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Thurber Carnival Paperback – Aug 26 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (Aug. 26 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060932872
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060932879
  • Product Dimensions: 20.5 x 13.5 x 2.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #70,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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The train was twenty minutes late we found out when we bought our tickets, so we sat down on a bench in the little waiting room of the Cornwall Bridge station. Read the first page
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fred Wemyss (Actual Name) on Oct. 31 2002
Format: Paperback
THE THURBER CARNIVAL is an excellent collection if only because it contains the complete MY LIFE AND HARD TIMES. In the early seventies, when my grandmother gave me a respectful and wonderfully brief biography called THE CLOCKS OF COLUMBUS, I became a THURBER fan. I was in Junior High and Thurber, dead more than ten years already, was enjoying something of a vogue. Most of his books were back in print. Today, we're down to about a third or less of what he wrote. The Library of America's collection looks fairly complete, but THE THURBER CARNIVAL was his own selection of greatest hits, if you will. In both cases I miss the separate volumes from which these stories and cartoons are culled. If there are concept albums, Thurber had concept collections. You don't get the sense of a Beatles album listening to bits from different albums. This is true with Thurber. You need all of LET YOUR MIND ALONE, which you can only get used now. You need all of THE MIDDLE-AGED MAN ON THE FLYING TRAPEZE; his most representative collection.
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.
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By S. Finefrock on Sept. 16 2002
Format: Paperback
The works and cartoons of James Thurber have had quite an influence on me over the years. At a very young age I was drawn to his cartoons (pardon the pun), and as I grew older developed a great appreciation of his writings. Decades after their inception, his works ring true.
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Format: Hardcover
This compendium will give a thoroughly entertaining taste of one of the twentieth century's greatest humourists. Thurber's imagination and wit have an appeal all their own.
This anthology brings together a number of his short stories as well as selections from amongst his modern fables and cartoons. 'What Do You Mean, It Was Brillig?' and 'The Night the Bed Fell' are two excellent and hilarious tales that serve well as an introduction to Thurber's surreal world. Don't read these in public unless you are prepared to draw attention to yourself - they will have you laughing out loud. In his fables, modelled after Aesop, but with a twentieth-century bent, Thurber delights in catching the reader unaware with his own particular brand of irony.
The cartoons are ingenious. Sometimes you will read a cartoon in a newspaper and it will make you laugh. Go back to it again and it no longer has the same effect. Thurber's cartoons, on the other hand, are so utterly inspired (I do not exaggerate), that they will improve upon a second and third look. You will discover subtle nuances you didn't perceive before. His funniest offerings draw on the theme of marriage, and frequently involve the chasm between a husband and wife trapped in a marriage out of which the love and romance has long since disappeared. You will be left baffled as to where exactly Thurber came across such a natural talent for finding (and exploiting) the absurd in everything.
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Format: Paperback
James Thurber is undoubtably one of America's greatest writers ever. "The Thurber Carnival" is an brilliant collection of his works.
I was introduced to Thurber's works two years ago,by a short story of his that was included in my English textbook. I was instantly charmed by his writing. Ever since, I have read everything of Thurber's that I can get my hands on. Through my readings, I have discovered several key things:
1. James Thurber was NOT just a humorist/satirist. Of course, I have stayed up late reading his stories laughing out loud, yet there is more to the stories. Thurber not only chronicled people of his time, but people of all times. His works show that the little eccentricities most people possess are the very things that make them interesting. Take this excerpt from the story "Recollections of the Gas Buggy", included in "The Thurber Carnival":
'Years ago, an aunt of my father's came to visit us one winter in Columbus, Ohio. She enjoyed the hallucination, among others, that she was able to drive a car. I was riding with her one December day when I discovered, to my horror, that she thought the red and green lights on the traffic signals had been put up by the municipality as a gay and expansive manifestation of the Yuletide spirit. Although we finally reached home safely, I never completely recovered from the adventure, and could not be induced, after that day, to ride in a car on holidays.'
2. That excerpt brings me to my next discovery: James Thurber had quite a way with words, which to my knowledge, no author since has been able to near. Thurber's words transport you to another world, an amazing world, where everyone even slightly insane is portrayed with kindly satire.
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