For the buffs of Broadway, the old boys in the press room and the devoted of the big town's lower case wonders, archy, the philosophical cockroach, and , the vamping alley cat, Edward Anthony's full and handsome biography O Eare Dan Marquis should be very welcome. A careful and considerate work, it presents perceptive portrait of that hurdy-gurdy poet and crackerbarrel cynic whose life, unfortunately and surprisingly, was far from ""toujours gai"". Calamity more than comedy stalked the Sun and Tribune humorist: a hell-bent hypochondriac of a sister, the terrible deaths of his 5 year old son, teenage daughter and two wives, his own battles with temporary blackouts, a bad heart, bankruptcy and the final paralysis and the dreadful loss of faculties. But he struck back with force, created Old Soak, Hermione, The Dark Hours, Noah an' Jonah, his gamy columns, midriff quips and bouncing ballads. Some might add sneeringly that in an age of Eliot, Freud and Marx he got by intellectually unscathed, yet to his own New York circle he was definitely the best guy around and ""likened to a hero of Greek tragedy"". Biographer Anthony aligns himself with the latter, and he's distinguished himself and his subject.