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The Thurber Carnival Paperback – November 19, 2013
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To call such persons "humorists," a loose-fitting and ugly word, is to miss the nature of their dilemma and the dilemma of their nature. The little wheels of their invention are set in motion by the damp hand of melancholy.Enjoy the surprises, certainly, but revel in the candy-coated popcorn and peanuts. As in "More Alarms at Night," in which a teenaged Thurber intrudes upon his sleeping father, a skittish man named Charles, because he can't recall the name Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Coincidentally, his father has just been frightened half to death by Thurber's brother, who had earlier stalked into his room saying coldly, "Buck, your time has come."
"Listen," I said. "Name some towns in New Jersey quick!" It must have been around three in the morning. Father got up, keeping the bed between him and me, and started to pull his trousers on. "Don't bother about dressing," I said. "Just name some towns in New Jersey." While he hastily pulled on his clothes--I remember he left his socks off and put his shoes on his bare feet--father began to name, in a shaky voice, various New Jersey cities. I can still see him reaching for his coat without taking his eyes off me. "Newark," he said, "Jersey City, Atlantic City, Elizabeth, Paterson, Passaic, Trenton, Jersey City, Trenton, Paterson--" "It has two names," I snapped. "Elizabeth and Paterson," he said.Of course, things turn out fine, as well they should. And why not? The best of Thurber, which The Thurber Carnival arguably is, is sublime; surprising insight and wry observations tossed lightly and served constantly with effortless good humor and an obvious love for all things gently eccentric. --Michael Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
He tried writing a novel once or twice, but found he could only write short stories. This bothered him. The chief thing to remember as you read him is that he was deeply ashamed of being a humorist. His literary hero was Henry James. During Thurber's time at the New Yorker (and he arrived there about a year after its founding, staying until his death more than three decades later) the magazine was a showcase for humorists. Think of the original cast of Saturday Night Live and you'll have something of an idea of the atmosphere at the magazine in its first ten years or so. Competitive humorists travelled from all over the United States to work for THE NEW YORKER. The Algonquin Roundtable was largely a haven for NEW YORKER staffers. James Thurber learned from E. B.Read more ›
At first, I was convulsed by Thurber's uniquely hilarious cartoons. His dogs and his women are priceless...drawn in a style that nobody has ever been able to duplicate or capture.
It was only later, as I grew older, that I could appreciate Thurber's written humor. The "Thurber Carnival" (and it is) is a compilation of essays and excerpts from "My World--and Welcome to It," "The Middle Aged Man on the Flying Trapeze," and others. These were Thurber's earlier works that were very much a product of their times, but oh, so funny! Thurber was one of the great commentators on the vagaries of everyday life. Along with Robert Benchly et al., he set the tone for an entire generation. I still have this book, and I absolutely cherish it. It's hard to do Thurber justice in a review. All I can say is--buy this book and wallow in it. You'll be glad you did.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Once upon a time, I got thrown out of the Fairmont Senior High School library because I was reading "The Thurber Carnival" and laughing like a maniac at the MANY... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Owl
Frankly, this is about the best book I have ever read. I find it astonishing that at this time (February 2016) less than 70 reviews have been posted on Amazon of the various... Read morePublished 6 months ago by C. Wagner
James Thurber is brilliant and this book doesn't disappointment. A veritable smorgasbord of his amusing and quirky stories!Published 7 months ago by Kathleen H. Woodbury
One of the all-time great humor collections. You should read it.Published 8 months ago by Metaphorce
Used some of these stories for my English class. Contains the original story for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Very fun reads and perfect use of satire and sarcasm.Published 12 months ago by james alan castle
I find it difficult to categorize the genre which will fully describe The Thurber Carnival. It is humor with a generous helping of autobiography sprinkled with cartoons. Read morePublished 13 months ago by AP