The Portable Curmudgeon (Plume) Info

Our community offers the best science fiction, fantasy, horror and speculative fiction online book reviews. Download your favourite book - find out about new releases and best sellers. Read&Download The Portable Curmudgeon (Plume) by Jon Winokur Online


More than 1,000 outrageously irreverent quotations, anecdotes,
and interviews on a vast array of subjects, from an illustrious list of
world class grouches.  
“If you can’t say
anything good about someone, sit right here by me.”—Alice
Roosevelt Longworth

Average Ratings and Reviews
review-bg

4.31

554 Ratings

5

4

3

2

1


Ratings and Reviews From Market


client-img 4.6
59
15
6
0
2
client-img 4.01
194
185
59
5
0

Reviews for The Portable Curmudgeon (Plume):

5

Oct 02, 2018

You caught me...I love sarcasm!

A girl once told me that sarcasm is the final spasms of a rotten mind.
Think about it for a moment...
Were it not for the rotten mind who came up with that clever little saying, she would have no way of trying to insult sarcasm - in a funny way, I mean.
If you think about it too long, it may push you to the edge of sanity, I tell you!

Yes, sarcasm can be used for evil as much as for good, like a gun or a high heel shoe, but there is some kind of beauty in lateral You caught me...I love sarcasm!

A girl once told me that sarcasm is the final spasms of a rotten mind.
Think about it for a moment...
Were it not for the rotten mind who came up with that clever little saying, she would have no way of trying to insult sarcasm - in a funny way, I mean.
If you think about it too long, it may push you to the edge of sanity, I tell you!

Yes, sarcasm can be used for evil as much as for good, like a gun or a high heel shoe, but there is some kind of beauty in lateral thinking.
And that is why, as a person who can be sarcastic at times, I have taught myself to usually say the second thing I was thinking.

This book is about some of the most famous curmudgeons whose dry and sarcastic sayings will live forever in all forms of media. Shaw, Wilde, Marx, Bierce, etc.
I would genuinely love to see a book in this vein of the funniest things said in television and movies - giving credit to the writers as well as the actors.

** As an afterthought - if you like some sayings, try to work them into your conversations some time, it can be a lot of fun. I was in a bar with a girl one time, and while we were chatting a drunk guy - who was obviously much bigger than me - joined our conversation uninvited. Since I was not going to make a scene (of course I wasn't going to fight that bear, I WASN'T the drunk one), I answered his question of what we did for a living with a Monty Python quote:
"I manually masturbate caged animals for artificial insemination."
While the girl giggled hysterically, it took him a few moments of absolute silence to admit that he had no idea what I had just said.

Loved everything about this little book! ...more
4

Jan 24, 2015

A book of quotations by curmudgeons on a variety of topics. Some sparkle with brilliance, some with humor. A few are malicious, even nasty. Many are keepers worthy of your notebooks.

This book resembles Ambrose Bierce’s “Devil’s Dictionary” but is derived from a variety of authors, not just one. They range from Voltaire and Oscar Wilde to Woody Allen and Johnny Carson. From Ben Jonson to Al Capp, arranged alphabetically by subject matter.

Included are interesting short bios of prominent A book of quotations by curmudgeons on a variety of topics. Some sparkle with brilliance, some with humor. A few are malicious, even nasty. Many are keepers worthy of your notebooks.

This book resembles Ambrose Bierce’s “Devil’s Dictionary” but is derived from a variety of authors, not just one. They range from Voltaire and Oscar Wilde to Woody Allen and Johnny Carson. From Ben Jonson to Al Capp, arranged alphabetically by subject matter.

Included are interesting short bios of prominent world-class curmudgeons. They were a neurotic bunch, but brazenly outspoken. Their zany antics are amusing to read about.

