TWENTY ELEPHANT RESTAURANT by Russell Hoban

TWENTY ELEPHANT RESTAURANT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This seductive exercise in runaway absurdity starts out with a wobbly table that is wearing the man out: when he bought it 50 years ago he was young and handsome, and now he's old and ugly. So the man at last makes a new table, strong enough for elephants to dance on--well, one elephant anyway. But "I could make more tables for that matter." And with 18 tables, why not make 72 chairs and have a restaurant? He phones in an ad: "Elephants wanted for table work. Must be agile. Dancing, cooking, and bookkeeping experience helpful." Still the restaurant must be built, and with all 72 chairs filled with people watching him work, he orders a sign: "MR. BUILDO THE ONE-MAN CIRCUS! Admission $1.00. Enjoy a hot dog cooked and served by dancing elephants." But when the restaurant itself becomes wobbly, it's time to move on; and so it goes from there on in: "Sometimes it's a one-man circus, and sometimes it's a 20-elephant restaurant. And that's life. Still, it's not a bad life." McCully, alas, never seems to catch on; but that won't matter when you read the story aloud--if you can, without breaking up.
Pub Date: March 10th, 1978
ISBN: 090714490X
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1978




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