Since this Israeli humorist's last collection of persistent pleasantries (Blow Softly in Jericho, 1970), an earlier one,...

READ REVIEW

WISE GUY, SOLOMON

Since this Israeli humorist's last collection of persistent pleasantries (Blow Softly in Jericho, 1970), an earlier one, Unfair to Goliath (1968), was transmogrified into an off-Broadway review. Here, in the essay ""The Night of Long Knives,"" Kishon details the opening deathwatch from the moment Clive Barnes was seen to smile (or was he picking his teeth?) until all the returns were in. And into the long night and dawn of hysterical joy and darkest dread came Barnes' numbing sum-up: ""I enjoyed a lot of it."" (Why couldn't he have ""enjoyed it a lot?"") There are further adventures in communication: an interview by a U.S. ""breakfasting pair"" in which the interviewee is carried away with praise for a kosher cooking oil; the budgetary imperatives of a purchasing agent for Israeli TV (a 1917 Blue Angel with harmonica accompaniment); the inevitable Hollywood adventure. There are also those Kishon domestic bits: neighbor harassment by a dog owner who does his own barking (with attendant legal complications); a dentist who discontinues cavity-filling because he's reached his tax-bracket limits; and the psychological terrors involved in having a perfect, always available, baby sitter. Occasionally there's commentary on the international scene -- such as a Nixon briefing on Mrs. Meir who ""will exploit her superior status as an active grandmother."" Kishon's even, good humor is wispy in the short run, but gains strength as the pages pass, and you'll ""enjoy a lot of it.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1972

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1972