|Our Dumb World
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OUR DUMB WORLD is the world's most comprehensive fake atlas: a repository of all known information about the planet Earth (except where covered by clouds).
In late 2007 the hardcover edition became one of the hottest books of the holiday season, entertaining and offending hundreds of thousands of readers around the globe. This new, easy-to-carry paperback edition is perfect for the intrepid traveler to any of the world's exotic locales--from Afghanistan, "Allah's Cat Box," to Ukraine, "the Bridebasket of Europe," to the USA's own Nevada, "Where Everyone's a Loser."
Packed with beautiful full-color maps and framed with inaccurate essays about all the world's peoples and places, OUR DUMB WORLD is a gut-busting send-up in which no nation escapes unscathed.
"Bottom line: laughed my head off." --Deirdre Donahue, USA Today
- Snarky, cynical humor for everyone, fun for the whole family!
Our Dumb World: The Onion's Atlas of the Planet Earth, 73rd Edition
This book could be labeled " the best of the onion", it is cynical, irreverent, sacreligious and outrageous. It takes geo-politics to a whole new hilarious level. A must have for anyone with a sense of humor....more info
- rough but good
Excellent work, so much truly "to the point" nonsense, it makes my head spin...
Some of the humor is very rough, it should have some kind of warning ("not for sissies" or something like that)....more info
- Waste of $$$
The writing is juvenile, pedestrian, and even mean. The writers try too hard to be funny. It is a stupid concept. I can't believe it got by a reputable editor. Don't waste your money unless you get it for a dime at a garbage, oop, garage, sale....more info
- The Onion wins over a new fan
Our Dumb World: The Onion's Atlas of the Planet Earth, 73rd Edition
In this year's Christmas grab I included a copy of the latest Onion book for my brother, not knowing he was unfamiliar with this favorite source of satire in our house. What a huge hit! He sat reading passages and laughing for the rest of the evening. If you know someone who enjoys politics, history or geography consider this book for their next gift. ...more info
- Stress-Busting Laughs for the Literate
In these time of global economic crisis, there aren't too many people out there who wouldn't benefit from some laughter. If you like your laughs delivered via the written word instead of the television, this book is for you.
The Onion's atlas of the world delivers laughs for anyone willing to read it. The essays are offensive and xenophobic; it's as if the stereotypical Ugly American wrote the summaries of each locale. This book does need to be read in small doses, because an overload of the material is possible. If you buy a rich cheesecake it's best eaten in small doses. You'll still get lots of enjoyment but the joy will be spread out over a longer period of time.
Recommended, and quite highly!...more info
- Amusing Geographic Skewering Could Use a Greater Distribution of Poison-Penned Stereotyping
If it wasn't for the title - granted a big "if" - you would swear this was one of those glossy DK Eyewitness Travel guides which stake their claim on elegant graphics that blend key facts, historical timelines, topographical maps and robust color photos. However, a flip to any page will expose the prevalent cutting humor - familiar to fans of the satirical faux-newspaper - that leaves the reader either offended or in stitches. I have to admit I am mostly in the latter camp since it soon becomes clear that no one remains completely unscathed is this parody of the paperback desk atlas, a literary species that has miraculously survived the Web since one can surmise that the globe in all its complexity is too enormous to present on one screen. There are definitely more hits than misses here, but the misses do swing wide.
Look at the section Mexico, for example, which starts with the subheading, "Now Hiring 2.4 Million Busboys" and presents a photo comparison between the work done by ancient Mayans (The El Castillo pyramid at Chichen Itza) and that done by modern Mayans (a pile of dirty dishes shaped like a pyramid). In explaining the language, the editors assert "Mexicans speak Spanish as quickly as possible just to get it over with" and record that in 1953 that the U.S. decided to export San Diego back to Mexico. The Vatican City is described as "The Catholic Disneyland", while Brazil's iconic image of Christ the Redeemer has been photo-shopped into Christ the Avenger with automatic weapons extending from each hand. The Caribbean is lumped together as "The Seriously Who Cares Islands", and our cumulative indifference to Darfur makes the sarcastic description of Sudan rather apt - "All Better Thanks to You".
