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Just Enough Liebling: Classic Work by the Legendary New Yorker Writer

4.18  ·  Rating Details  ·  158 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
The restaurants of the Latin Quarter and the city rooms of midtown Manhattan; the beachhead of Normandy and the boxing gyms of Times Square; the trackside haunts of bookmakers and the shadowy redoubts of Southern politicians--these are the places that A.J. Liebling shows to us in his unforgettable New Yorker articles, brought together here so that a new generation of reade ...more
ebook, 560 pages
Published October 5th 2005 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 2004)
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Gnarly Authenticity .
Aug 02, 2014 Gnarly Authenticity . rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
In Leibling's world, an Underwood is always "battered" and a Jewish tailor is invariably "little". He deals in stereotypes; and does so very well.

Like Joseph Mitchell, he's prone to obviously fabricated expository dialogue. Like Mitchell, he's also fascinated with gluttony. Lists of dishes and heroic feats of trenchermanship are a recurring theme in both authors--seafood for Mitchell and French cooking for Leibling.

In the background of his tales of petty promoters, prizefighters and charming al
Aug 29, 2010 Rick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The dust jacket photo shows a middle-aged man, wide-shouldered with an avalanche of weight falling downward below the frame. He is bald, jowly, wearing round wire-rimmed glasses. He looks directly at the camera, his head turned slightly from a three-quarter angle to do so, a pen gripped like a thin bone in his mouth. Lillian Ross, a New Yorker colleague, took the photo. It’s exceptional. He looks wary, though pretend wary, serious but with a twinkle of self-mockery. He looks like what he was, a ...more
Dec 05, 2015 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This guy could tell a story. I mean REALLY tell a story. I enjoyed this book much more than I anticipated. The section entitled "The War and After" was my favorite, but every essay or excerpt had its interesting moments. Give the book a chance. Digest it in bits. Don't be afraid to let it sit unread for days at a time. Liebling's style could be rotund (the pieces on French food were a little much for me), and his allusions sometimes seem hopelessly obscure viewed from sixty-or-more years away (t ...more
Great reading mostly. Gets a little tiresome if read cover to cover...better to dip into.
Jan 04, 2014 GT rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't remember how I came across this book, but like many others I own, I was probably browsing in the discount books section somewhere and this book, and author, intrigued me enough to lay out $5 or so. Subsequently it went up on my shelf and I didn't read it. When I'd see it there I'd look at it, leaf through it, put it back on my shelf and think, maybe someday...

Apparently that day came shortly after Christmas 2013...

At first I wasn't sure what I was in for. Several chapters on eating in ni
Brian Grover
This book was a wedding present from my buddy RG, who loves these old New York writers. I like Liebling more than I like Joe Mitchell - he's funny, which helps with a lot of this material, which can run pretty dry (sadly, the stories about 1950s New York are the worst in this collection).

Really enjoyed his WWII pieces, as well as the stuff about Huey and Earl Long, but the whole book is full of entertaining dispatches. I'd never heard of Liebling before getting this book, it was a good gift!
Nov 05, 2015 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of old school journalism
Excellent collection of one of the old "New Yorker" writers before the content of the magazine became so liberally smarmy and twee. Especially good is his experience aboard a Norwegian Tanker in WWII just as the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor occurred. In lighter moments he does a humorous take on a collection of petty grifters operating out of a building in NYC.
Ryan Williams
Dec 28, 2014 Ryan Williams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
WW2, food, Harold Ross, boxing, conmen and more from one of the great reporters. On par with his justly celebrated (if unjustly more celebrated) contemporary, Joseph Mitchell.
Great war reporting and comments about food. If interested in boxing. I recommend this book. Also great descriptions of Huey Long and brother and Louisiana at that time...which I understand is little changed today, so could be helpful in understanding that strange land.
Pat Falkner
A classic New Yorker writing about the funner parts of World War II, boxing, and Earl Long, among other subjects. The boxer that Cassius Clay boxed in his first New York fight, before he was Muhammad Ali, was from Tupelo, MS. Earl Long was governor of Louisiana, Huey's brother. Read about the racist way he helped black people get ahead in the 50's. Liebling quotes Long reporting about how mistakes have consequences: "My uncle got drunk and pulled a man out of bed and got in bed with the man's wi ...more
Ramesh Prabhu
Oct 13, 2012 Ramesh Prabhu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A.J. Liebling is hailed as the first of the great New Yorker writers, a "colourful and tireless figure who helped set the magazine's urbane style".

It was in April 2010 that I finished reading Just Enough Liebling, an anthology of his articles from the New Yorker. Read these excerpts and you will get an insight into the ingredients of great writing: (The Reading Room)
"I have known out-of-towners on newspapers whose primary urge toward journalism had been a consuming desire to escape from Iowa." (p 414)

He's a great writer, but a lot of the topics didn't really interest me. To echo a previous (albeit facetious) reviewer, "more than enough Liebling" for me.
Sep 26, 2011 Tracy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just love this guy. I read this on the Kindle but wish I'd bought the real thing for easy access to my favorite essays. Look, when someone makes his voyage from England to the US in 1939 on a tanker really interesting, take note.
Jul 30, 2007 Teddy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A.J. Liebling writes about food, boxing, WWII, con men, and food. It's awesome. The obits for Hearst and Theodore Dreiser are awesome too.
Malcolm Moore
Jul 11, 2011 Malcolm Moore rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The food writing from Paris, and the piece on the Jollity building in New York, are the best writing I've ever read. Total delight.
Apr 03, 2007 Sylvia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
dude was a glutton. but boy, he wrote about it in a way that made me want to be a glutton.
Sep 04, 2007 Ted rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic work from a paradigm of the New Yorker style, a style that I would gladly make out with.
A little more than enough Liebling.
(Actually I really like most of this stuff.)
Bill Perkins
Jun 20, 2014 Bill Perkins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Liebling is brilliant.
Matt McCormick
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Margaret is currently reading it
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