LANTERNS AND LANCES by James Thurber
Kirkus Star

LANTERNS AND LANCES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

"Who would without a thurber be/ Should never, never speak to we..." (Ibid., old song). This is strictly a luxury item for eager lex'lconeers in language whether they are curious about the author's "alphabetical sedation" (never, ever, start to begin on this, medication), or his rogering in on Roget, or his visual vocabularizing; or are fascinated by his preoccupations about abbreviationists or verbal smoke screens; or the madness that befalls him via Sengalese love birds or Stamese cats; or his dim view of statistics; or his feeling about Henry James and his revival in theater (or worse mediums); or his attitude toward nurses.....or any aspect of the life that is filtered -- and exposed --- through his alert ears (lack of sight makes for more sensitive hearing). Even if not concerned with the precarious state of the English language, readers (to be flogged into reading) should be exposed to this "circumambient mental air" (it is invigorating -- breath-taking too) if only to begin to understand palindromes, watch an expert juggle words, learn about the "marvelous sixteenth letter of the alphabet" (and others in the 26 that will astound), jargon that jars and communication that confounds and radio that riles -- and all the "if on" added together mean it's thurbertime again- and with 50 drawings!
Pub Date: April 12th, 1961
ISBN: 0060142804
Publisher: Harper
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1961




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