CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Nancy McPhee.

Toronto, Van Nostrand Reinhoid, c1981.
132pp, cloth, $7.95.
ISBN 0-442-29668-1.

Grades 9 and up.
Reviewed by Jean Farquharson.

Volume 10 Number 4.
1982 November.

For those who enjoyed her first book, The Book of Insults, Ancient and Modern,* Nancy McPhee has brought out a second volume. She is a writer, researcher, and broadcaster whose own vast experience in research has led her to enjoy collecting samples of malicious wit. This time, she has organized it under four chapters involving jibes at enemies, verbal abuse in letters, four masters of invective, and impudent epitaphs.

This is a prize for those who love to use words skilfully as manipulative tools of wit and wisdom. It would be useful to an English teacher who wants to teach students writing or speaking with originality, style, and sparkling wit. It would demonstrate how to raise themselves from the common four-letter insults of today. It would also serve as a reference to public speakers on the shelf beside their books of quotations.

The excellent illustrations add to the book's attractiveness and complement the text. As in the first book, there is an index of subjects and authors.

*Reviewed vol. VII/2 Spring 1979 p.73.

Jean Farquharson, Brant ford C. V. I., Brantford, ON.
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