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Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin: Forty Years of Funny Stuff Hardcover – September 13, 2011

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Praise for Calvin Trillin
“A classic American humorist.”—The New Republic
“I spent my college years deep into the great humorists: Benchley, Perelman, Woody Allen. Calvin Trillin is up there with any of them.”David Brooks, The Daily Beast
“Trillin may be the funniest columnist in Americabemused, amused, wry and right on the mark.”People

About the Author

A longtime staff writer at The New Yorker, Calvin Trillin is also The Nation’s deadline poet. His bestsellers range from the memoir About Alice to Obliviously On He Sails: The Bush Administration in Rhyme. He lives in Greenwich Village, which he describes as “a neighborhood where people from the suburbs come on weekends to test their car alarms.”

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; First Edition edition (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400069823
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400069828
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #239,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Jean Brandt on October 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
On a whim I picked up Calvin Trillin's book. I needed something funny, something light...something to enjoy in a totally different way than I am accustomed to. Turned out to be a wonderful choice, a whim well worth it.
Love this book. I enjoy Trillin's humor.
Being an avid fiction reader, I find myself mired in the most current titles which, most often, contain serious subject matter. Not complaining because I love stories and I am ever grateful to all of the wonderful authors who have provided me with a stream of never ending entertainment through out the years.
It is refreshing to take a break and realize that the written word can be employed in so many wonderful ways. Trillin's essay's and poems are priceless. His laugh out loud observations are fun.
Thank you Calvin Tillin for putting pen to paper and, even though I was reminded of my mom's unending supply of chicken a'la king, for helping to make this individual's life a little lighter.
Great collection .... highly recommended !
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Jon Hunt on October 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
To say that Calvin Trillin is among America's best humorists of a generation is not a matter of debate, I would think. He's witty to a fault and the fault is not his. Low-key (to a fault) is his way and it's an endearing quality that has led to many a fine article of prose or a contribution of poetry over the years.

The title,"Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin", sets the bar just low enough that the expectations of the reader cannot be outdone. Here he has collected writings of over forty years. If you're a fan of his, which I am, this could be like being given Halloween candy days early. That said, I do have some preferences in his new book....his poetry. This is where he shines...succinct, very funny and always highly innovative. His chapter, "Twenty Years of Pols" is exceptional and just when you thought those old candidates like Steve Forbes, David Vitter or Alfonse D'Amato had entered the "who's who" of forgotten American politicians, Trillin reminds us that they once were in our midst, groping for the presidency, or groping for something else.

Taking in so much of Trillin at one reading (or two, if it's a sunny day) is not the best way to read him. The accumulative presentations aren't so good all jammed into one book. We get an idea that Kansas City, Alice, Yale and being a Jew are the four main sources of his humor. This could be, but they work better individually than a as mini-mini-tome.

I highly recommend, "Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin" but urge the reader to read it over a period of days or even weeks, and like a good bottle of red wine, let it breathe. You will find it much more satisfying that way.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Contrarian on October 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are an old Trillin fan (as I am) you'll enjoy this.

If you are not, especially if you are not old enough to remember Tom Delay, Rodney King and George H.W. Bush you will do better with other books he's written. The material goes back 40 years (mostly in the later half of that period but still not recent).

I would rate the following Trillin books 5 stars:
- American Stories
- All About Alice
- Messages from my Father: A Memoir
- Tummy Trilogy (if you want to read Trillin's writing about food

Why doesn't Amazon let me indent this list?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Laurie Gold VINE VOICE on November 1, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Calvin Trillin is a wonderfully funny storyteller, whether or not his stories are true or fictional. He's a quintessential New Yorker, but his appeal is universal, if more than a little ethnic. I'd read previously many of the essays included in this new compilation, but re-reading them was just as funny the second time around. The essays, some of which are more than thirty years old, remain funny today; many that were written in the Reagan era could have been written last week. The included essays are short enough and filled with enough gems of humor that they simply cry out to be read aloud, and in this instance my husband was the happy recipient.

I was happy that this particular excerpt from his novel Tepper Isn't Going Out: A Novel was included, and here's why: It's a perfect little snapshot of his humor, and either you'll love it or you won't. To set it up a bit, a counterman at the famous Russ and Daughters deli is complaining to Tepper how annoyed he gets when certain customers ask for "nice" whitefish when of course all of the whitefish he serves up is "nice." The following is what he wishes he could tell those customers.

"I'm glad you said that, because I wasn't going to get you a nice whitefish. If you hadn't said that, I would have looked for a whitefish that's been sitting there since Tisha B'Av--an old, greasy, farshtunken whitefish...That's why the boss gets up at four in the morning to go to the suppliers, so he can get the farshtunken whitefish before his competitors. Otherwise, if he slept until a civilized hour, as maybe he deserves by now, he might get stuck with nice whitefish.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Pearl Crescent on November 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ordered Calvin Trillin's book because I saw him on "the Daily Show with Jon Stewart", and I am indebted to Jon for introducing me to someone I wish I had discovered long ago.
I think he is the funniest man alive. I laughed so hard and sometimes for so long that I would have to put the book down because my stomach muscles were giving out.
Granted, he may not be everyone's cup of tea. Depends largely on what kind of humor appeals to you, but for me he combines the perfect blend of political satire, and observations on the absurdities of everyday life that really tickles my funny bone.
(What bone is that exactly?)
If you are the kind that takes offense easily, and dislikes having your political party or your ideology poked fun at, you probably should give it a skip. He spares almost no one on the public scene, although he is much kinder to Democrats than to Republicans.
But it's not all political. And some of his columns are funnier than others. But how can you not love a man who gives advice on child rearing by saying, "Try to get one that doesn't spit up. Otherwise, you're on your own."
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