Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin: Forty Years of Funny Stuff

Calvin Trillin. Random, $26 (368p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6982-8
Humorist Trillin (A Heckuva Job; Deciding the Next Decider) entertains with this collection of his song lyrics, comic verse, and more than 130 of the brief essays he originally wrote for the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Nation, and his syndicated King Features column. His acerbic wit is evident in 50 poems, such as "Condoleezza Rice" ("So to serve her guy, she will testify to a lie she hopes you'll buy"), and his Barbra Streisand–styled song for Sarah Palin ("On a Clear Day, I See Vladivostok"). Jesting about everyday life, Trillin can get very close to the truth, as indicated by his 2006 shoe bomber comments in which he predicted the 2009 underwear bomber: "If someone is arrested one of these days and is immediately, because of his MO, referred to in the press as the Underwear Bomber, you'll know I was onto something." He divides the material into sections, such as food, sports, holidays, New York ("I live in Greenwich Village, where people from the suburbs come on weekends to test their car alarms"), technology ("Everyone knows that the only people in an American family who understand electronic devices are the children"), language and literature ("The average shelf life of a book is somewhere between milk and yogurt"). Trillin dances around a subject, examines it from different angles, and often finds fun in the commonplace throughout this huge and hilarious comedic compendium. (Sept. 13)
Reviewed on: 07/04/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
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