes, such as frustrated love and cheated idealism in modern living. Her short stories and sketches...possess the same wry quality and polished technique that are found in her poems." (The Concise Oxford Companion to American Literature)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 07-20-12
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 07-20-12 Member Since 2006

    My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.

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    "What women really think"
    Any additional comments?

    Brings a much need perspective to early 20th century literature to show what women thought of their lives or what they thought they thought or what they thought they were supposed to think. Parker is brutally honest about the vulnerability of women's feelings, and sly about their hypocrisies. Her characters tend to be stuck; that is, there isn't much room in Parker's world for inner growth or maturation. Maybe that's a limitation of the short story form. Or maybe it's a challenge for the reader to reflect on.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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    Benedict San Francisco, US, Canada 05-07-07
    Benedict San Francisco, US, Canada 05-07-07 Member Since 2003
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    "Oh, she's good!"

    I did not realize how great Dorothy Parker's poetry is. And I also did not realize how great, funny and clever her stories are.

    I also realize I would not want her to talk about me behind my back.

    I wish she would come back and write some movie scripts because they would have to be great.

    She is a poet and writer of love and unhappiness, and too much to drink.

    Darn it. I know she will come back and skewer me on her way back to Hollywood. Maybe she won't care about me...

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
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