Don't Tread on Me: 2the Selected Letters of S. J. Perelman

S. J. Perelman, Author, Sidney J. Perelman, Author, Prudence Crowther, Editor Viking Books $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-670-81759-7
The title sets the tone for this collection of 51 years of letters from the American humorist (19041979) to relatives, friends and loved ones. Perelman was not a tender man, even with his family, but his letters home are more natural and less wisecracking than those to people like T. S. Eliot and Groucho Marx, whom he tried to impress. He also comes off rather better as a father than he did in Dorothy Herrmann's recent biography. There are many nuggets of Perelman's famously acid wit: Malcolm Muggeridge is ""a chatterbox all smile and prussic acid, bristling with insincerity.'' Mike Todd is ``a combination of Quasimodo and P. T. Barnum.'' Lillian Hellman ``has begun to compare herself with George Sand.'' Presidential candidates Ford and Carter ``flail away at each other with panty-hose filled with Nembutal.'' Crowther, a fledgling writer whose friendship warmed Perelman's last year, has competently assembled and introduced this collection. Photos not seen by PW. First serial to Vanity Fair. (July 20
Reviewed on: 06/26/1987
Release date: 07/01/1987
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-14-009482-4
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