THE HAIRCURL PAPERS by William K. Zinsser
Kirkus Star


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This wildly assorted collection of almost 20 pieces, mostly funny, but some outrightly sentimental, manages to strike a very fine average in spite of some distinct lulls. His appreciation of Harold Arlen, the great but unheralded pop composer, is done with touching skill; his love letter to Eastern Long Island has a warm tenderness that should cheer chambers of commerce; and his semi-definitive essay on salt-peter, the alleged all-season male coolant, delightful and a milestone in drug debunking. His nonsense based on the idea that hairculers are worn around the clock is hilarious, as are the pieces based on the elaborate pageantry practiced by airline captains and stewardesses, and several other forms of foolishness. He comes through effectively on the changes in movies and their stars, but does badly on such a special topic as playwrights' letters to the New York Times drama section. Too special... All in all, a good show, indeed.

Publisher: Harper & Row