The Devil's Dictionary/Reviews

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Previous page history was archived for backup purposes at The Devil's Dictionary/Reviews/LQT Archive 1 on 2016-05-31.

No wonder Encyclopedia Dramatica was modeled after this hilarious work

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GethN7 (talkcontribs)

The Devil's Dictionary is a compilation of Ambrose Bierce's piss takes on basically everything, and for it's time, it was quite good, and while some of the humor isn't as funny now due to some of it being period specific, most of it stands the test of time.

For example, his entry on "Idiot" has to be the most dry humored take on the term ever, and still relevant today. In fact, his writing is basically a parody of the dry prose in dictionaries, but written in such an overly detached manner while leveling insult after insult on what he's describing, it winds up being funnier than if he had just outright said the same thing more directly.

Further, this work is proof you don't have to be overly vulgar or crass to be sarcastic and witty. It was written during a time period when it was actually considered shocking to be vulgar and crass, so he achieved the same ends by basically snarking off at every sacred cow he could (his entries on religion especially), but doing so in such a dry manner he appears not to be trying to be offensive, but is actually being even more offensive because of the detachment.

The website Encyclopedia Dramatica claims this book as their direct inspiration, and while their content honors Bierce's style to some greater or lesser degree, depending on the pages you read, it's easy to see why they are trying to emulate one of the greatest American parodists of the 19th century, and if sarcastic humor makes you laugh, this is highly recommended.

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