best chapter titles ever?

Joseph Pulitzer, Wikimedia Commons

So I’m just happily reading Pulitzer: A Life by Denis Brian, just minding my own business, you know how it is.

Chapter 1 is, I have to say, pretty boring. But then…

that's what they all say
Oh! It’s like that, is it? Well, at least now I know the kind of guy I’m dealing with.

livin' dangerously
Two dangerous things in one chapter! I feel this could also have been titled ‘Out of One Fire into Another’.

hyperbole? what's that?
That was quick. We’re only on chapter 7. What on earth will the author find to talk about for the rest of the book?

no but really
The man’s a hero! Actually, this chapter title is for once entirely justified. He did save the Statue of Liberty. Did you know the statue was a gift to America from the French people, but it was just hanging around in France for ages because America was too mean to cough up for a pedestal to put it on? C’est vrai. So Pulitzer guilt-tripped the public into donating to the Pedestal Fund, and eventually the statue got shipped over and put up, and everyone said how nice it looked.

pulitzer was not good at chillaxing
‘Yes, yes, Mr Pulitzer, you’re absolutely right. Yes, of course the word “accuracy” deserves more exclamation marks each time you write it. Now why don’t you sit down and have a nice cup of tea and stop shouting, there’s a good boy.’

as an actress said of a bishop
I think Pulitzer had the same kind of relationships I’ve had.

several names are already springing to mind
Nothing to disagree with here. A sound recruitment policy if ever I heard one. What is an ideal new employee, if not a raging alcoholic?

(No, seriously, that’s what he thought. Actual quote from this chapter: ‘When I was there someone always got drunk and we made a great paper.’)

about time too
Well, that took long enough.

Things I Have Learned From Selected Chapter Titles of a Biography of Pulitzer

  1. Drink a dangerous amount of spirits, while remaining upright.
  2. Hold your wedding near a fire station. Just in case.
  3. Become God at earliest opportunity.
  4. Afterwards, become national hero. Be surprised as how much more respect you get from being a hero than from being God.
  5. Each time you repeat a word in a sentence, add more exclamation marks. This will ensure that people listen to you.
  6. Admire people’s cuss words.
  7. When recruiting, visit AA meetings.
  8. Be too exhausted by all this to think of something funny to say on your deathbed.

P.S. Is it just me…or does ole J.P. look strangely hot in the photo at the top of this post?

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Filed under books

2 responses to “best chapter titles ever?

  1. liz

    brilliant and packed with very sound advice. (and no, it’s not just you. J.P is hawt.)

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