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A Line Out for a Walk: Familiar Essays
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A Line Out for a Walk: Familiar Essays

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  40 ratings  ·  6 reviews
[His] way with the familiar essay that flexible, forgiving genre in which anything goes except charmlessness and anonymity has much in common with that of Messrs, Beerbohm, Liebling, and Mencken. Each piece is exquisitely sustained, moving from point to point with the relaxed economy of a pro. Wall Street Journal"
Paperback, 336 pages
Published July 17th 1992 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1991)
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The personal essays collected in A Line Out for a Walk are a delight. Some have aged better than others, the ones on health and reading seem almost prophetic today. The collection builds to the end, some of the earlier essays lingered too long on topics I was less than interested in though Epstein's writing, his literary quotation and small personal revelations, carried me through those particular pieces. The last five - on envy, reading, gossip, money, and healthcare are true joys. And probably ...more
This collection was published in 1991, a few years before I took a class on Willa Cather from its author. (Prof.) Epstein was one of my favorite teachers, and the reasons he was an engaging and effective instructor are clear in his writing. He is witty and self-deprecating, as well as whip-smart and impossibly well-read. These essays are both personal and public, on topics ranging from health to hat-wearing. He was always a pleasure to be around, and I enjoyed having his voice in my head for a l ...more
Michael Dworaczyk
I didn't want this book to end. That's probably why it took me so long to read it. Joseph Epstein is one of the finest essayists I know. Who else could take such a mundane topic as "hats," and leave you feeling you just learned something valuable and special? Each essay is a work of art, worth many re-reads.
Hal O'Brien
Epstein was editor of "The American Scholar" before Anne Fadiman. I didn't learn that until he'd already left, more's the pity.

His essay in this collection, "The Bore Wars," is all about the many ways to be a bore. Half the time I regard it as a caution to myself; half the time, a post-mortem. Alas.
Aug 03, 2011 Bill added it
Epstein was the editor of the American Scholar for a couple decades and has perfected the familiar essay form.
Sep 14, 2009 Albie added it
A Line Out for a Walk: Familiar Essays by Joseph Epstein (1992)
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“I believe it was Gayelord Hauser, the nutritionist, who said, 'You are what you eat,' but if you happen to be an intellectual, you are what you quote.” 7 likes
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