SEZ WHO? SEZ ME by Mike Royko


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Almost 100 of Royko's short, punchy daily columns from the past ten years-originally published in the late Chicago Daily News (till 1978) and the Chicago Sun-Times. Remember streaking? A 1974 column brings a screaming nudist to Royko's favorite bar--Billy Goat's Tavern; and other dated trends pop up here and there. But for the most part these pieces stand up well over time, with Royko's versatility on freewheeling display. There's Royko-the-two-fisted-muckraker--exposing inhumane bureaucracy in a state mental-health center or the VA (and getting prompt results). There's Mike Royko in an Andy Rooney vein--furious over having his hair termed ""gray"" by a motor-vehicle-bureau clerk or watching women grapple with slit-dress fashion on a windy day. There's Royko as Russell Baker (an update of Christmas Carol) or even as Woody Allen: a superb interview with a woman who once had ""an intimate relationship"" with Pres. Abraham Lincoln. (""Naturally, I was awed by him, with his reputation as the Great Emancipator and all that."") And there's Royko-the-grandly-opinionated attacker--saluting (sort of) Mayor Daley, going after Jane Fonda, the National Rifle Association, the Washington Post, the Democratic Party establishment, Gerald Ford, and Margaret Trudeau. With an emphasis on Royko's lighter, less Chicago-centered work: a collection lacking in overall heft, perhaps--but a pretty darn impressive demonstration of what can be done, day after day, with the 2-3 page, one-or-two-sentences-per-paragraph form.

Pub Date: Oct. 25th, 1982
Publisher: Dutton