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The Best of Dorothy Parker

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Dorothy Parker was one of the great American wits of the past century, always ready to engage in wordplay. Once challenged to construct a sentence with the word "horticulture," she reportedly responded without hesitation, "You can lead a horticulture but you can't make her think."

Little familiar with her work aside from the opening anecdote, I determined that I would become better acquainted upon seeing The Best of Dorothy Parker in a catalog. Having ready access to bookstores, libraries, and online retailers, I have infrequent need for catalogs. Nevertheless, that's how the Folio Society keeps its members abreast of its current releases.

The Folio Society edition (not for sale except directly from the Society or a used bookseller) is, of course, beautifully bound and typeset, coming complete with a few illustrations. While these are in fact secondary issues, proper handling of these details does in fact greatly enhance the pleasure brought by the book.

The text is organized in a manner that reading straight through from beginning to end will keep the reader engaged with poetry and prose intermingled. Were I looking for a reference work, I might have found the arrangement inconvenient but I was interested strictly in pleasure reading. Furthermore, the book has a serviceable index in the back such that any particular entry can be easily found.

Many great writers can be assessed on their ability to present a story that might be mundane in itself. Ms. Parker's great talent, abundantly evident in this volume, is the ability to make even the most trivial things amusing.

Created by cmcurtin
Last modified 2005-07-05 12:49 PM
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