National Lampoon's Big Book of Love
Scott Rubin et al, eds.
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Buy *National Lampoon's Big Book of Love* online

National Lampoon's Big Book of Love

Scott Rubin, Sean Crespo & Mason Brown, eds.
Rugged Land
288 pages
February 2004
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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If you, like me, grew up in the 70’s and lived for each new edition of National Lampoon magazine to hit your local newstand, then this book is for you. Especially if like me, you sold your entire collection of National Lampoons at a garage sale in a misguided attempt at decluttering your space.

Oh, the years I have looked back in fond remembrance of the irreverent, politically incorrect and scathingly anti-feminist with a tear in my eye. Imagine my surprise when this book landed in my mailbox and, as if by some cosmic sign, it fell open to my favorite article, “My Penis” by Karen Wheatley as told to John Hughes. Providence. Divine Grace. Rapture? How can I describe the recapturing of my teen years? The most confusing and angst-filled decade of my life and National Lampoon

But enough about me.

National Lampoon’s Big Book of Love is an anthology of the crème de la crème of its best articles, graphics, and comics. In 208 pages, the book explores all the aspects of love and sex (heck, especially sex, which may explain why I loved it back in the day). It is a witty, sarcastic, bawdy collection of art and articles that ranges from razor-sharp intellectual parodies to low-brow yuks – think Dumb & Dumber on E at Hedonism. There is no plot, no character development (save for the reader’s own) or flow to the book. The first thing that you’ll see when you open this delight is a helpful photo guide entitled “Are you a Man-Whore? and “Are you a Skank?” Followed by a table of contents with these headings: Tools of Love, Quest for Love, Look of Love, and Literature of Love. All sections include vintage P.J. O’Rourke, Doug Kenney, Ted Mann, and the infamous Foto Funnies.

True, “there is no there, there,” but thirty years later it still makes me smile, guffaw and snort (not to the point of squirting milk out my nose). The writing is still sharp and hits the mark more often than it misses. I suppose a sociologist would say I like the book because it is a personal and cultural time capsule. A psychologist would say it’s because I have a sick sense of humour and I never grew up and therapy obviously didn’t work. Read the book, have a laugh, what more could you possibly want? This is a four-star hoot!

© 2004 by Laura M. Miller for Curled Up With a Good Book

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