About I Never Metaphor I Didn't Like: A Comprehensive Compilation of History's Greatest Analogies, Metaphors, and Similes

I Never Metaphor I Didn't Like
Hardcover edition: 2008
Publisher: HarperCollins

In I Never Metaphor I Didn't Like, I have fixed my attention on the three superstars of figurative language: analogies, metaphors, and similes. In the first chapter, I explain the nature of these literary devices in down-to-earth and easy-to-understand ways (the way I wish they had been explained to me when I was in high school). In the rest of the book—in chapters on sex, politics, sports, aging, stage & screen, the literary life, and more—I take readers on a guided tour of history's greatest analogies metaphors, and similes.

To give you a better idea of the kind of thing you'll find in the book, here is a brief sampling of quotations from the chapter on life metaphors:

Life is a journey, but don't worry, you'll find a parking spot at the end.

—Isaac Asimov

Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act.

—Truman Capote

Life is like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt you represents determinism; the way you play it is free will.

—Jawaharlal Nehru

And here are a handful of quotations from the wit & humor chapter:

Dogs need to sniff the ground; It's how they keep abreast of current events. The ground is a giant dog newspaper, containing all kinds of late-breaking news items, which, if they are especially urgent, are often continued in the next yard.

—Dave Barry

Wit is a treacherous dart. It is perhaps the only weapon with which it is possible to stab oneself in one's own back.

—Geoffrey Bocca

Humor is the shock absorber of life; it helps us take the blows.

—Peggy Noonan

Praise for the Book

Prior to the publication of I Never Metaphor I Didn't Like, we received some heartwarming advance praise from a number of writers, wordsmiths, and other luminaries in the "word and language" community.

I Never Metaphor I Didn't Like is the book you needed in your high school English class. Dr. Mardy Grothe presents an engaging mix of metaphors, similes, and analogies from ancient Greeks to modern politicians. He adds just enough commentary, then wisely steps aside and lets the writers speak for themselves. Relationships, sex, sports, insults, and the human condition: every page shows the art of comparison at its most insightful (and funniest!). Like his earlier Oxymoronica, this is a book to read now and savor again later.

—Carla Beard, founder, Web English Teacher

Reach into this basket of fruit anywhere and come up with something delicious. The examples are as colorful as rainbows, as illuminating as floodlights, and as sharp as broken glass.

—Robert Byrne, compiler of The 2,548 Best Things Anybody Ever Said

Great! Utterly captivating. A rhetorical banquet. A kaleidoscope of word imagery. A dazzling display of folk wisdom … common sense in party dress.

—Ross Eckler, author of Making the Alphabet Dance

A delightful read! Dr. Mardy Grothe's I Never Metaphor I Didn't Like is like a completely satisfying meal that, paradoxically, leaves you hungry for more of the same. I can't recommend it too highly.

—Leonard Roy Frank, editor of Random House Webster's Quotationary

If quotations were gems, Mardy Grothe is a jeweler of the first water.

—Anu Garg, founder of Wordsmith and author of The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or Two

Mardy Grothe has done it again! His newest book snaps, crackles, and pops with his trademark wit, erudition, and love of the English language. I Never Metaphor I Didn't Like is a rich feast of figurative expression that entertains even as it educates.

—Jeff Jacoby, syndicated columnist, The Boston Globe

This book is a gem for the pursuit of wisdom. Dr. Grothe provides commentary with surgical precision, allowing our thought process to unravel the true magnificence of metaphor. As we capture the winds of comparison, we see, feel, hear and breathe parallel points of view. A lucid and wonderful achievement.

—Amit Kothari, founder, quotationsbook.com

Mardy Grothe's book is a colorful, sweet-smelling garden. Pick as many flowers as you like to adorn the many rooms in your house of life.

—Richard Lederer, author of Anguished English and Word Wizard

A wonderful collection—a tremendously enjoyable highlight reel of the best metaphors of the best writers.

—Erin McKean, editor of Verbatim magazine

I'm a great fan of Mardy Grothe and his three previous quotation anthologies. I Never Metaphor I Didn't Like is a welcomed addition. I Never Metaphor is an encyclopedic and fascinating book, but Mardy Grothe is a national literary treasure! He is to the world of quotations what Leonard Bernstein is to the world of classical music.

—Rabbi Kalman Packouz, author of the Shabbat Shalom Weekly

If you enjoy the intellectual play of language, you will surely take pleasure in I Never Metaphor I Didn't Like.

—Richard Nordquist

Dr. Mardy Grothe has written yet another book that will delight linguaphiles.

—Fran Hamilton, LinguaPhile

For those much-needed mental vacations, keep this book within easy reach on your bed stand or in your bathroom, study or kitchen.

—Kare Anderson, Say it Better

I've yet to meet a Mardy Grothe book I didn't like.

—Bob Kelly, The KellyGram

This remarkable anthology contains so many gems that you may find yourself exclaiming, as I often did, 'How did he find that one?'

—Don Hauptman

Anyone who loves language and appreciates its proper and creative usage will find nuggets of gold in the 300+ pages of this book.

—Al Chase, The White Rhino Report

Table of Contents

I don't know about you, but I hate to buy a book without perusing the table of contents. If you're similarly inclined, this should help:

Chapter 1: An Ice-Axe for the Frozen Sea Within (Life-Altering Metaphors)
Chapter 2: Reserved Seats at a Banquet of Consequences (The Human Condition)
Chapter 3: Humor is the Shock Absorber of Life (Wit & Humor)
Chapter 4: The Lights Are On, But Nobody's Home (Insults and Criticism)
Chapter 5: Enclosing Wild Ideas within a Wall of Words (Definitive Metaphors)
Chapter 6: Life is the Art of Drawing without an Eraser (Life)
Chapter 7: A Relationship is Like a Shark (Relationships)
Chapter 8: Love is an Exploding Cigar We Willingly Smoke (Love)
Chapter 9: Marriage is a Souvenir of Love (Marriage, Family & Home Life)
Chapter 10: Sex is an Emotion in Motion (Sex)
Chapter 11: Old & Young, We Are All on Our Last Cruise (Ages & Stages of Life)
Chapter 12: An Actor is a God in Captivity (Stage & Screen)
Chapter 13: Washington, DC is to Lying What Wisconsin is to Cheese (Politics)
Chapter 14: Sports is the Toy Department of Life (Sports)
Chapter 15: Writing is the Manual Labor of the Mind (The Literary Life)