Book Review: Arcade of Cruelty

Arcade of Cruelty

This is actually a complimentary copy mailed to me by the author Joseph Patrick Larkin.

Arcade of Cruelty is a collection of sketches, collages and cartoons. Everything about the book breaks convention. The copyright and publisher information page is written without restrain with quotes like "All rights reserved, all suckers served" and "Publication of This Old Arcade of Cruelty was partially funded with cash made from penning online porn reviews".

Unfortunately for me, it contains the type of jokes that I dislike: crude, sexist and oftentimes offending. But I also dislike the comedy Friends and Chris Rock.

Here are some examples:

  • An excerpt of an essay by art critic and scholar Mrs Simon Ray (most likely fictional): "There, neatly scrawled on a semen-stained piece of denim—one of hundreds of our antihero's "cum rags," as referenced by Joseph Patrick Larkin's thirty-five hundred page masterwork Your King of Kings Wears a Crown of Shit— were but two words:"panties drawer."
  • "I was masturbating in a parked car outside of a Denny's when I heard the news on the radio. I was so upset that I almost couldn't finished," a talking head response to his whereabouts during 9/11.
  • Collages of bra ads and cut outs of girls with exposed underwear.
  • Rape jokes

The content of the book is specially crafted to be provocative and satirical, but it really went to the extreme. To borrow the movie ratings system, I would give this book a "NC-17" rating or as internet geeks would like to say,"NSFW".

This is a very disturbing book, recommended only to readers with a particularly strong stomach for such jokes. It's definitely not my type of book.

You can check out other reviews from,, Brews and Books,,,,

Joseph Patrick Larkin has a website at, and you can buy the book there as well as from Amazon (link at the bottom).

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