by Art Buchwald ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 4, 1996
Raconteur Buchwald (Leaving Home, 1993, etc.) checks in with the second installment of his memoirs. It's full of lively anecdotes, and dropped names are as plentiful as autumn leaves in the Bois de Boulogne. Picking up the narrative where Leaving Home left off, Buchwald blithely relates what happened after he landed, in 1948, what may have been the world's greatest postwar job: writing for the Herald Tribune in Paris. As an entertainment columnist and food critic for the paper, Buchwald got to know, close up, corporate bigwigs, politicians, showbiz luminaries, and other assorted stars of the International Set. While he was earning $25 a week, young Art hobnobbed with the likes of Truman Capote and Elvis Presley, Thornton Wilder and J. Paul Getty. He did a one-night stand as a waiter at Maxim's. He crashed fancy dress balls. He helped further Prince Rainier's courtship of Grace Kelly, and he mediated (with hilarious results) a dispute between the Greek magnates Onassis and Niarchos. He challenged Rex Harrison (who had taken umbrage at one of his columns) to a duel. (Harrison didn't show.) By dint of sincere application and a droll gift for puncturing pomposity wherever he found it, he rose to the position of bon vivant wonderfully. Even better, he found and married the redoubtable Ann, and they in turn adopted three children. Ultimately, though, the high life took its toll; there was a struggle with depression and a period of separation from Ann. On the whole, however, the memoir is about the fun and romance of a now vanished time. ""All of my writing since,"" Buchwald notes, ""has been the result of my landing that job on the Trib."" While this current installment is not as Dickensian as the widely praised Leaving Home, Buchwald's self-deprecating wit is in full display. Some stories are unabashedly sentimental; all are entertaining. Paris never looked better.
Pub Date: Sept. 4, 1996
Page Count: 256
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996
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