POOR RUSSELL'S ALMANAC by Russell Baker

POOR RUSSELL'S ALMANAC

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Sage of the 7:15 (Baker of the Times is still the restorative sequel to the back of the cereal box for hundreds of commuters), in a compendium of incidental matters nudged into line by backhanded tributes to the seasons and memorable dates. Like January 17, Mozart's birthday, which precedes the ""all-purpose opera"" with arias like ""Warum So Glum?"" and ""Papa none longo per questo mondo."" Or Bach's birthday (March 21) with that Muzakian orchestra hidden in the elevator ceiling, led by three-eighths-of-an-inch-tall leader, Arturo Pastanini. Further into the arts, Baker discourses on the virtues of book burning including all tomes described as ""wise and witty,"" ""sensitive and perceptive,"" "". . . Brilliantly funny,"" ""hilarious and fascinating. . ."" (take note, a useful occupational checklist). There are many domestic items -- a farewell to elementary school when the young push on to JHS and those ""twelve years with the Weekly Reader""; dishpan meditations (""Trouble is people who have power never wash the dishes""); the war with Nature in the garden; vacation and travel traumas and the attempt to explain World War 11 to offspring (""a day that hasn't survived in infamy as well as we thought it would. . .""). Often brilliantly funny, sensitive, perceptive, and witty, and then as often not. But it's worth holding on to Baker and Buchwald while you light the barbecue with 90% of other contemporary humor.

Pub Date: Jan. 14th, 1971
Publisher: Doubleday