cover image The Good Samaritan Strikes Again

The Good Samaritan Strikes Again

Patrick F. McManus. Henry Holt & Company, $17.95 (211pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-2042-7

James Thurber, echoing Wordsworth's definition of poetry, defined humor as ``emotional chaos remembered in tranquility,'' a statement McManus ( Real Ponies Don't Go Oink! ) advances in this collection of 24 essays, most of which are reprinted from Outdoor Life . In his seven previous books McManus offered many pieces about hunting and fishing, and here he adds more, although they are the least successful selections. But the articles on his career in public relations and his concomitant desire to make himself invisible will provoke smiles, the one about his winning high school football team will bring laughter, and the title piece, as well as ``Rancid Crabtree and the Demon Bat'' and `` The Fly ,'' will prompt guffaws. In these McManus recalls how he ineptly tried to help a man hurt in an auto accident, the flight of an enormous kite bearing the town drunk during a windstorm, and a practical joke played on the officious head of a college janitorial staff by his oppressed employees. (Oct.)