THE BEST OF ALAN COREN by Alan Coren

THE BEST OF ALAN COREN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Move over, Yanks, for Britain's challenger to the late, great S. J. Perelman. Punch editor Coren, a world-class comic writer of wonderfully variegated style, is generously presented in more than half a gross of prodigiously funny selections--part Python, a little Leacock, a bit of Benchley, and a lot of furious fun. Attend a lecture in a Pub of Higher Education (""Take Leonardo D. Finchley, he'd run you up a bicycle in the morning, you'd come in dinner-time to collect it and he'd knock off your portrait while you was stood at the till""). Read extracts from the Great American Novel (""Portnoy's Jaws, or For Whom the Great Sound and the Godfather Toll--22""). Greet Horatio Hornblower's Jewish mother or Winston Smith in 1984, when nothing works, including Big Brother's telescreen. Or, how about a celeb interview with a gloomy 60-year-old Winnie-the-Pooh, who longed to be Gatsby in the first place? Plus: letters to the Times, of course, and a parody opera, Oedipus Bruce in the Australian outback; James Bond still on the job at 70; pirate barbers; musings of the 38(apple) President of the United States. Some of this, of course, is dependent on very ingrown U.K. references, and the literary allusions fly every which way. But most of it travels quite nicely: dip in and enjoy.

Pub Date: March 6th, 1981
Publisher: St. Martin's