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Don't Tread on Me: The Selected Letters of S. J. Perelman Paperback – July 3, 1988

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"The title sets the tone for this collection of 51 years of letters from the American humorist (1904-79) to relatives, friends and loved ones," reported PW, adding that "there are many nuggets of Perelman's famously acid wit. . . . Crowther has competently assembled and introduced this collection." Photos.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (July 3, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140094822
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140094824
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,670,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Don’t Tread On Me, The Selected Letters of S.J. Perelman [1904-79; noted New Yorker magazine humorist & travel writer], Prudence Crowther, Ed.; Viking (1987 hardcover)

"She is one of that all-too-common breed that idolizes The New Yorker and is constantly reminding you of cartoons that appeared in it years ago, which she then proceeds to describe in detail (guffawing) and then "Oh, dear, if I could only remember the caption!" She also remembers everything I ever wrote, and quotes passages from it written by Max Shulman and Geoffrey Hellmann..." (p. 117).

Very enjoyable; 359 pages of casually imaginative & informative writing at its very best. And SJP mentions - at the tail end of the book, in a letter to his friend & later editor of his letters (cc: Beatles, “Dear Prudence”) – the existence of Shakespeare’s Tavern on MacDougal & 8th Streets. Hadn’t seen that long-gone name anywhere in the past 30 years.

Leila Hadley, one of his uncountable mistresses, must have been relatively stable. After Perelman passed away, she degenerated into --- for the details, read her obituary in the New York Times (written by William Grimes, dated February 15, 2009).

SJP wrote dozens of letters to her. Not all their contents have been revealed. Prudence, in addition to writing a perfect Introduction --- a wonderful précis of Perelman's extensive biography --- wisely employed the redacting scalpel:

"I have... felt free to drop the dull along with the indiscreet."

When the letters to Hadley appeared, great fun was had by this reader coining fantastic descriptions of origin (“Illegitimate Daughter of Kaiser Wilhelm”) or such things as her latest imaginary job title (“Football Salesman”).
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By Rosskon1 on June 10, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hilarious book.
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