Adam's Reviews > Lanterns & Lances

Lanterns & Lances by James Thurber
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755508
's review
Jan 24, 09

really liked it
bookshelves: humor, short-stories
Recommended for: Writers, editors, teachers
Read in January, 2009

I only wish someone had encouraged, coerced or forced me to read Thurber sooner.

This collection doesn't hit the humorous heights of "My Life and Hard Times," but here Thurber reveals himself as an editor's writer. I would venture that "Lanterns & Lances" is actually a writing handbook wearing the guise of a collection of humorous essays.

Some of the titles tell the tale: "The Spreading 'You Know,'" "Such a a Phrase as Drifts Through Dreams," "The Tyranny of Trivia," "The Wings of Henry James," and "The New Vocabularianism."

Less obvious is the alliterative gymnastics employed in "The Last Clock." (On further reflection, one might elect to practice -- and, perchance, perfect -- one's diction through its dictation.)

Many of the trends in language that Thurber here laments have only intensified, making this book a welcome ally for editors and composition teachers.
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