Thursday, January 5, 2023

Parliament of Whores by P. J. O'Rourke -- BOOK BEGINNINGS


Every election cycle, I have the urge to reread P.J. O'Rourke's masterpiece of political satire, Parliament of Whores. Watching the news this week is no different! We lost a funny man, and equal-opportunity satirist, when O'Rourke died last year. R.I.P.

Thank you for joining me here for the first Book Beginnings on Fridays of 2023. Happy new year! Please share the opening sentence (or so) of the book you are reading this week, or just a book you feel like highlighting. 

Do you have any reading plans or goals for the new year? If you feel like clearing some space on your TBR shelves, join me in the TBR 23 in '23 challenge! The idea is to read 23 books off your TBR shelves. You can choose the books ahead of time or as you go, or mix it up. Click here for the main challenge page to find more details or to sign up. 

What is this oozing behemoth, this fibrous tumor, this monster of power and expense hatched from the simple human desire for civic order?
-- from Chapter 1, "The Mystery of Government," in Parliament of Whores: A Lone Humorist Attempts to Explain the Entire U.S. Government by P. J. O'Rourke. 


Please leave the link to your Book Beginnings post in the box below and use the #bookbeginnings hashtag if you share on social media. 

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blog event button for The Friday 56 on Freda's Voice


Another fun Friday event is The Friday 56. Share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of your book, or 56% of the way through your e-book or audiobook, on this weekly event hosted by Freda at Freda's Voice.


From Parliament of Whores:
The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it.
That quote isn't actually on page 56, at least not in my copy. But it's the most famous quote from the book, so I had to share it. 

Kingsley Amis Bibliography -- BOOK LIST


Kingsley Amis (1922 - 1995) was an English novelist, poet, and critic, known off the page for his hard drinking and philandering. He wrote more than 20 novels, six volumes of poetry, a memoir, short stories, radio and television scripts, and works of social and literary criticism. His son is the author Martin Amis. 

Amis is a favorite of mine because his novel, Lucky Jim, taught me (and thousands of others) that literature can be funny. Because of Amis, I learned to read "good books" for pleasure, not just because I should. He was fortunate to live in a time when the publishing industry tolerated popular authors writing anything they wanted, as long as they turned out a new book on a regular basis. Along with the comic novels of which he was the master, he turned his hand to mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, alternate history, poetry, biography, and essays.

Here is a list of Kingsley Amis's books, from most recent to oldest, with notes about whether I've read the book or it is on my TBR shelf. Some I can't find links to because they are so out of print. You can bet I'd like to get my hands on those! 

  • 1957 Socialism and the Intellectuals (a Fabian Society pamphlet)

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