It is not necessary to hate mankind to enjoy this book, but it would help. There is something here to please everyone except Pollyannas, to whom it is not recommended. But if you are in a sour mood or lean toward the cynical or pessimistic, you can’t go wrong with this one.
...more
4

Jun 12, 2019

Really enjoyed most of the book but the book was written in another time (the 1980s) so some of the quotes sound dissonant to 2019 ears. Especially some of the zingers criticizing looks and some of the misogynist quotes don't sound ok. It is a product of its times. I can imagine how some of the things I say now will fly in thirty years. The good is very good and outweighs the cringey stuff of a bygone era.
4

Jan 12, 2013

A Goodreads.com friend put this book on her list of "to read" books and I immediately was filled with such wonderful memories that I had to launch a whole-house search of the bookshelves to find my copy. Ah, it's just as wonderful as I remembered. Since I returned to work this week from the Christmas/New Year's holidays, I took my copy to work and displayed it proudly on my desk. When a coworker/supervisor/student/etc. made my blood pressure want to rise a point or two, I took a deep breath, A Goodreads.com friend put this book on her list of "to read" books and I immediately was filled with such wonderful memories that I had to launch a whole-house search of the bookshelves to find my copy. Ah, it's just as wonderful as I remembered. Since I returned to work this week from the Christmas/New Year's holidays, I took my copy to work and displayed it proudly on my desk. When a coworker/supervisor/student/etc. made my blood pressure want to rise a point or two, I took a deep breath, opened the book, and treated myself to a couple/many pages of wonderful character sketches and fabulous quotes. How did I ignore this book for so many years after loving it the first three times that I read it? Oh, Dorothy Parker, we would have been such good friends. ...more
4

Jan 17, 2008

I've had this book for many years, and all my favorite quotes are checked or dogeared. All the greats are here -- Dorothy Parker, WC Fields, George F. Kaufman. It focuses primarily on American and British curmudgeons of the past century and a half.

As self-appointed president of the Royal Society for the Advancement of Curmudgeons, this book has earned my stamp of... hmmmm... dare I say approval.

Yes, dammit, I'll say just what I please.
5

Jul 21, 2014

A book which would be dear to my heart, if I hadn't misplaced it.
2

Jul 05, 2010

I picked it up at a used book sale for $1. For that price I had to have it since my dad is a self described irascible curmudgeon. I figured to read it then pass it on to him. There are brief bios on various curmudgeons as well as chapters full of curmudgeonly quotes. Amusing as a bathroom book or a beach book, which I think is all it really aspires to so it works at least that well.
5

Aug 28, 2008

This is a great book for easily finding the best parts of some of the greatest books in the world. It is a great starting off point to finding books and authors you haven't read.
5

Jun 05, 2010

A collection of quotes by very witty, annoyed people. If you enjoy a good zinger, this is full of them. If you just dislike humanity sometimes, you'll probably want to keep this around, too.
5

Sep 30, 2010

This book has been a steady companion to me for many years. Given as a Christmas gift over 20 years ago, I have referred to it often and used many a quote from it.
4

Jun 26, 2009

Nothing like a pithy quote when you're out of sorts with other people.
4

Apr 22, 2015

It's a quote book with really fun and funny interviews with very prolific people reflecting on what really irks them. I hope to be a curmudgeon one. Something to aspire to. Definitely a 'bathroom' read, but I enjoyed reading it from cover to cover.
4

Nov 29, 2016

A collection of often biting quotations. Interspersed are mini-bios/interviews with several individuals noted for their sometimes caustic remarks. It is a fun read because you can put it down at anytime and not worry about losing your place.
5

Sep 02, 2012

As a Curmudgeon, this man is reading my mind. Sometimes I kicked my heels with joy when he was right on. He has raised curmudgeonlyness into respectability. I hope all of the readers can see his humor and that of those curmudgeons he quotes. This is a good read.
3

Apr 04, 2018

This book is full of acidic, biting satiric wit from A to Z. That's a LOT of acid.

It's some kind of wicked fun, and sometimes just too much.

I did find it interesting and unsettling that a few of the best known curmudgeons were people with various serious psychological problems and a few ended their lives via suicide.

