Writings and drawings

by James Thurber

Hardcover, 1996




New York, N.Y. : Literary Classics of the United States, c1996.


James Thurber, whimsical fantasist and deadpan chronicler of everyday absurdities, brought American humor into the 20th century. His comic persona, a modern citydweller whose zaniest flights of free association are tinged with anxiety, remains hilarious, subtly disturbing, and instantly recognizable. Here, in over 1000 pages, editor Garrison Keillor presents the best and most extensive collection ever assembled. Over 100 pieces include "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" and "The Catbird Seat," the brilliantly satirical Fables for Our Time, the classic My Life and Hard Times, and the best of The Owl in the Attic, Let Your Mind Alone!, My World--And Welcome to It, and the other famous books. Plus 500 wonderful drawings, including The Seal in the Bedroom and celebrated sequences like "The Masculine Approach" and "The War Between Men and Women." Rounding out the volume is a selection from The Years with Ross, a memoir of the New Yorker publisher, and a number of wonderful early pieces never collected by Thurber. LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member Devil_llama
Vintage Thurber, collected from his many writings. Includes the entire Last Flower parable, which is a wonderful short work illustrated with the characteristically minimalist drawings that create additional delight in these works of humor. The work is at its best when he's writing about his
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childhood and the strange shenanigans and goings on of a very chaotic extended family. Although some of the works will not date well, because of the slang of the time, and numerous references to the technology of an earlier era, for those who enjoy turn of the century humor and dry wit, these works are an exercise in sheer delight. Some of his cartoons, though, fall totally flat, probably because they related to everyday events of the time, rather than the page-turners that entered the history books. Still, it is unusual that a book of this length (nearly 1000 pages) doesn't begin to feel too long until the final 200 pages, and that is a testament to the talent of the author (and probably the editor, as well).
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