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The Swiss Family Perelman: A Rollicking International Road Trip with America's Greatest Humorist
THE SWISS FAMILY PERELMAN is the hilarious and unforgettable account of the master humorist Perelman's trip around the world with his wife, son, daughter, and a cello. This collection of stories, originally published in Holiday in the late 1940s, is jam-packed with Perelman's signature wit and extraordinary prose style.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published August 1st 2000 by The Lyons Press
(first published 1950)
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Incredibly enjoyable reading, recounting his family adventures (wife and 2 children) on a worldwide trip. Perelman’s vocabulary, arcane references and caustic style shine in this extraordinary tome. I could spend weeks looking up the words and people he drops constantly in this clever, funny book.
The illustrations by Al Hirshfeld for this account of a late-1940s family voyage through Asia are a little politically incorrect (how many "Nina"s can he hide in an epicanthic fold, or in the warp and woof of a coolie hat?), but Perelman's prose is almost supernatural in its constant flow of witticism. His description of drunk Dutchmen in Indonesia vilifying Americans is utterly hilarious. He might actually be, sentence by sentence, the funniest American writer.
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...