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

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  130 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Abbott Joseph Liebling was one of the greatest of all New Yorker writers, a colorful figure who helped set the magazine's urbane tone and style. Just Enough Liebling gathers in one volume the vividest and most enjoyable of his pieces. Charles McGrath (in The New York Times Book Review) praised it as "a judicious sampling-a useful window on Liebling's vast body of writing a ...more
Paperback, 560 pages
Published October 5th 2005 by North Point Press (first published 2004)
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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
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
Gnarly Authenticity .
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
Ryan Williams
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 reading mostly. Gets a little tiresome if read cover to cover...better to dip into.
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
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)
Nov 12, 2007 Edy added it
"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.
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.
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
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.
dude was a glutton. but boy, he wrote about it in a way that made me want to be a glutton.
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.)
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