THE REAL THING by Kurt Andersen


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Clearly ordained by the H. L. Mencken School of Cocksure Prejudices, Andersen roguishly instructs us on the quintessential this or that. His notion of the apotheosis of supermarkets, junk food, planets, days of the week, or silly diseases won't be everyone's; all the better, then, to counter with one's own. But it's the rare droll sort who, like the author, can conjure up such a conceit as stunt-writing or report the hitherto unrevealed gay relationship of Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie. These feuilletons add up to a fair picture of contemporary life, seemingly on the cusp of something or other. The truth of the book certainly doesn't reside in the facts, true or false, but in revelations as useful as the three indications of true adulthood (eating raw onions, saving receipts for tax purposes, and, of course, purchasing an ottoman) or what is really and truly scary (astrologers with goatees and nearly any animal ""unless it's eating canned food from a little bowl or I'm eating it""). Andersen, a kind of richman's, disco-age Will Rogers, has sharp words for kinder, kirche, and kitsch, along with a few approving comments on Richard II, a certain Acapulco brothel, and Monet. Engaging and witty fiddle-faddle.

Pub Date: Oct. 10th, 1980
ISBN: 0803220553
Publisher: Doubleday