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Age and Guile Beat Youth, Innocence and a Bad Haircut: 25 Years of P. J. O'Rourke

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"No time left for pamphleting and leafleting, picketing and petitioning, talking and walking around. Time to TRASH THE STATE!" Abbie Hoffman? Huey Newton? No, it's P. J. O'Rourke, circa 1970. Now America's most provocative (and conservative) satirist - O'Rourke was at one time a raving pinko, with the scab on his bleeding heart to prove it. Through twenty-five years of his writing, Age and Guile Beat Youth, Innocence, and a Bad Haircut guides us on the journey that has taken O'Rourke from the lighthearted fun of the revolutionary barricades to ...
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Age and Guile Beat Youth, Innocence and a Bad Haircut: 25 Years of P. J. O'Rourke

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Overview

"No time left for pamphleting and leafleting, picketing and petitioning, talking and walking around. Time to TRASH THE STATE!" Abbie Hoffman? Huey Newton? No, it's P. J. O'Rourke, circa 1970. Now America's most provocative (and conservative) satirist - O'Rourke was at one time a raving pinko, with the scab on his bleeding heart to prove it. Through twenty-five years of his writing, Age and Guile Beat Youth, Innocence, and a Bad Haircut guides us on the journey that has taken O'Rourke from the lighthearted fun of the revolutionary barricades to the serious business of the nineteenth hole.

America's most provocative (and conservative) satirist was at one time a raving pinko, with the scab on his bleeding heart to prove it. Through 25 years of his writing, this collection traces O'Rourke's development, from a self-described "nightmare of the bourgeoisie" to the staunch conservative who threatens to aim his shotgun at any revival of the '60s.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Since most of O'Rourke's (All the Trouble in the World) books are collections, this retrospective is not so much a greatest-hits album as a variably entertaining grab bag of B-sides and other miscellany. There is giddy juvenilia he wrote for the 1970s underground press, including a hilarious hoax piece about Richard Nixon's trip to China. There are several arch tales about the 1960s that O'Rourke published in the National Lampoon, including an amusing attack on communism. His bumptiously ignorant persona serves him well as he explores high-end automobiles and such sports as fishing and golf for specialized magazines. O'Rourke's brief section on ``Current and Recurrent Events'' reminds us of his best political work; an even briefer selection of miscellany has some funnier stuff, including his uproarious dissection of a book tour. 150,000 first printing; author tour. (Sept.)
Library Journal
O'Rourke has three times achieved bestsellerdom with his satirical observations from the conservative perspective; here he collects 25 years of his writing, starting when he was, yes, a leftist-revolutionary wannabe. Then writing for the "underground" press, O'Rourke did the drugs-sex-and-rock-and-roll scene and survived to make fun of it today. Also included in the collection are pieces written for Rolling Stone and National Lampoon and a selection for Automobile and Car & Driver featuring some of the funniest (mostly) nonpolitical of his writing. Public library patrons, and even ex-hippies who appreciate political satire, will very much enjoy this. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/95.]-Pamela R. Daubenspeck, Warren-Trumbull Cty. P.L., Warren, Ohio
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786110834
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/1/1997
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Unabridged, 8 Cassettes

Meet the Author

P.J. O'Rourke writes regularly for Rolling Stone. He will soon be appearing every other week with Molly Ivins on CBS' 60 Minutes. His last book, All the Trouble in the World, was a bestseller in Canada and the United States.
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Read an Excerpt

Age and Guile Beat Youth, Innocence, and a Bad Haircut


By P. J. O'Rourke

Grove Atlantic, Inc.

Copyright © 1995 P.J. O'Rourke
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-87113-653-8


Chapter One

On the Virtues of Automobiles:

We're told cars are dangerous. It's safer to drive through South Central Los Angeles than to walk there. We're told cars are wasteful. Wasteful of what? Oil did a lot of good sitting in the ground for millions of years. We're told cars should be replaced with mass transportation. But it's hard to reach the drive-through window at McDonald's from a speeding train. And we're told cars cause pollution. A hundred years ago city streets were ankle deep in horse excrement. What kind of pollution do you want? Would you rather die of cancer at eighty or typhoid fever at nine?

On the Role of the Journalist:

You say we [reporters] are distracting from the business of government. Well I hope so. Distracting a politician from governing is like distracting a bear from eating your baby. Or like getting a dog to quit chewing on your wallet, anyway. But what do you want us to do? Come on, you're the customer. You tell us. Should we go back to Washington and write hundred-column-inch cerebrum snuffing, eyeball-fibrillating articles on health care reform? How about some NAFTA follow-ups? A nine-part series on the Republic of Kyrgyzstan? Or maybe we should come over to your house and investigate you.

On the Pleasures of Fly-Fishing:

Here's a guy standing in cold water up to his liver, throwing the world's most expensive clothesline at trees. A full two-thirds of his time is spent untangling stuff, which he could be doing in the comfort of his own home with old shoelaces, if he wanted. The whole business costs like sin and requires heavier clothing. Furthermore, it's conducted in the middle of blackfly season. Cast and swat. Cast and swat. Fly-fishing may be a sport invented by insects with fly fishermen as bait.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Age and Guile Beat Youth, Innocence, and a Bad Haircut by P. J. O'Rourke Copyright © 1995 by P.J. O'Rourke. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2006

    PJ Potpourri

    PJ O'Rourke may be best known for his work as a Rolling Stone Fareign Affairs Correspondent, and his sarcastic and smart articles have formed the basis of PJ's best books (see below). Age and Guile is a collection of some of PJ's other work, a sort of PJ potpourri, as noted above, except that this potpourri is not lavender-scented and will not be found in a flowery bowl on most grandmothers' end tables. This odds-and-ends collection is a treat for PJ fans, with a lot of gems mixed in with some, well, non-gems. The volume begins with old Underground Press articles (when the notedly conservative PJ was a *gasp* leftist hippie) and old short fiction (obviously inspired by the likes of Kesey and HST), none of which, unfortunately, is much fun to read, especially the unforgivably bland fiction which shows why PJ wisely choose to abandon that field. Things pick up a bit with sections from 1970s-era National Lampoon (not as funny as I had hoped) and Automotive Journalism (better than expected) in which PJ begins to hit his stride as a writer. Just like a good dinner, the best stuff is at the end, with bits on Sports (hunting and fishing and golf, not hoops and hardball), Current Events (PJ's specialty), and some odds and ends that includes 'Book Tour,' the funniest piece of PJ's I have ever read, in which PJ seemingly channels Dave Barry. This isn't the book to read to introduce yourself to PJ, but if you are a fan, you have to read it (although you have my permission to skip the early parts and get right to the entree and dessert if you like).

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2011

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