Not all their targeted zingers work well. Describing Uganda as "No Child Left Alive", the editors claim the country has the world's largest standing child army and that they are willing to be killed for their country if someone can help them tie their shoes. That's pretty harsh no matter how cynical one could get about the absurdist machinations in the third world. In contrast, some countries appear exempt from serious-minded skewering such as Australia which the editors describe as one giant nature cable TV show. The book could have been tightened up for such lapses to provide a more even hand in cultural stereotyping. Regardless, the editors made no country safe from the barrage of acerbic comments including ours. A good example is Florida, which is dubbed the "The Silent Holocaust". Some of the funnier comments show up upfront where one world map is subdivided into Bono Awareness, meaning each country is graded on how much U2 singer Bono cares about it within his personal agenda. This is funny stuff, although not consistently so and probably best absorbed in small doses. The cynicism can get overwhelming....more info
- Gut buster
Sure, not every line in the book is funny. But sometimes you are reading along and read something you just aren't expecting. So, expect to bust a gut at random times....more info
- A comic tour de force
"Our Dumb World" is amazing -- it is one of the most consistently funny books I've ever read. It has more content than it seems, and takes quite a while to read, which I consider a plus. It keeps a sustained level of humor that shouldn't be surprising to any fan of The Onion.
Also, and I hate to admit this, but I learned quite a bit of geography from this "atlas." A definite must-read!...more info
- Very Disappointing
While the "The Onion" fake news videos have gotten very funny, this book is a step back to the worst aspects of the publication. Biggest problem is that it simply isn't that funny.
It follows the formula of having some single adolescent take on a country ("it's so steep in Nepal, people keep falling down the side of a mountain whenever they go anywhere") and beating it into the ground.
What's worse, instead of social commentary, you get a sense of a very narrow, small-minded worldview peaking through, which is just kind of ugly....more info
- It must have been fun writing this, but not so much reading it!
This book sounded like so much fun in a radio review, but it is kind of like listening in on pre-teen boys telling jokes. Funny for a couple of minutes, but pretty boring after the first few....more info
- Great World Atlas
This book has all the ingredients needed to be nursed back to a healthy demeanor or to boost your immune system. Laughter makes you get better and better, Humor is the answer to many ailments.
Looking at the whole world with humor is even better.
Great buy!...more info
- Great pick and drop literature
I loved this book! Its a great Christmas or Birthday gift for those who appreciate off-beat humor, especially the nerdy kind. I have it in the reading rack permanently and anytime I have a few minutes I pick it up and read a few pages. Awesomely funny!...more info
I gave this book to my wife for a Christmas present and she loves it. I find myself reading the book as much as she does. Very enjoyable and funny....more info
- If you are easily offended, skip this one!
This is one funny book in the most EXTREMELY politically incorrect way. I bought four copies and gave them away as gifts: a bold yet foolish move. Three copies brought rave reviews as well as promises to keep them away from the children. I found myself apologizing twice, at least, to the recipient of the fourth copy.
Not a book for the kiddies....more info
I ordered this book as a gift and received it promptly and in brand new conditon....more info
- Onion Dumb World
My son asked for this book, so I bought it without knowing anything about it. But it arrived in plenty of time for Christmas, in excellent shape, and he loves it. ...more info
This is a book of stereotypes. Stereotypes regarding different states of the USA and stereotypes about foreign nations included. Very very funny -I highly recommend. ...more info
This book is offensive. It is funny in some areas, but just not funny in lots of others. If you like Onion humor, you might like this, but on the other hand I have never thought writing on the Onion was written to make fun of people who can't defend themselves (kicking them when they are down kind of thing). Buyer be warned....more info
- Funny AND educational
This paperback edition of the 2007 hardcover version of Our Dumb World contains "30% More Asia"! If only high school geography was this sarcastic and realistic, maybe Americans would know exactly where the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, or Jordan are, but as it is, geography is so dull that Our Dumb World brings a breath of fresh air and levity to our world. Laid out like a regular Atlas, you see the land mass, flag, facts and major contemporary details about each country.
