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Lamentations of the Father: Essays by Ian…
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Lamentations of the Father: Essays

by Ian Frazier

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A couple of pieces in this collection had me laughing out loud. One was the title essay bemoaning typical child behavior (table manners, etc.) in biblical style. The other was a reflection on the problem of recall in middle age, when it's no longer easy to mentally delineate between, for example, H. G. Wells, George Orwell, Orson Welles, and Orson Bean. (And was it ever easy to keep Robert Conrad and William Conrad straight?)

Unfortunately the other 34 pieces didn't so much as tickle my funny bone. Perhaps Frazier and I have so little in common that we don't even share a sense of humor, and others who share Frazier's outlook on life would see the humor that I missed. After all, this collection did win the Thurber Award for American Humor. The judges must have found more to laugh at than I did. ( )
  cbl_tn | Dec 19, 2013 |
A collection of short, humorous essays, I found this when I was cruising the Humor section at the bookstore, a section I rarely venture into. The Atlantic Monthly published the title piece of this book as "among the best writing ever to appear in the 150 years of the magazine" claims the back of this slim book. And once I'd read it (again as I'd seen it on the internet before), I had to agree that it was truly a work of wonder. This and Cursing Mommy were the most hysterical bits in the collection, although I claim to bear no resemblance to the cursing mommy herself (despite the breadth of good Anglo-Saxon words in my childrens' vocabularies). There were a few essays that didn't cause me to crack a smile but overall, this was a fun, quick read, easy to dip into and a nice palate cleanser when reading weightier stuff. ( )
  whitreidtan | Aug 12, 2009 |
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"Lamentations of the Father: Essays" (ISBN 0374281629) is not the same work as "Lamentations of the Father" (ISBN 0664222382). The latter is a single essay; the former is a collection of 33 essays, one of which is entitled "Lamentations of the Father". These are very different works. Please don't combine them.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374281629, Hardcover)

When The Atlantic Monthly celebrated its 150th anniversary by publishing excerpts from the best writing ever to appear in the magazine, in the category of the humorous essay it chose only four pieces—one by Mark Twain, one by James Thurber, one by Kurt Vonnegut, and Ian Frazier’s 1997 essay “Lamentations of the Father.” The title piece of this new collection has had an ongoing life in anthologies, in radio performances, in audio recordings, on the Internet, and in photocopies held by hamburger magnets on the doors of people’s refrigerators. The august company in which The Atlantic put Frazier gives an idea of where on the literary spectrum his humorous pieces lie. Frazier’s work is funny and elegant and poetic and of the highest literary aspiration, all at the same time. More serious than a “gag” writer, funnier than most essayists of equal accomplishment, Frazier is of a classical originality. This collection, a companion to his previous humor collections Dating Your Mom (1985) and Coyote v. Acme (1996), contains thirty-three pieces gathered from the last thirteen years.
 
Past winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor; author of the nonfiction bestsellers Great Plains, Family, and On the Rez; contributor to The New Yorker, Outside, and other magazines, Frazier is the greatest writer of our (or indeed of any) age.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:09 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

More serious than a "gag" writer and funnier than most essayists, Frazier has a classical originality. This collection, a companion to his previous humor collections "Dating Your Mom" and "Coyote v. Acme," contains 33 pieces gathered from the last 13 years.--From publisher description.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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