I have no follow-up line after that observation.
4

Aug 17, 2011

Very, very funny. But also very negative. Curmudgeon doesn't even begin to characterize some of the acidic, but true, comments that famous people have made about ideas, places and other famous people. Woah. But with that said, this little book does have some content that borders on the brilliantly-fashioned.
5

Jan 18, 2012

It's hard to find a book that will make you feel at home. The Portable Curmudgeon speaks for and with a particular audience and that was made clear from cover to cover. A warning though, if you are not the type who can be confused as a curmudgeon, stay away from this book. The humor is a hit or miss. Fortunately, it's a hit for me.
5

Jan 17, 2008

More take aways and bang for the buck than any other book I've read. Devastating to just about everything yet, somehow uplifting too. Like this from Mencken: "We must respect the other fellow's religion. But only in the sense and to the extent we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart." Right?!
4

Mar 04, 2011

This 300-page collection of cynical quotations, arranged alphabetically by theme ("Actors," "Death," etc.) and interspersed with short biographical essays on famous curmudgeons (like Groucho Marx), functioned as my Bible in college, when I believed that a sour disposition denoted intelligence and integrity. I like to think I've outgrown that particular affectation, but I still credit Winokur's book with introducing me to several classic dark humorists, like H.L. Mencken and Dorothy Parker, whose This 300-page collection of cynical quotations, arranged alphabetically by theme ("Actors," "Death," etc.) and interspersed with short biographical essays on famous curmudgeons (like Groucho Marx), functioned as my Bible in college, when I believed that a sour disposition denoted intelligence and integrity. I like to think I've outgrown that particular affectation, but I still credit Winokur's book with introducing me to several classic dark humorists, like H.L. Mencken and Dorothy Parker, whose acquaintance I might not otherwise have made. ...more
5

Feb 26, 2017

Like Bierce's "Devil's Dictionary," this is an aphoristic collection of jaded, barbed, or unsentimental observations on everything from fame, fortune, and success to love, marriage and, of course, sex by the likes of H.L. Mencken, GB Shaw, Oscar Wilde, Oscar Levant, Groucho Marx, Ambrose Bierce, Voltaire, Nietzsche, Santayana, Bertrand Russell, and dozens more writers, philosophers, and wits, Winokur's book makes for enjoyable reading as one seeks a raft of sanity amid the flotsam and jetsam of Like Bierce's "Devil's Dictionary," this is an aphoristic collection of jaded, barbed, or unsentimental observations on everything from fame, fortune, and success to love, marriage and, of course, sex by the likes of H.L. Mencken, GB Shaw, Oscar Wilde, Oscar Levant, Groucho Marx, Ambrose Bierce, Voltaire, Nietzsche, Santayana, Bertrand Russell, and dozens more writers, philosophers, and wits, Winokur's book makes for enjoyable reading as one seeks a raft of sanity amid the flotsam and jetsam of these turbulent times. Best enjoyed one at a time, like a single chocolate from your box of Godiva. I only wish I could memorize a stack of these pompous and sentimental-busting bombs to drop at the appropriate time. ...more
5

Dec 15, 2008

Yes. Inspired the book report project and also Joel and I to work towards becoming curmudgeons. This includes commiting pranks and being witty and caring about word play. We added our names to the authors list of world class curmudgeons and then I pranked Kate by putting a small dog in her coat pocket for her to find later. Fun. I learned about the bets prank ever nad told it to Rick.

This book was a book of quotes and biographies of old whips. I learned about the Algonquin Circle which existed Yes. Inspired the book report project and also Joel and I to work towards becoming curmudgeons. This includes commiting pranks and being witty and caring about word play. We added our names to the authors list of world class curmudgeons and then I pranked Kate by putting a small dog in her coat pocket for her to find later. Fun. I learned about the bets prank ever nad told it to Rick.

This book was a book of quotes and biographies of old whips. I learned about the Algonquin Circle which existed in NYC in the 1920s to 30s where the curmudgeons could not even say "pass the salt" without someone making a pun of it, or someone trying to one up it.

My other favorite quotes were Dorthy Parker when asked why she hadn't gone to a play she said she was too fucking busy and vice versa.

Calvin Trillin had a quote in a conversation about Christmas. He said something to the effect that after he learned to become happy he ceased needing festivity. So he thought it was a universal law that happy people do not need festivity.

