When we announced a few months ago that P.J O’Rourke would keynote the 2016 ISFLC, we mentioned a few of his wildly popular books, including Eat the Rich and Give War a Chance. Now, as the conference quickly approaches, we’re excited to share that Mr. O’Rourke has just released another book – a collection of his greatest (and funniest) work!
Looking back on five decades as a journalist and humorist, Thrown Under the Omnibus offers an anthology of O’Rourke’s best stories hand-picked by the man himself. From laugh-out-loud satirical essays to bitingly insightful political analysis, this book has it all. In the introduction, P.J. looks back on this body of work and notes that, “I start out making fun of a second-rate American president and wind up making fun of a second-rate American president.” The more things change, the more they stay the same – O’Rourke’s brilliance is no exception.
In fact, what’s most amazing about this thick anthology is how well it displays O’Rourke’s commitment to his “pants-down Republican” style. While the rest of the writing world was doing up a few of their shirt buttons, P.J. was unafraid to keep telling it like he saw it, in striking detail and artful prose. It’s an approach the Wall Street Journal has dubbed “Laughing in the Face of Despair.” Reviewer Dave Shiflett relates this exemplary anecdote:
Of greater delight are his takedowns of the smug drones who insist they know The True Way. In 1982, Mr. O’Rourke infiltrated an entire boatload of such people who were engaged in the heroic work of taking a “peace” cruise down the Volga River. Our correspondent was truly a fish out of water. Among other things he considered socialism “a violation of the American principle that you shouldn’t stick your nose in other people’s business except to make a buck.” His fellow travelers, on the other hand, were fans of the Soviet state, then under the enlightened leadership of longtime KGB thug Yuri Andropov.Yet Mr. O’Rourke, exercising profound investigative skill, spotted the chink in their ideological armor. These “were people who believed everything about the Soviet Union was perfect, but they were bringing their own toilet paper.” Small details reveal large truths.
This ability to cut through the bullshit and to reveal truth through humor are sorely needed in today’s world, especially among young people who every day sound more and more like the sorely misguided “peace cruisers.”
We’re more than thrilled to have such an insightful mind on the main stage at ISFLC! If you haven’t yet, make sure to register before prices go up at the end of the month, and pick up a copy of Thrown Under the Omnibus today for a taste of what’s to come!