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Jim and Dave Defeat the Masked Man Paperback – December 8, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This whimsical collection of 39 sestinas from Lehman, who edits the Best American Poetry series, and Cincinnati poet-critic Cummins (The Whole Truth) is an entertaining parlor game and a substantial book of poems. Sestinas consist of six stanzas of six lines each; each of the stanzas uses the same set of six words to end its lines; the end-words recur in different positions from stanza to stanza. (A seventh, three-line stanza uses all six words again.) Whether envisioning themselves as CIA agents, righting wrongs and exposing scandals in poetry, or opening their own "sestina bar," the two poets do it with flair and a sense of the absurd: horse racing, Henry James, sex, high school graduations, the board game Monopoly and a famous poet's "Big Hair" figure in; end words include "surrealism," "Sly Stallone," "Osama Bin Laden," "Secretariat," "Anne Sexton," "tango" and "sestina." Archie Rand's cartoonish illustrations (one per poem) add to the light mood.
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About the Author

David Lehman is the founder and longtime editor of the Best American Poetry series and the editor of The Oxford Book of American Poetry. He is the author of several volumes of poetry and cultural criticism, including A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs, which won ASCAP'S Deems Taylor Award; The Last Avant-Garde: The Making of the New York School of Poets; and Signs of the Times: Deconstruction and the Fall of Paul De Man. A core faculty member of the graduate writing program at the New School, he lives in New York City and Ithaca, New York.

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The latest book club pick from Oprah
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press (December 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933368047
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933368047
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,257,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By J. Behrle on February 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
There are amazing illustrations in this little book. It's disappointing the poem sequence gets tired so quickly. This is an incredibly well-produced looking book whose poems would have been better-served in a chapbook. Lehman and Cummins' offerings are very forgettable and not much fun or funny--what a disappointment. Soft Skull press skimps on books by young poets like Danielle Pafunda and Jennifer L. Knox and does a first-class job producing a book of throw away poems here. What a waste.
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