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Summary

A variety of work from one of the most quotable of all 20th-century authors - the inimitable Dorothy Parker

Author, poet, screenwriter, and outstanding member of the legendary Algonquin Round Table, Dorothy Parker was known for her quick wit, keen observations, and remarkable insight into the human condition. Regarded as brilliant, but known to be an alcoholic and often depressed, Parker’s work pushes all buttons at once: humor, anger, love, pity, and everything in between...she pulled no punches, writing with pure, unadulterated passion; her work is timeless and as pertinent to today’s society as it was to that of the time she wrote.

Among the gems included in this collection are her first published short story, "Such a Pretty Little Picture" and her O. Henry Award winner "Big Blonde", several other short stories, and, unlike other audio collections, some of her work, including her 1918 New Yorker piece on Tolstoy’s play Redemption and a 1927 Vanity Fair review of Emily Post’s Etiquette.

©2004 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (P)2004 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about The Dorothy Parker Audio Collection

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    1 out of 5 stars

Not for me

I just didn't get onboard with Dorothy Parker's style at all - I know she's iconic but I couldn't follow anything!

3 people found this helpful

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  • RueRue
  • 17-04-19

These are wonderful

I think Dorothy Parker's writing is such that you either love it ( me) or don't enjoy it ( some other reviewers). I really enjoyed these varied stories, many of them written in a stream-of-consciousness style. These are character studies and social observations, so if PLOT is important to your enjoyment of a story, these will not appeal. I enjoyed all of the narrators ( although Shirley Booth, who reads the final 3 stories, is a bit over-the-top for my taste ). Best of the narrators is Christine Baranski.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Lori S.
  • 17-07-20

Superbly witty writing and fabulous acting...

...if somewhat lachrymose. These tragi-comic stories do a wonderful job of putting you smack-dab in the middle of the time period, which was not a great time to be alive for the women in these stories. Picture a Jane Austen comedy of manners set in dissolute Depression-era New York where nobody gets married at the end. (This is not a spoiler--she's Dorothy Parker! The most solid relationships depicted here are with depression and alcohol.) It's a treat if you enjoy excellent writing and Parker's brand of poking fun at society with a very sharp quill.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Bubikon
  • 26-05-19

Sadly, a Disappointment

Sadly, these stories and reviews do not stand the test of time. Dorothy Parker was one of the great wits of America’s Twentieth Century. She was the woman who said, “Brevity is the soul of lingerie" and "I require three things in a man. He must be handsome, ruthless, and stupid." When asked to use the word horticulture in a sentence she said, "You can lead a whore to culture, but you can't make her think." How can you not love her? Here we have a series of short stories about mostly women who do not work, have maids and servants and are not happy. While that may have sparked humor during the depression or into the Truman Administration, it is now dull, uninteresting and, worst of all, not funny. The one bright spot was her review of plays she did not like including George Bernard Shaw’s “Getting Married.” Her disdain for the writing and her behavior at the theaters is wonderful, albeit very short and only a few pages in this otherwise disappointing book. I look forward to reading more of her columns as opposed to her seemingly endless short stories where only one side of a two-person conversation is commonly written. A woman dancing with a person she does not like, a woman unsuccessfully trying to commit suicide in a meaningless marriage, a man who doesn’t like his wife or his daughter considering leaving, and on and on. The use of hard liquor by virtually everyone is a common theme, but one wonders what, if anything, it adds to these stories.

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  • Cheryl
  • 06-05-20

loved it!

A THOROUGHLY entertaining listen! I could listen to it over and over again! Parker was a wonderful storyteller.

1 person found this helpful

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  • EGoodman
  • 19-04-19

Great Stories and Great Narrators!

I really enjoyed this book. The short stories and reviews were smart and humorous. I thought all the narrator's did a great job but particularly loved Shirley Booth's acting on the last few stories. I recommend anyone that enjoys intelligent humor and great narration to check this out.

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  • Julia C Land
  • 07-06-19

enjoyed the performance very theatrical

well done by excellent actors, I'm not a New Yorker or have much interest in the NY scene but the performance was so lively I was very engaged, until the last story which although well done was the most pathetic example of womanhood. which I guess was the point. I wish I could borrow a quote from the critic chapter, that guy hated everything and so witty too. I just hate women being pathetic. without the poor woman waiting for the phone to ring it would have been 5 stars all the way.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 21-05-19

Dated

Well, it sure seemed like 98 % all about men & dating. Couple of funny ones, but, ugh. Was hoping for something about writing, other writers, travel, even food would have been more interesting ! Something other then "Love gained or lost"!

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  • JHague
  • 14-05-19

Snitty but interesting --- mostly

Dorothy Parker has a witty voice attuned to nasty characters. This particular compilation has short vignettes, all of which were previously printed in newspapers or magazines, I assume. she is always funny and biting. she is not always gratifying.