The Devil's Dictionary

The Devil's Dictionary

4.11 (8,192 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
By (author)  , Illustrated by 

List price: US$13.10

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


A word book, straight up, with a twist The Devil's Dictionary is an American classic. A Yankee Oscar Wilde with a wicked edge to his tongue, gained from seeing the world early and cynically as it really was, Ambrose Bierce, friend and rival of Mark Twain, was one of America's first great writers and journalists. His razor-sharp wit and underlying rage against hypocrisy is perfectly complemented by Ralph Steadman's equally incisive pen and ink illustrations. Adore, v..t. To venerate expectantly. Bride, n. A woman with a great future behind her Corporation, n. An ingenious device for securing individual profit without individual responsibility. Debauchee, n. One who has so earnestly pursued pleasure that he has had the misfortune to overtake it.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 192 pages
  • 124 x 186 x 40mm | 480.81g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0747569673
  • 9780747569671

Review quote

Ambrose Bierce was an iconoclastic literary genius and this compilation of definitions (written for a satirical magazine during the 1880s) is a true American classic. Some may find Bierce sexist, nationalist and racist, but most readers will enjoy his malevolent scepticism and underlying rage against hypocrisy. Ralph Steadman's incisive illustrations perfectly complement the text. A typical example: Gold n. A yellow metal greatly prized for its convenience in the various kinds of robbery known as trade. The word was formerly spelled 'God' - the 'l' was inserted to distinguish it from the name of another inferior deity. Only two years after the book was published in 1911, Bierce disappeared after setting off for Mexico to join Pancho Villa's rebels against the corrupt dictatorial regime of Porfirio Diaz. His legacy is memorable.
show more

About Ambrose Bierce

A veteran of the American Civil War who fought at Shiloh and Chickamauga in the Union ranks, Bierce became one of America's best-known writers and journalists, admired for his insolent, entertaining and sometimes courageous columns. In 1913 he set off for Mexico, then in the throes of revolution, and was never seen again. Ralph Steadman is the author of many illustrated books including Sigmund Freud, I Leonardo, The Big I Am, The Scar-Strangled Banner, Alice and Animal Farm. His most recent publication is the novel, Doodaaa.
show more

Rating details

8,192 ratings
4.11 out of 5 stars
5 41% (3,321)
4 37% (3,028)
3 18% (1,454)
2 3% (282)
1 1% (107)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X