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James Thurber: 92 Stories by James Thurber
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James Thurber: 92 Stories (1985)

by James Thurber

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Epigraph
Dedication
For Althea
(The Owl in the Attic and Other Perplexities)
For Helen
(Let Your Mind Alone and Other More or Less Inspirational Pieces)
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"My husband," said little Mrs. Monroe, "is a collector."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is an omnibus containing the complete contents of The Owl in the Attic and Other Perplexities (1931), The Middle-Aged Man on the Flying Trapeze (1935), and Let Your Mind Alone! and Other More or Less Inspirational Pieces (1935).
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With more than 125 illustrations by the author

It was James Thruber who parodied William Wordsworth and gave us a classic definition of humor: "Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." However, it isn't only emotional chaos that stalks Thurber's characters - they encounter domestic, personal, and bureaucratic chaos in truly Herculean proportions. Whether trying vain to remember the Pythagorean theorem in order to buy the correct amount of roofing material, debating how to use the word "one" without sounding pompous, becoming embroiled in convoluted arguments with the opposite sex, or just wondering why the horse in the parlor is acting so strangely, Thurber's people inhabit a special world.

James Thurber: 92 Stories presents three different collections of short stories, essays, and drawings in one satisfying volume. The first part of The Owl In The Attic and Other Perplexities chronicles the marriage of the Monroes, in funny but often poignant, stories that detail the battle of the sexes, and, surprisingly, sow how these battles can bring about a special intimacy.

The next section, entitled Pet Department is a question-and-answer forum that only Therber could devise, complete with whimsical drawings of some of the oddest pets and pet problems ever encountered.

The final section, Ladies' and Gentlemens' Guide To Modern English tackles grammatical problems and terrors that Strunk and White never had the courage to face.

The Middle-Aged Man on the Flying Trapeze is a more auobiographical work that tells of Thurber's "emotional chaos" with regard to overcoats, domestic help, mnemonic devices, clothing, parlor games, and other complex issues of modern life. Also included are several short stories that show Thurber's versatility, such as The Greatest Man in the World with an O. Henryesque twist, and the haunting One is a Wonderer.

in Let Your Mind Alone! And Other More or Less Inspirational Pieces, Thurber lampoons self-help books, the popularization of Freudian theory, and anyone who thinks the universe actually runs on a rational course. With My Memories of D H Lawrence Thurber gives a masterful parody of literary memoirs, and Bateman Comes Home is Tobacco Road turned into a farce.

Whether showing the perils of marriage, aging, moving, or just trying to accomplish what ought ot be a simple task, James Thurber's view of the world is always slightly off-center, yet always perceptive. Thurber's own whimsical sketches further heighten the pleasure of these pieces, making James Thurber: 92 Stories a book you will return to again and again.
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