The Snark Handbook: Insult Edition: Comebacks, Taunts, and Effronteries by Lawrence Dorfman is not a novel that can be reviewed for its content. That would be like trying to review a dictionary or the phonebook. What is interesting is to see where these snappy comments come from. In this work a reader will find commentary from Dorothy Parker, Groucho Marx, H. L. Mencken, Oscar Wilde, Robert Benchley, George Bernard Shaw, Jules Feiffer, Bill Hicks, Bill Maher, Phyllis Diller, Édith Piaf, W. C. Fields, Mark Twain, Voltaire, and Charles Bukowski to name a few. It sells for USD 1.99 and can be read for free on Kindle Unlimited. It might be a good idea to buy the book if you want to keep it as a handy reference before going out to a party where you know there will be plenty of Snark. If you read it for free through Kindle Unlimited, you will either have to return it sometime or keep the book forever in your TBR list of ten allowed borrows.
A look at the Table of Contents should entice lovers of sarcasm and put downs. Literature: Once again, you show all the sensitivity of a blunt axe. —J.K. ROWLING (Kindle location 124). Smarts (Or Lack Thereof): He’s so stupid he got hit by a parked car. (Kindle location 485). Music, Drama, and Visual Art: I didn’t like the play, but I saw it under adverse conditions—the curtain was up. —GEORGE S. KAUFMAN (Kindle location 530). Movies, Television, and Actors: I’ve got a good mind to go out and join a club and beat you over the head with it. —GROUCHO MARX (Kindle location 739). Beauty (Or Lack Thereof): I always say that the best years of a woman’s life are the ten years between thirty and thirty-one. (Kindle location 950). Politics and Current Events: I won’t insult your intelligence by suggesting that you really believe what you just said. —WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY (Kindle location 978). Sports: My luck is so bad that if I bought a cemetery, people would stop dying. —ED FURGOL (Kindle location 1208). Charisma Or Lack Thereof: You’re not yourself today. I noticed the improvement immediately. (Kindle location 1367). Work: How do I set a laser printer to stun? (Kindle location 1422). Love and Hate: Use a condom. The world doesn’t need another you. —CARROLL BRYANT (Kindle location 1642). Body Or Lack Thereof: Hey, you have something on your chin … the third one down. (Kindle location 1793). Finally, there is Life and Death: His mind is open … so open that ideas simply pass through it. —F. H. BRADLEY (Kindle location 1845).
Readers will note that some of the sayings are attributed, others have come into general use and their origins are uncertain. The number of witticisms thought to have come from Winston Churchill is amazing. A great many are true; a number of others have been distorted to better support the reporter. Dorfman adds commentary throughout the work, not only with his introduction and conclusion but in assorted places for each chapter. He contributes to the book with his observations; he has not merely gathered and ejected a mass of sayings from his collective inbox.
Although entertained, I gave the book only three Amazon stars because I did not like the formatting with different size fonts, occasional bolds, bullet points, and other devices which I am sure the author considered as he tried to make clear divisions of categories. I found it too distracting and prefer to read books with uniform formatting throughout.