Tracey's Reviews > Excelsior, You Fathead!: The Art and Enigma of Jean Shepherd

Excelsior, You Fathead! by Eugene B. Bergmann
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's review
Dec 19, 2007

it was ok
bookshelves: libraryread, stalled
Read in June, 2005

I'm about 125 pages into this nearly 500 page book & it seems to be as much a psychological analysis of the man as a biography... and I'm not so sure I like this approach. The author seems fixated on the idea that Shepherd's stories were a mix of fact and fiction & that he never was quite straight about his own history. It's getting a bit old, IMHO.

I didn't realize Jean Shepherd was one of the first "talk radio" type personalities - I'll have to do some searching to see if/what recordings might be available.... is listed in the preface.

Notes & Quotes

Quotes from Jean:
- "But nevertheless, as an observer of the scene, I can only say that I have always admired people who can honestly say that they were influenced by Dostoyevsky."
- "I've often said and I still maintain this - that the big difference between humor and satire - I shouldn't say satire, I should say humor and comedy - is the longetivity of humor versus the short-term value of comedy."

Bergmann - "Trivia represents the culture of the common man."

To look for - 1950's sociological treatises
* The Lonely Crowd (1950) David Riesman
* The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit Sloan Wilson
* The Organization Man William H. Whyte
Info on Lord Buckley - Dig Infinity! Oliver Trager

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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Eugene (new)

Eugene B. Gee, I don't think the book is a biography (it's a description and discussion of Shepherd's work in all media),or that it has much-if any-psychological analysis--and I'm the one who wrote it!

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