Lamentations of the Father: Essays

Ian Frazier, Author
Ian Frazier, Author . Farrar, Straus & Giroux $22 (194p) ISBN 978-0-374-28162-5
Reviewed on: 03/03/2008
Release date: 04/01/2008
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-0-664-22238-3
Paperback - 194 pages - 978-0-312-42835-8
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-4299-4102-0
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Accomplished social satirist Frazier's latest collection reminds us why the novelist and essayist is one of America's funniest living writers. The much-quoted title piece, originally published in the Atlantic Monthly , gives voice to every parent's battle with table manners, bath time and various “laws, statutes and ordinances” concerning biting (don't), sand (not edible) and pets (not to be taped). Equally entertaining are Frazier's self-declared role as spokesman for crows, complete with slogan (“Crows: We Want to Be Your Only Bird™”) and his mock exposé on the truth behind history's most famous phrases. Caesar's “I came, I saw, I conquered” is, according to Frazier, simply an early example of mankind's obsession with the sound bite, a snappier version of: “I came, I saw, I conquered, I had a snack, I took a bath, and I went to bed, because I was exhausted.” A treat for Frazier fanatics and new readers alike, this compilation from the past 13 years has nary a misstep and begs to be read in one sitting. Researchers, Frazier says, have determined that life is too hard. But it's easier with Frazier at the helm. (May)

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