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Selected Stories

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  142 ratings  ·  11 reviews
This collection brings together twenty-one of Lardner's best pieces, including the six Jack Keefe stories that comprise "You Know Me, Al," as well as such familiar favorites as "Alibi Ike," "Some Like Them Cold," and "Guillible's Travels."
ebook, 400 pages
Published May 1st 1997 by Penguin Books
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A lot of people probably first encounter Lardner when they're assigned to read "Haircut" or "Golden Honeymoon" in high school or a little earlier. Nothing wrong with that, of course, since he's entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny. But what you don't really grasp in high school is how subtle Lardner is -- if there was ever a writer who wrote more brilliant unreliable narrator stories, I've yet to find him. (And yeah, I'm counting Nabokov.) I'm damned if I know how Lardner does it -- I couldn't ...more
I would give this FIVE if I was judging it solely on it the narrative style, but I found a few of the stories a little dry and therefore settling for THREE. His characterisation is fantastic, but it's more the characters that are memorable - not their stories. I loved Jack Keefe, and especially loved "Some Like Them Cold."
This collection of short stories made for excellent reading for my summer back in the States. Lardner has quite an ear for spoken language, and even if some of the humor gets a bit hammy, there are hilarious and saucy moments in these stories. The first time I tried to get through it, I got held up by the stories about golf and baseball -- this time, I really enjoyed them.
I don't remember the details and it's on a bookshelf at my parents', but I recall that when I read it (1997 I think, and for a Writing Comedy class during undergrad) I thought, "Snap. People were darkly funny back in the olden days, too."
Ring Lardner writes not only funny, but also human, moving and with a perfect ear. For anyone to think of him as just a writer of humorous sports stories is to do both Mr. Lardner and themselves a diservice.
Ring Lardner is the master of short stories. Of course they are humorous as well which makes it that much better.

I just chose to highlight one of his books, but they are all good.
This is great stuff. Lardner's wit will keep you laughing as you make your way through his stories, told with direct and simple prose. This book is a really good time.
Eric Malone
The best writer most people have never heard of. This guy is for real. Virginia Woolf and J.D. Salinger both admired his writing immensely. So you probably will too.
Kaj Tanaka
RL is to baseball what Hemingway was to bullfighting. "You Know Me Al" knocked me over.
Alan Partlow
One of America's funniest writers. Still feels fresh after ninety years.
the Vernacular

(You know me Al)
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Ringgold Wilmer Lardner was an American sports columnist and short story writer best known for his satirical takes on the sports world, marriage, and the theatre.

Father of author Ring Lardner Jr.
More about Ring Lardner...
You Know Me Al Haircut and Other Stories Best Short Stories of Ring Lardner Haircut The Annotated Baseball Stories of Ring W. Lardner, 1914-1919

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