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Home > Books

Which James Thurber to buy?

In response to his recent reappearance in the news, Alan Connor advises where to best buy your Walter Mitty.

7 August 2003

I rate Thurber's cartoons far above anything he did in print. Especially the dogs.thurber_dogs.gif

Best of all are the single-panel, one-line-of-dialogue ones:

We've all been there

And timely is his story in pictures The Last Flower. A wonderful propellerhead called William D. Kiernan has uploaded a bunch of cool things, and this is one:

I offer this happy little divertissiment to you on the eve of yet another bombing foray against the Fiend of Baghdad, or rather, against his subjects; alas, you may be certain, as certain as sorrow and sin, that not a hair upon the head of our ex-CIA-employee Saddam Hussein will be mussed, not a one.



So what are the picks for good Thurber? The cheapest collection is a Penguin 20th Centusry Classic called "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" and Other Pieces, though this is a reprint of The Thurber Carnival from 1945.

The Ebury Press claim that their Better to Have Loafed and Lost is updated and better, although it's shorter. Still, you can do one of those Perfect Partner things with My Life And Hard Times.

If budget is an issue, we recommend the Penguin, since you can, if you're quick, get My Life and Hard Times for 75p.

But if budget is no issue whatsoever, why not splash out on The Thurber Letters: The Wit, Wisdom and Surprising Life of James Thurber?


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