Hooray ...more
2

Dec 24, 2018

I quite like the concept of this book and a number of the quotes (see my favorites below), but I'm going to be properly curmudgeonly about my rating of 2.5 stars, because I have some thoughts about Winokur's choices. A few of these jokes have definitely not aged well (if they were ever that funny) and am I allowed to raise an eyebrow at the fact that the "Women" entry goes on for pages but there is no entry for "Men" at all? I also don't understand Winokur's penchant for subdividing categories I quite like the concept of this book and a number of the quotes (see my favorites below), but I'm going to be properly curmudgeonly about my rating of 2.5 stars, because I have some thoughts about Winokur's choices. A few of these jokes have definitely not aged well (if they were ever that funny) and am I allowed to raise an eyebrow at the fact that the "Women" entry goes on for pages but there is no entry for "Men" at all? I also don't understand Winokur's penchant for subdividing categories so thoroughly that he's left with a single entry in so many of them. Is it that hard to combine fishing and fishing rod, politician and statesman, TV babies and television, etc.? The interviews with notable curmudgeons offer a clever break from the alphabetized entries, and I learned some very interesting facts in the course of them, though I have to say I am not overly impressed with Winokur's interview style and the flow of these conversations. And wow does John Simon come off as a one-note, two-bit, misogynistic and hypocritical ass of a man.

Alright, there's my probably overly curmudgeonly take on what is after all a novelty book. As I mentioned, there were certainly a number of bright spots that made me laugh out loud or at least chuckle in recognition:

"Admiration, n. Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves." Ambrose Bierce

"This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force." Dorothy Parker

"Mr. Atlee is a very modest man. But then he has much to be modest about." Winston Churchill

"Very nice, but there are dull stretches." Comte de Rivarol's review of a two-line poem

"History is a set of lies agreed upon." Napoleon

Lady Astor: "If you were my husband, Winston, I'd put poison in your tea.
Winston Churchill: "If I were your husband, Nancy, I'd drink it."

"I must decline your invitation owing to a subsequent engagement." Oscar Wilde

"The optimist thinks that this is the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist knows it." J. Robert Oppenheimer

"Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them." Bill Vaughn

"How is the world ruled and how do wars start? Diplomats tell lies to journalists and then believe what they read." Karl Kraus

"A puritan is a person who lives in the fear that someone, somewhere, may be having a good time." H. L. Mencken ...more
2

May 16, 2017

This book is primarily a list of quotes with an occasional short biographical sketch or interview with some of the curmudgeons. I tended to prefer the sketches and anecdotes. Befitting the title, the quotes are all negative, but contain less irony or humor than I hoped for. Quotes are arranged by topic within an alphabetic structure.

To save you plowing through this litany of complaints, I'll share a few of the better quotes:

Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable. This book is primarily a list of quotes with an occasional short biographical sketch or interview with some of the curmudgeons. I tended to prefer the sketches and anecdotes. Befitting the title, the quotes are all negative, but contain less irony or humor than I hoped for. Quotes are arranged by topic within an alphabetic structure.

To save you plowing through this litany of complaints, I'll share a few of the better quotes:

Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable. G.B. Shaw

In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican. H.L. Mencken

This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force. D. Parker

Cynic, n. A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be. A. Bierce

Democracy: The worship of jackals by jackasses. H.L.Mencken

The very purpose of existence is to reconcile the glowing opinion we hold of ourselves with the appalling things that other people think about us. Q. Crisp

The optimist thinks that this is the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist knows it. J.R. Oppenheimer

The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple. O. Wilde

...more
4

Jan 10, 2016

Here's to celebrate misanthropy; a hugely entertaining companion to my supposedly-boring trip on going back to life after spending holiday in my hometown--talk about timing. Consists of remarks coming from those kind of people in today's internet whom you'd shout "get laid" or "have a picnic" to; annoying, frank, whiny, witty, funny, sass, smart, truly unapologetic.
3

Sep 24, 2008

A collection of interviews, anecdotes and (mostly) quotes from famous curmudgeons from Groucho Marx, W.C. Fields, Dorothy Parker, Roy Blount and others. As with any collection like this, it's hit and miss and, because it was published in the 1980's, some of its references are dated now, but it's still entertaining and full of classic wit.

Best Books from your Favorite Authors & Publishers

compare-icon compare-icon
Thousands of books

Take your time and choose the perfect book.

review-icon review-icon
Read Reviews

Read ratings and reviews to make sure you are on the right path.

vendor-icon vendor-icon
Multiple Stores

Check price from multiple stores for a better shopping experience.

gift-icon

Enjoy Result