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The Most of S.J.Perelman (1958)

por S. J. Perelman

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361472,666 (3.98)13
A collection, spanning 30 years, of Perelman's humorous mock-solemn commentaries on the absurdities of our times.
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Stephen Leacock having stopped writing humour, Mr. Perelman stepped up to be the most celebrated American Humourist of his day. e was often amusing, and sometimes quite funny. this is the efficient way to absorb what you will of his scope, talents, and ambitions. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Nov 12, 2023 |
S.J. Perelman was an American humorist, best known for his short pieces in The New Yorker and for writing two of the best Marx Brothers films. This collection of New Yorker stories is not necessarily best read in large chunks (it's a massive collection), but rather as one takes appetizers. Perelman may have the best vocabulary of any American writer I've ever read. His turns of phrase are often brilliant and made more so by the astonishing range of words with which he turns those phrases. The pieces are largely divided into two kinds: those in which an event or a news item or such has caught his attention and he spins off a scenario or readers' theatre script satirizing its foibles, and those in which he recounts adventures from his own life. All of these are wonderfully amusing, but the real laughs I found to reside almost always in his tales of his own experiences. Included is a portion of Westward Ha!, a hilarious tellling of his 'round-the-world trip with Broadway caricaturist Al Hirschfeld, and if the entire 600 pages of this book had been devoted to that trip, I would have been delighted. Also of particular interest are a couple of pieces relating to his friendship with Groucho Marx. It's no wonder that Perelman wrote so well for the Marxes, as his somewhat surreal sense of humor is a great match for theirs. Perelman is for comic writing, as Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler are for hardboiled stories, one of the great purveyors of a kind of language that doesn't exist anymore except in parody or homage, an ironic, witty, and utterly of-its-time style that defies (for me at least) explanation or precise definition, but which is the soul of American letters in the 1920s and '30s. ( )
  jumblejim | Aug 26, 2023 |
Picked this up in an attempt to become witty. While the author is certainly sesquipedalian, I did not find this an entirely funny or even sybaritic experience.
  jcrben | Dec 16, 2012 |
Back when I was trying hard to be cultured, I picked up this book. I've read a lot of the stories, but I don't think I'll ever finish it, so it'll remain in the skimmed/unfinished collection. It's certainly sesquipedalian but most of the cultural allusions go over my head or just don't amuse me.
  jcrben | Aug 20, 2012 |
Mostrando 4 de 4
The huge advantage of American humour, as one sees it in S. J. Perelman, is in the punishment of character and the use of language. Unlike Thurber who has been much admired by us, Perelman is not an understater who suddenly throws out an almost spiritual blossom. He drops ash into the dessert. Perelman either grew up with burlesque or soon got caught up in it. Immediate action is his need...

For a long time the English humorists have suffered from having achieved the funny man’s dream; they have either gone straight for the information or have succumbed to the prosaic beauty of their own utterance. They are ‘facetious’ without being Boswell. Mr Perelman is not entirely free of the English vice. I have caught him adding an unnecessary ‘I said with hauteur’ or ‘I said with dignity’. This weakness he may have picked up on his annual visits to those fake cathedral closes of ours in Savile Row. (The metaphor is his.) But he does not wear thin. There are four or five narky things in the present book which are as good as anything in Crazy Like a Fox.
adicionada por SnootyBaronet | editarTimes Literary Supplement, V.S. Pritchett
 

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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Perelman, S. J.autor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Bryson, BillIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Hamburger, PhilipPosfácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Martin, SteveEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Parker, DorothyPrefácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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INTRODUCTION

by Dorothy Parker

It is a strange force that compels a writer to be a humorist.
THE NEEDLEWORK in the section that follows — the greater part of it published originally in The New Yorker, the balance in magazines no longer extant — was executed in the thirties and early forties.
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The Most of S. J. Perelman, and The Most of the Most of S. J. Perelman, have different contents and should not be combined.
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A collection, spanning 30 years, of Perelman's humorous mock-solemn commentaries on the absurdities of our times.

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