Devil's Dictionary

  • by Ambrose Bierce
  • Narrated by Deaver Brown
  • 1 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A unique witty, sardonic, ironic, and insightful dictionary of terms. American humor, stem to stern. Best heard rather than read due to the sharp incisive wit. A must read in American Literature and Cultural History. Widely anthologized and used as a basis for stories such as one of the most popular Twilight zone episodes.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

False advertisement: excerpts only

I love Ambrose Bierce and his works. Having my own physical copy of The Devil's Dictionary, I've enjoyed the book in the past and looked forward to listening to it.

Then I heard this: "From the editor: the words not appropriate to today's world have been eliminated to keep this work short, crisp, and concise. We are sure that if Ambrose Bierce reappeared, he would have recommended the same."

What is this bullshit? The book is advertised as being unabridged. Then, right in front of God and a microphone, Simply admits that the book is an abridged version, sections being eliminated 'for relevance'. This is, Simply, false advertisement. Moreover, I disagree with your belief that Bierce would have recommended anything of the sort.

456 of the 995 words have been left out. The remaining definitions were shortened, and many explanations were dropped. Often, these changes not only affect the intended definition, but the feel of the text itself. For example, the definition of 'beggar' is included, but the definition of 'beg' is not. This fundamentally changes the meaning of 'beggar' as Bierce wrote it. At one point, the definition of one word (lunarian) is given for another (luminary).

Deaver Brown's reading was poor. He occasionally mispronounces words(unless they were deliberately changed for the reading), and sometimes stutters through other words. The reading itself was unedited, leaving background noises such as birdsong and keystrokes obvious in the background. This shows a lack of professionalism.

The defacement ends with an afterword including: "We did edit the work slightly to take out some of the longer poems and explanations he had. And we think if he were to write it again today, with emphasis on brevity in today's media, he would have done similar things to his own work." They then point out that Bierce "hated fraudulent presentation", condemning themselves.

One definition they did leave in applies very well to their presentation: un-american. Which, in this dictionary, is defined as "Wicked, intolerable, heathenish".

I will never purchase another book published by Simply.
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- WizeManBOB

Not narrated well by reader

What didn’t you like about Deaver Brown’s performance?

He mispronounced some words, and in general read too fast. Needed more of a pause between words to let the joke sink in.


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- Amanda

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-02-2012
  • Publisher: Simply Media