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At Wit's End

by Erma Bombeck

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397855,507 (3.81)28
"America's irrepressible doyenne of domestic satire." THE BOSTON GLOBE Madcap, bittersweet humor in classic Erma Bombeck-style. You'll laugh until it hurts and love it! "Any mother with half a skull knows that when Daddy's little boy becomes Mommy's little boy, the kid is so wet, he's treading water. What do you mean you're a participle in the school play and you need a costume? Those rotten kids. If only they'd let me wake up in my own way. Why do they have to line up along my bed and stare at me like Moby Dick just washed up onto a beach somewhere?"… (more)
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» See also 28 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Humorous views of everyday life by the popular writer.
  BLTSbraille | Oct 18, 2021 |
Never fails to amuse. ( )
  Karen74Leigh | Sep 4, 2019 |
At Wit's End is Erma Bombeck's first published book, one that preceded many other volumes, columns, and movies. She was of the same generation as my parents, and a favorite author of my mother, who had several of her books on the shelves as I was growing up. But I'd not read this particular book before today.

For me, Erma's a combination of humorist, social commentator, and reminiscencer (is that a word?). Much of her work might be considered dated, as she describes her life as a mother and housewife from post World War 2 America. However, her humor transcends generations: men and women haven't changed that much, and children are about the same, sans electronics. A younger reader should still see the humor in much of what Bombeck has written.

But where Erma shines, in my opinion, is her remembrances of her own grandmother, her children's experiences (first day of school, etc.), and other events that should pull at the heartstrings of any human with a shred of feeling. What, indeed, do we recall about our own mothers, the lack of fingerprints on the refrigerator door, or the homemade cookies hot from the oven?

You don't have to be old enough to remember this author to appreciate her look at life. I'm sorry we lost her so young. Recommended. ( )
  fuzzi | Nov 13, 2016 |
Originally copyrighted in 1965, this was Bombeck’s first book. She was already a hugely popular syndicated columnist and speaker, focusing her witty observations on the life of a mid-20th century suburban homemaker. The book begins thus: “This isn’t a book. It’s a group therapy session. It is based on six predictable depression cycles that beset a woman during a twelve-month span. These chapters will not tell you how to overcome these depression cycles. They will not tell you how to cope with them. They will have hit home if they, in some small way, help you to laugh your way through while hanging on to your sweet sanity.

While the scenarios she describes are clearly dated (the family sits around the radio waiting for news of a possible school closing due to snow, the milkman still delivers glass bottles of milk), the emotions are universal. I laughed aloud at certain parts (shopping for a bathing suit), I was amused by much of it, and I was touched by a few of her essays (especially her thoughts as her youngest child goes off to school for the first time).

On the whole, however, I was not so in love with the book as I remember being in love with Bombeck’s columns. I am not a mother, but when I was reading her columns in the newspaper the references were fresh and I could think of my own mother (and my childhood), so I “recognized” the situations on a very personal level then.

The book is illustrated by Loretta Vollmuth. Her drawings are a delightful visual interpretation of Bombeck’s observations.
( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
Nothing has changed in 44 years--being a wife and mother is still the same!
( )
  Honeysucklepie | Aug 21, 2013 |
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"America's irrepressible doyenne of domestic satire." THE BOSTON GLOBE Madcap, bittersweet humor in classic Erma Bombeck-style. You'll laugh until it hurts and love it! "Any mother with half a skull knows that when Daddy's little boy becomes Mommy's little boy, the kid is so wet, he's treading water. What do you mean you're a participle in the school play and you need a costume? Those rotten kids. If only they'd let me wake up in my own way. Why do they have to line up along my bed and stare at me like Moby Dick just washed up onto a beach somewhere?"

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