The shy Midwesterner James Thurber became a famed cartoonist and humor writer almost, it seems, by accident: Thurber in person was often depressed and self-conscious, darker strains that emerge fitfully in his sly, absurdist work. Garrison Keillor, a sunnier brand of Midwestern humorist, has assembled four longer works with many of Thurber's drawings and short pieces for the Library of America edition of Thurber's selected works. Many of these cartoons and writings are now classics, and Thurber's edgy, modernist humor--not to mention his usually bewildered protagonists--has influenced many of the best cartoonists today.
From Library Journal
This work represents each decade of Thurber's writing career, from the slight New Yorker sketches of the 1920s to the irreverently affectionate portrait of that magazine's founder, The Years with Ross, of the late 1950s. Keillor's selection of Thurber's oeuvre is both the most generous and the most judicious volume available. Known largely for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1939), which dramatizes the battle of the sexes and the male animal's ineptitude in the face of modern technology, Thurber was an Algonquin stylist with a wide range of talents. These talents are effectively displayed here in the self-deprecating reminiscences of his eccentric Columbus, Ohio, family; beast fables with a cutting edge; and almost 500 inimitable line drawings. A valuable work; highly recommended for all libraries.?Charles C. Nash, Cottey Coll., Nevada, Mo.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.