Taking after their irreverent humor that their weekly newspaper elicits, with headlines that could read: "Florida fallen off Continental Shelf, orange juice production low, adult diapers high," this Atlas pokes jabs at every major country as you guffaw your way around the globe. Even the most uptight, humorless individual would read these pages and laugh. Everyone has heard of Palestine, but has it been thought of in the context of, "On 24-Hour Suicide-Bombing Watch"? Or Yemen & Oman, "Doing Terrorism's Grunt Work." These are all headliners that sum up a specific land mass pretty adequately with that snide Onion `we know you love reading us because we're such good writers of cynicism.' This book delivers a good belly laugh and perhaps even some education thrown in for good measure.
Armchair Interviews says: Beautiful layout, well written, and funny. A must have for your high school student; then you can borrow it....more info
- Educational for the Whole Family
As much fun for the 15 year old as the 53 year old.
As clever as the weekly paper, informative? and insightful.
Put it next to the other atlas and confuse friends.
Beautiful illustrations, detailed maps and images.
Be careful not to use it for school projects, Junior might not get the grade he needs!...more info
- Not very funny
This book was just not funny. I think a bunch of seventh graders could have written most of the entries. I wish had not purchased this book....more info
- A new look at the world
The writers at the Onion have hit a home run.
This is a look at georaphy as you have never seen it before.
I couldn't stop laughing!...more info
- Hilariously Funny
Reviewed by Kam Aures for RebeccasReads (1/08)
"Our Dumb World" is The Onion's "Atlas of the Planet Earth" and definitely will not disappoint! Anyone who is familiar with and appreciates the humor of The Onion will enjoy reading this book! I am sure that to some people the way that some of the events and people are made light of in this publication may seem insensitive and cruel but that is the type of humor that The Onion uses. If you easily offended or sensitive to things like that then this is not the book for you. You will not find any political-correctness in this book!
"Our Dumb World" starts out with a "How to Use This Atlas" section which is as funny as the book itself! My favorite part of this introduction is "A Note to Barnes & Noble Browsers" which begins with "What do you think you're doing? Seriously, what does this look like to you? Some kind of library? Did you really think that you could just come in here and spend the afternoon reading the book for free? The line to pay is over that way, buddy. What's that? Just trying to decide whether or not you want to buy the book? You don't think we're really that stupid, do you?" (p. 004) The humor takes off from there and holds strong throughout the rest of the book that focuses on every region of the world.
The remaining part of the book is divided into seven sections: North America, South America, Africa, The Middle East, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. Although I enjoyed the book in its entirety, I would have to say that my favorite part was the section on North America just because obviously from living here I have more familiarity with the area and the things that were being poked fun at. From the history timeline informing us that in 1980 "A Plague of Pac-Man Fever ravages the U.S. Treasury's quarters supply" (p.12) to the individual features making fun of different aspects and occurrences in each state this section will absolutely have you laughing out loud! I haven't read a book this funny in some time!
- Brilliant satire
The more you know about the world the funnier this book is. It spoofs cliches, ignorance and the world at large. Clever, funny and very entertaining....more info
- Try "Our Dumb Century" instead
I usually laughed every couple of pages while reading "Our Dumb World"--but with 25 or so jokes per page, that's not a great batting average. How many funny jokes are there to make about the awful lives of Africans? The repetitive nature of the gags quickly becomes monotonous.
I would recommend the Onion's "Our Dumb Century" instead. Much funnier, and a much wider range of satiric targets....more info
- Quirky, offensive, and humorous; Just what I was looking for!
I've been reading the online version of The Onion for quite some time, and I've always found their headlines and stories to be some of the funniest I've seen on any website. When I saw the advertisement for the atlas, I couldn't resist buying one as a gift for my brother (who enjoys such books). After I recieved it I perused its pages to see what kind of product they had made, and I was happy. For every country, there are numerous off the wall anecdotes and hilarious "facts and figures" which fit their relative countries perfectly. The material might be offensive to some, but it is no worse than The Onion newspaper itself. If you enjoy satire or political/international humor (such as Steven Colbert's book "I Am America (and so can you!)" or the history "textbook" written by Jon Stewart), then this atlas is definately for you or for use as a gift! The only reason I didn't give it five stars is due to a rather limited amound of full-sentence text to read; usually you get a small paragraph per country and then the rest are mainly bullet points or locations on maps, etc....more info
- Great gift for the well traveled person with a sense of humor
I bought this as a Christmas gift for my Scottish boyfriend, he is still quoting lines from it and can't stop laughing. I am the child of immigrants myself, so I see the grain of truth in the country profiles. Very, very funny....more info
- The AUDIO BOOK
The audio book contains selected entires from the atlas including several U.S. States, European nations, Asian governments, African territories, South American banana republics, Middle Eastern war zones, and even a few islands that haven't been completely destroyed by Tsunamis yet.
