A TEXAN AT BAY by Paul Crume


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The best thing about a dry-wit-and-homespun-humor column in a newspaper is the fact that you get only one dose of it a day. None but the most brilliant writers of such columns wear well between hard covers. Paul Crume, for many years a columnist for the Dallas, Texas, Morning News, wrote on an endless variety of topics. His view of existence closely parallels that of Erich Fromm -- man is an anomalous creature ill-equipped for an earthly life fraught with danger; and he is a firm believer in Finagle's First Law (anything that can go wrong, will). Some few of the vignettes in this collection of columns are very funny, and he occasionally invents clever gambits such as ""the Milwaukee School of American Poetry"" which ""will quickly correct the common misconception that Falstaff is a character in Shakespeare..."" By and large, however, his writing is insufficiently cosmopolitan to support his technique, and his humor is too barbed to make pleasant reading. He is inconsistent in the dexterity of his satire, and his philosophical analyses fall short of what he was trying to achieve.

Publisher: McGraw-Hill