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James Thurber: Writings & Drawings (including The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) (LOA #90) (Library of America) Hardcover – October 1, 1996
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The Amazon Book Review
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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.
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This collection is just wonderful. I have it in hardback and bought the kindle edition so that I can have it anywhere when I want a few minutes to smile.
Some of Thurber's well-burnished memoir, 'The Years with Ross,' is also included. Curiously, though, it leaves out the chapter, 'The Secret Life of Harold Winney,' an ill-told true tale that has great parallels with the two light-fiction stories mentioned above. Harold Dow Winney was a Talk of the Town scribe who later became editor Harold Ross's amanuensis and then embezzled at least $70,000 from him before committing suicide in August 1941. Winney was evidently a homosexual being blackmailed; certainly this was the suspicion of the local police and district-attorney's office. The magazine's lawyers tried to suppress that particular angle, and the New York newspapers dropped the Winney story like a hot potato. Years later, Thurber was still participating in the cover-up, describing Winney with sketchy details and withering contempt. This was most ungallant of Thurber, given the inspiration that his late coworker had provided him. Anyway, the mean-spirited chapter on Winney is left out of this volume, and this was probably not for reasons of space.
Most recent customer reviews
What a marvelous collection of Thurber's books, essays and especially drawings.Read more