The voices of this audio book are as follows:
Main Reader, a very serious sounding man. He can make you realize how boring places such as Suriname are, or totally multiply the comedy of vulgar places like New Jersey.
Fact Woman, titles and timelines are read as if by an airport PA. Generally not as complementary to the material as Serious Man.
Distinguished Expert, an imitation of a sour old codger reads various sub-articles. Very tiresome and forced. The only reason for the reduced rating.
Some of the more bizarre entires like North Korea and Nicaragua are included. There are definitely a few outrageous surprises and Audio-specific gags in this edition, I recommend it if you can't get enough of the book....more info
- Funny but raunchy
Parts of this book are hilarious but there are also raunchy parts. I have a friend who bought this for her grandchildren but took it back when she noticed things like "Best place for anal sex" in Hungary. Some of the cultural nuances escape me but many are laugh-out-loud funny....more info
If only high-school geography had been this funny! I bought this book as a gift for my brother and had to peek inside and couldn't put it down from laughing so hard! I may have to order another copy for my brother...Good thing his birthday is still over a month away!...more info
- Da da da Dumb
You'll laugh your Assyrian Botswana off. Have a magnifying glass handy, though, as the tiny print is hard to read. ...more info
- This Onion Brings Smiles Not Tears
Although the title seems unorthodox, it's certainly eye catching and then backs up your curiousity with a fresh and truthful approach to identifying countries around the world. It is not the old style Atlas approach of Gross National Products and scenic wonders, it goes right for the cultural throat. The smile it brought to my face was not because of the content, it was because of the honesty of the content. I researched some of the work and found it highly credible. If you're not interested in the reality of what these countries truly represent, don't read this. If you don't want your awareness of the world around you to be more accurate, don't read this. If you don't want a book that's easy to put down in a few minuets, read this....more info
- Alas of the Planet
I enjoyed this book. All though it can be very morbid on occassion, it is usually true....more info
- The GREATEST book ever written
Occasionally, a book comes along of such great importance that to not buy it--even if it means letting your kids go hungry for a couple nights--would be a crime. In fact, it should be a crime, and I advise you to write your local legislator. Such a book is Our Dumb World, the Atlas of the Planet Earth from the Onion.
The seventy-third edition of this magnum opus offers an even more profound look at the world we live in than any of the previous seventy-two. Some of the new features are mentioned on the cover, including curvier latitude lines and 30% more Asia. And unlike lesser atlases, Our Dumb World includes all the continents, even the ones you'd rather not think about.
The featured maps for each nation are worthy of the Cartography Hall of Fame, should such a Hall of Fame exist. Even obscure countries like France have detailed maps which point out the locations of important sites and regions like the Institute for Pretentious Mustards and the sole acre of France that has never been surrendered to a foreign power.
Of course, a great atlas--and this is the greatest of them all--is more than just maps. There is history: did you know that in 1200, Japan invented karate to defend against invading stacks of wooden boards, or in 1968, it formed a tentative peace treaty with Mothra? There are cultural facts: for example, Ecuador has a Gross Domestic Product of $5.62 and tried to privatize the equator.
I would not recommend this book for children, as its intense brilliance may cause their small brains to explode. For everyone else, however, it is imperative that you buy this book (or it will be once we get that law passed). Sadly, Amazon's rating system restricts the number of stars you can give a book to five, which may be fine for minor writers like Shakespeare or Steinbeck, but inadequate for this book, which merits 1,356,298 stars. ...more info
- Very Funny Yet Painfully True
Anyone familiar with publications from The Onion knows the type of satirical intelligent humor that has made them famous. This book is no exception. Their comments on the different nations of the world are often hilarious, however it's almost a little sad when you read a lot of the stuff because you know it's true. Either way, The Onion continues to make me cry with laughter at everyone else's expense!...more info