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Dispatches from the Tenth Circle:
Dave Eggers, Matt Groening, Ken Burns, and Conan O'Brien agree: The Onion, that scrappy mag ruthlessly satirizing madcap modern life and earnest newspaper journalism, is funnier than reality. Dispatches from the Tenth Circle: The Best of the Onion carries on the proud, shameless tradition of Our Dumb Century, which won the 1999 Thurber Prize for American Humor. If a real, dumb newspaper wrote a feature story about hell, you bet its headline would be the boosterish one imagined by the maniacs at the Onion: "Tenth Circle Added to Rapidly Growing Hell." When one reads in this book the headline "Arabs, Israelis Sign 'Screw Peace' Accord," one wonders whether The Onion has not, alas, anticipated the news. Their style of yuks is not for softies: the headline "Loved Ones Recall Local Man's Cowardly Battle with Cancer" may not strike the funny bone of the recently bereaved, but it's a dead-on parody of the sort of sentimental slop that cops major journalism awards in our dumb news era. If you can laugh at the preposterous world around you, and muster the courage to tear down without building up, this book is for you. [via]