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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."
Sep 14, 2008 Kelly rated it 3 of 5 stars · review of another edition
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."