MEN, WOMEN AND OTHER ANTICLIMAXES by Anatole Broyard

MEN, WOMEN AND OTHER ANTICLIMAXES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

New York Times book reviewer Broyard has recently joined the ranks of those who memorialize their perceptions and prejudices in occasional newspaper columns--a lift for the bleary soul struggling forth from bed and breakfast. Unlike John Leonard, a city bird given to ionospheric ego-flights, Broyard writes from a more settled, if reluctantly assumed, suburban perch. He is quick to twit suburbia's ""void with trees,"" its bland prettiness; country snow ""turns everything into a Christmas card or a smarmy passage from Dickens,"" And there's the movie queue outfitted by L. L. Bean. On the other hand, there are those sunsets--""our Broadway, our bright lights."" Broyard also mulls over parents and childhoods, his own and his children's, and plumps for the virtues of a healthy ""irrationality"" in child rearing. Generic portraits with a hyperbolic tilt turn up too. Broyard writes of the ""imaginative projection"" of the New York Woman in her theatre-of-the-absurd costume; of the older woman looking for a man who appreciates ""ruins by moonlight""; and to solve the problem of complimenting women in these Lib days, he contributes a ""cosmic"" bouquet dredged up from The Magic Mountain. The 52 pieces also include some disquieting confessions: a confrontation with teenage vandals; the invasion of a flaked-out city acquaintance; the feverish weekend visit of a couple in love. Trifles and tribulations--from slight and abrasively righteous to acute and amusingly pertinent.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1979
Publisher: Methuen