Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Big Book of Irony

The Big Book of Irony
By Jon Winokur
St. Martin's Press, 2007. 174 pgs. Nonfiction

With this fun, quick, and witty book, Jon Winokur has added a new volume to the annals of irony. The book is overflowing with clever quotes, jokes, and anecdotes all of which are examples of irony. This is the kind of book that can be enjoyed reading cover to cover, or just as random snippets. There's a lot of great stuff here, including a Catholic Cardinal surnamed Sin, the "Marlboro Man" who died of lung cancer, the B-36 Peacemaker nuclear bomber, and censorship of Ray Bradbury's book Fahrenheit 451. Under the heading of "Irony Deficiency," the author indicates that "Utah will never, ever be ironic."

Although thoroughly entertaining, I'd hoped to come away with a better grasp on irony, but even after all the examples & explanations, comparisons & contrasts, irony remains every so slippery of a concept. Maybe it's because I live in Utah.


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