A Reader's Delight

Noel Perrin, Author
Noel Perrin, Author Dartmouth Publishing Group $25 (220p) ISBN 978-0-87451-430-8
Reviewed on: 03/01/1988
Release date: 03/01/1988
In this collection of elegant, affectionate and informative essays, originally published in the Washington Post Book World, Perrin, professor of English at Dartmouth and a noted author, unearths 40 diverse, largely unknown works of fiction and fact, prose and poetry, by all varieties of writers. These short, brisk pieces were produced both by and for the kind of person who boasts an unabashed love of the written word, for whom the artfully constructed phrase evokes ""shudders of pleasure.'' Perrin places each work in its historical and literary context, provides a tantalizing synopsis and offers stylistic analyses, reminiscences and personal reflections. He also takes pains to demonstrate how these books might be relevant to our time and place, even if only as a diversion from mundane contemporary cares. Unfamiliar works are given a familiar footing, e.g., ``a French equivalent of Huckleberry Finn,'' ``the Catch-22 of the American Revolution'' and ``the book you go on to when you have run out of Jane Austen's novels.'' Obscure or forgotten writers, such as the author's mother, Blanche C. Perrin, take their deserving place alongside such luminaries as Stendhal, Howells and C. S. Lewis. Here is a literary menu that truly whets the curious reader's appetite. (April)
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