Grove Press
Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press

Thrown Under the Omnibus

A Reader

by P. J. O’Rourke

Ranging over five decades, Thrown Under the Omnibus is the definitive anthology of the work the writer the Wall Street Journal has called “the funniest writer in America.”

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 864
  • Publication Date November 08, 2016
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2567-5
  • Dimensions 6" x 9"
  • US List Price $20.00
  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Page Count 864
  • Publication Date November 03, 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2366-4
  • Dimensions 6" x 9"
  • US List Price $30.00

About The Book

P. J. O’Rourke has had a prolific career as one of America’s most celebrated humorists. But that career almost didn’t happen. As he tells it, “I began to write for pay in the spring of 1970. To tell the truth I didn’t even mean to be a writer, I meant to be a race car driver, but I didn’t have a race car.”

Fortunately for us, he had to settle for writing. From his early pieces for the National Lampoon (“How to Drive Fast on Drugs While Getting Your Wing-Wang Squeezed and Not Spill Your Drink”), through his classic reporting as Rolling Stone‘s International Affairs editor in the ’80s and ’90s (“Among the Euroweenies”), and his brilliant, inimitable political reporting and analysis (Parliament of Whores, Give War a Chance, Eat the Rich), P.J. has been entertaining and provoking readers with high-octane prose, a gonzo republican attitude, and a rare ability to make you laugh out loud while silently reading to yourself. Chris Buckley once described his work as “S.J. Perlman on acid,” and when Penguin first published its Dictionary of Modern Humorist Quotations, P.J. had more entries than any other living writer.

For the first time, Thrown Under the Omnibus brings together his funniest, most outrageous, most controversial, and most loved pieces in the definitive P.J. reader. Handpicked and introduced by the humorist himself, Thrown Under the Omnibus is the essential P. J. O’Rourke anthology—a must have for any of his fans.


“Whether you agree with him or not, P.J. writes a helluva piece.” —Richard Nixon

“P.J. O’Rourke is like S.J. Perelman on acid.” —Chris Buckley

“Shakespeare, Hemingway, they’re okay, I guess, but my next guest—he’s better . . . . [P. J. O’Rourke’s] latest book brings together his funniest, most outrageous, most controversial and most loved pieces . . . Please go buy this book. His writing really changed my life.” —Greg Gutfeld, Fox News

“Can you think of anyone else who had a heavier impact? Seriously? [P.J. O’Rourke] was really the first to inject-non-liberal hilarity into political discourse . . . But more important, he was able to yank conservatives out of the hands of the humorless and shrill, and make such writing accessible . . . He changed my life . . . If you don’t know him—you have your chance. Buy his new omnibus—an anthology of more good writing than you’d find in ten years of reading Proust.” —Greg Gutfeld, Breitbart News

“The world is short on laughs these days . . . Excellent timing, then, for the release of a thick collection of humorist P.J. O’Rourke’s work, culled from his sixteen books by the author himself . . . Mr. O’Rourke has had a full and illustrious career, including stints at National Lampoon, Car and Driver, and Rolling Stone. He occupies a rare place among the laughing class: He has somehow avoided the orifice obsession that captivates many of its members; he identifies as Republican; and he is no mere thumb-sucker, having visited more than forty countries to report on wars, regime changes, economic revolutions and the experience of drinking cocktails garnished with the poison sacs of cobras.” —Dave Shiflett, Wall Street Journal

“Outspoken conservatives have long been a minority in comedy, particularly in the mainstream media, which provided an opportunity for P.J. O’Rourke, who for decades cornered the market for prominent right-wing humorists . . . If his wry essays have a mission statement . . . it’s this: Starchy ­Republicanism is really, really fun.” —Jason Zinoman, New York Times Book Review

“This house brick-sized tome is the heftiest I’ve handled since somebody presented me with the collected golfing stories of PG Wodehouse many years ago . . . In its 844 pages are his most-requested pieces, which have previously appeared in best sellers like Holidays In Hell, Republican Party Reptile, Parliament Of Whores, and Give War A Chance . . . He was the only member of Woodstock Nation smart enough to brand himself as a conservative . . . You probably won’t read this kind of thing in the future . . . the big humorous essay or sprawling color piece has atomized into countless memes, GIFs and 140-character asides . . . O’Rourke’s career omnibus is best enjoyed from the depths of a button back chair with a glass of something golden at your side. Since the book is impossible to lift, the chair should be a stout one.” —Independent (UK)


“Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”

“If you say a modern celebrity is an adulterer, a pervert, and a drug addict, all it means is that you’ve read his autobiography.”

“It is a popular delusion that the government wastes vast amounts of money through inefficiency and sloth. Enormous effort and elaborate planning are required to waste this much money.”

“You know your children are growing up when they stop asking you where they came from and refuse to tell you where they’re going.”

“When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.”

“It’s better to spend money like there’s no tomorrow than to spend tonight like there’s no money.”

“Wherever there’s injustice, oppression, and suffering, America will show up six months late and bomb the country next to where it’s happening.”

“The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work and then they get elected and prove it.”