The Funny Stuff: The Official P. J. O'Rourke Quotationary and Riffapedia

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Atlantic Monthly Press
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5.7 X 8.4 X 1.2 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author
P. J. O'ROURKE (1947-2022) was an
author, journalist, and political satirist who wrote twenty-two books on
subjects as diverse as politics and cars and etiquette and economics. Parliament
of Whores
and Give War a Chance both reached #1 on the New York
bestseller list. After beginning his career writing for the National
, O'Rourke went on to serve as foreign affairs desk chief for Rolling
where he reported from far-flung places. Later he wrote for a number
of publications, including The Atlantic, the Daily Beast, the Wall
Street Journal,
and the Weekly Standard, and was a longtime panelist
on NPR's Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me.

Remembrances of P. J.:

"O'Rourke... came bombing in from the right side of the political spectrum, which made him doubly interesting. He was that rare conservative who appeared to be having a better time, and doing better drugs, than everyone else. He was well-read; he was, it often seemed, the only funny Republican alive." --Dwight Garner in the New York Times

"P.J. O'Rourke was maybe the nicest person I've ever known, which is an interesting thing to say about a man who made his name and his reputation as a take-no-prisoners cynical wit and observer of political foibles." --John Podhoretz in the New York Post

"The boomer gen's H.L. Mencken, P.J. was summa contra everything, but joyously. If you weren't laughing, you weren't listening. Along with his peers Oscar Wilde and Dorothy Parker, he was hyperaphoristic." --Christopher Buckley in the New York Times

"I admit that the influence of P.J. O'Rourke's prose has not always led me down the easy road, but at least it has allowed me to have fun along the way. There is nothing I detest more than boring editorialists who think they can solve everything with the stroke of a column. What he wrote in All the Trouble in the World applies to them: 'Everybody wants to save the earth; nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes.'" --Itxu Díaz, the American Spectator

"While his official political affiliation would in middle age see him become a Republican with a pronounced libertarian bent, he was, by way of example, as sharp-tongued and cantankerous about his new party as he was about Democrats and his former fellow travelers from the peace-and-love Sixties from which he'd emerged, a full-blown American archetype, a cranky ex-hippie who loved cars and could write his pants off." --Jamie Kitman, Car and Driver

"He scoured West Belfast for one-liners, noting the high unemployment ('125 per cent if you accept the locals' figures'), bad housing (the Divis tower was 'built in the Sixties before city planners discovered that you can't stack poor people who drink') and the locals' high levels of media sophistication ('so thoroughly journalised that urchins in the street ask, "Will you be needing a sound bite?" and criticise your choice of shutter speeds')." --Frank McNally, the Irish Times

"He had no pretensions, mocked himself as much as he mocked everyone else, and just about every time he started typing, he nailed this tone of exasperated normalcy, this attitude of witty, snarky, irreverent incredulity with a sharp undertone of 'Get out of my face.'" --Jim Geraghty, the National Review

"He was a proud conservative Republican -- one of his books was called 'Republican Party Reptile: The Confessions, Adventures, Essays and (Other) Outrages of P.J. O'Rourke' -- but he was widely admired by readers of many stripes because of his fearless style and his willingness to mock just about anyone who deserved it, including himself." --the New York Times

"Armed with pithy one-liners and a slashing style, Mr. O'Rourke worked in the tradition of H.L. Mencken, targeting hypocrisy, pomposity and contradiction wherever he found it." --the Washington Post

"The staff of [Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me] wrote, '[O'Rourke] made his debut as a special guest on our first show after 9/11, when we needed someone to come on and be funny about terrible things, which, of course, was P. J.'s specialty.'" --NPR

"O'Rourke was one of the most quoted writers in America, dissecting US politics and culture with a withering disdain and a powerful line in put-downs - often laced with a warm, self-deprecating humanity." --the Guardian

"Respected for his wit and storytelling by people across the political spectrum, O'Rourke's early essays suggested a liberal leaning... However, he soon changed his political stance and his work reflected libertarian conservatism." --Rolling Stone

"Though his rightward ideological shift was well underway by the time he was at the Lampoon -- followed late in life by his public endorsement of Hillary Clinton over Donald J. Trump, his humor and skepticism were the major constants in his life and work." --the Los Angeles Times

"His writing style suggested a cross between the hedonism of Hunter S. Thompson and the patrician mockery of Tom Wolfe: Self-importance was a reliable target. But his greatest disdain was often for the government -- not just a specific administration, but government itself." --Associated Press

"O'Rourke was a Toledo, Ohio, native who evolved from long-haired student activist to wavy-haired scourge of his old liberal ideals, with some of his more widely read take downs appearing in a founding counterculture publication, Rolling Stone." --USA Today