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Westward Ha!

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4.23  ·  Rating Details  ·  107 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
More madcap travel chronicles from S J Perelman, heading west this time on a satiric romp from Hollywood to China, Singapore, Thailand, India, Egypt, and several luckless cities in Europe. Perelman's companion is cartoonist Al Hirschfield, whose drawings capture the very essence of Perelmania.
Paperback, 128 pages
Published August 11th 1998 by Burford Books (first published January 1st 1948)
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Rob Smith
Feb 11, 2014 Rob Smith rated it it was amazing
One of the funniest books I've ever read. I'm writing this a good twenty years since reading this travelogue of Perelman's travels around the world, I still can vividly remember many parts of the book. It's Perelman's ability to string together an amazing set of words, seemingly unconnected otherwise, that was his magical writing ability.

This book would be impossible to sell today due to the cut of the average reader. Many trying to get through the book these days will be lost at, what were at o
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Sara
Sep 10, 2015 Sara rated it it was amazing
This was #6 of my read-through-the-bookshelf challenge, and it might be the best of the bunch so far.

The "50 Funniest Writers" anthology included a private-eye spoof from 1946 that left me dying with laughter. I tucked the author's name away in the back of my head; lo and behold, later that day the name jumped out at me from a bright yellow spine on my bookshelf, and I was like, "WHAT?!?"

S. J. Perelman may be my new favorite comedy writer, edging out both Dave Barry and Max Shulman. It's unfortu
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John
Apr 25, 2016 John rated it really liked it
Just two years after World War Two ended, the upscale travel magazine Holiday sent S.J. Perelman and Al Hirschfeld on a (non-Communist) world tour.

The idea of a leisurely survey of Asia--particularly Indonesia, Vietnam, and India--was certainly timely. With Japan defeated and the European colonial powers in retreat, and with Communism's advance in China, the US was expanding its reach into Asia to confront the only remaining rival for power, the USSR; as in Latin America and Africa, the Cold Wa
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Tony
Jan 14, 2016 Tony rated it really liked it
Shelves: essays
WESTWARD HA! (1947-1948). S. J. Perelman. ****.
Perelman was approached by the editors of a travel magazine and offered a chance to take a trip around the world – at their expense, of course – that will be serialized in their issues. On top of that great offer, he will have – as a traveling companion – the company of Al Hirschfeld, the famous artist. The itinerary includes China, Singapore, Thailand, India, Egypt, and several other cities and countries that touch upon their way. The two travelers
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Stanley Trice
Sep 11, 2014 Stanley Trice rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor
CNN listed this as one of the funniest travel books ever written and they were right. This was a funny, laugh out loud book chronicling a trip made in 1947 by S.J. Perelman (a New Yorker columnist) and caricaturist Al Hirschfeld. They left New York City, traveled to Hollywood, and went by boat, train, plane, and other through China, Singapore, Siam (Thailand), India, Egypt, Italy, Paris, and London.

S.J. Perelman has a wry, ironic, wit with his writing that is filled with satire and the unexpecte
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cameron
Mar 04, 2015 cameron rated it really liked it
I haven't read Perelman in many many years and he is classic humorist. When I was young, a husband used to read him to me aloud and I always like him read that way. Great NY literary characters and a good story (some of it true) but sad to say that I found the writing dated this time. The world has changed so much.
Kathy
Apr 12, 2010 Kathy rated it it was amazing
This book is from the 50's or 60's, but it is still hilarious. The author's use of the English language along with preposterously exagerated but still possible situations provides most of the laughs. Mr. Perelman uses a lot of clever word play and I read the book again and found a lot of great lines I had overlooked.

S. J. Perelman used to work with the Marx Brothers on their movies and a lot of his writing has that same fun element to it.
Joeydag
Jan 28, 2015 Joeydag rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember borrowing this from my hometown library when I was in junior high.
Michael
Nov 13, 2009 Michael rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-poetry
Purposefully pretentious writing, and satire that made me laugh out loud at times. Although this book is short, I filled several lists of words to look up in the dictionary. This is a classic of high-brow humor.
Annette Reynolds
Oct 22, 2012 Annette Reynolds rated it it was amazing
If you've never read SJ Perelman, you're in for such a treat! One of the wittiest, funniest curmudgeons ever...I never get tired of reading his pieces.
Jim
Aug 11, 2013 Jim rated it really liked it
Enjoyable travelogue from a writer who once put words into Groucho's mouth. (Hirschfeld's drawings made the book for me).
Brady
Aug 03, 2007 Brady rated it liked it
Decent subway reading. Some really funny descriptions, though much of the narrative felt a bit dated, and some a bit dashed off.
Cody
Nov 20, 2009 Cody rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor
Around the world with a grumpy old ugly American. In a good way.
Robert Stewart
Sep 15, 2014 Robert Stewart rated it it was amazing
If you read one Perelman book, this should be it.
Jacky
Jun 25, 2013 Jacky rated it it was ok
I guess I just didn't "get" the humor
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Sidney Joseph Perelman, almost always known as S. J. Perelman, was a Jewish-American humorist, author, and screenwriter. He is best known for his humorous short pieces written over many years for The New Yorker. He also wrote for several other magazines, as well as books, scripts, and screenplays.
More about S.J. Perelman...

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