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Edmund and Rosemary Go to Hell: A Story We All Really Need Now More Than Ever Hardcover – May 22, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Rendered in the Thurberesque outline manner of Kaplan's New Yorker cartoons, Edmund and Rosemary are a stolid, childless Brooklyn couple. One Sunday, after a walk around the neighborhood marred by loud cell-phoners and a multiplex full of unappealing movies, Rosemary goes on a tear anent the disappointments and worse of contemporary existence; Edmund can't help but concur, and they conclude that they are in hell. Subsequent outings to the computer store, to Edmund's Uncle Donald's in New Jersey, and to Washington, D.C., only confirm the deduction. But an anonymous, high-ranking official gives them a winning lottery ticket. With the $342 million jackpot, they counter their malaise with various self-improvement schemes--exercise, therapy, religion, travel. Eventually, they go home and forget about being in hell. Of course, killjoys (do-gooders, global thinkers, Sally Field) may carp; they still have their unspent lottery swag. But they're content, and meanwhile Kaplan has aired all the standard affluent urbanites' complaints, picture-book rather than graphic-novel style, with consummately urbane drollery. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Bruce Eric Kaplan, known for his distinctive, off-beat single-panel cartoons, has been a New Yorker cartoonist for over ten years. He is also a television writer, and was an executive producer for the acclaimed HBO series Six Feet Under, as well as a writer on Seinfeld (funnily enough, one of his most well-known episodes is one where Elaine becomes increasingly frustrated over what she takes to be an utterly nonsensical New Yorker cartoon).


He has authored and illustrated six adult titles for Simon & Schuster: the cult classic The Cat That Changed My Life; the collections, I Love You, I Hate You, I'm Hungry, No One You Know and This is a Bad Time; and Every Person on the Planet and Edmund and Rosemary Go to Hell, both featuring the wonderfully neurotic Brooklyn couple, Edmund & Rosemary. Bruce is also the author and illustrator of two picture books: Monsters Eat Whiny Children and Cousin Irv from Mars. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 114 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (May 22, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416545492
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416545491
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 6.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,170,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By K. N. VINE VOICE on July 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Kaplan's book is a small wonder, a wittily observant tale about two people who discover that the world we live in is Hell itself. Kaplan's wry humor gives us reason to believe things are about as bad as they can get: from the pointlessness of the arts to the garishness of McMansions, the bankruptcy of government to the spoils of Wal-Mart.

Yet in the midst of such decline, Edmund and Rosemary find solace in small pleasures, the simple things that give us comfort in our daily lives: listening to the rain outside, caring for a pet, having a confidante. Ultimately, then, Kaplan's book is a modest call to appreciate those small pleasures and to put our worries, faults, foibles into some perspective.

Kaplan's spare artistry works to great effect here, and his book will hopefully remind you that there's much to take comfort in, even feel good about, when the world around us seems irrevocably damned. It's a welcome parable for our times.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David E. Frankson on June 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
How can this book say so much about us and society with so few words? It's an amazing book that only takes 15 minutes to read, but will make you want to share it with countless others. It's a book that will make you think about what is important in life and where some of life's little aggravations come from. Recommend it, or loan it, to your friends, family, and your boss (I did).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. J. Gies on April 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I bought this for my mom (how easy is it to buy a present for your mom?) because the author is a New Yorker cartoonist and we sometimes liked his work. But when she got it and we both read it, and read it again and loaned it out and got it back, I realized that this book is to the disillusioned what a religious book might be to those not yet disillusioned. It pretty much explains the way the world is, and at the end, I was at peace with that. Right now, I'm on Amazon buying a new copy for someone else who needs it---we are, eventually, if we live long enough, Edmund or Rosemary.
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