Will Cuppy is one of the greatest humorists this country has produced and is still (despite eleven printings of his imperishable The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody) too little known. Here is one of his three classic "How-To's," considering notable birds and animals whose habits (and often existence) seem to have disturbed Cuppy ("Birds Who Can't Even Fly," "Optional Insects," "Octopuses and Those Things"), as well as more mundane creatures like the frog, the gnat, and the moa, who have no visible vices but whose virtues are truly awful. Spanning the breadth of the animal kingdom, Cuppy neatly classes his observations for easy reference: Problem Mammals, Pleasures of Pond Life, Birds Who Can't Sing and Know It.Included with 50 shorter pieces are longer meditations like 'The Poet and the Nautilus," "Swan-upping, Indeed!" and "How to Swat a Fly," which codifies the essentials of this simple activity in ten hilarious principles. All this, plus over 100 delightful Nofziger drawings!But the seat of honor is, of course, occupied by the Wombat, the nocturnal star of three essays. Whether asleep in Rossetti's silver epergne or tunneling under the lawn, the wombat never fails to fascinate Cuppy, clearly supplying his alter ego for the animal kingdom.
Back in the golden age of humor books (late 1920s-early 1950s), when wits of the pantheon like Robert Benchley, James Thurber, and S.J. Perelman were producing their signature works, there was another singular satirist who more than held his own with such fast company: Will Cuppy (1884-1949). This factual funnyman's metier is dark comedy that flirts with nihilism. His agenda is baldly stated in such classic Cuppy book titles as How to Be a Hermit (1929), How to Tell Your Friends from the Apes (1931), and The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody (1950). This biography doubles as a critical study of a satirist whose shish-kebabing of humanity was often done through the veiled anthropomorphic use of animals. For a biographer, Will Cuppy represents a treasure trove of possibilities. He was a great humorist, and most of his best work is still in print, but until now he has never been the subject of a book-length study. His mesmerizingly complex and eccentric private life almost trumps the comic accomplishments of his public persona.
In these 40 brief, witty essays, Will Cuppy, a perennially perturbed hermit who thought life was out to get him, turns his unflinching attention on those members of the animal kingdom whose habits are disagreeable, whose appearances are repellent, and whose continued existence need not necessarily be a foregone conclusion.
The Decline and Fall of Almost Everybody in the British Film Industry, 1984-2000
Author: Alexander Walker
Publisher: Orion Publishing Company
Category: Performing Arts
Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, The Full Monty, Bridget Jones’ Diary—all these box-office hits were made in Britain, and yet none were financed by British money. In this final volume of his trilogy, Alexander Walker gives us the inside story of the British film industry from 1984 to 2000. He tackles questions like why a nation that produces actors of the caliber of Kenneth Branagh, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Emma Thompson, as well as directors like Anthony Minghella, Sam Mendes, and Stephen Frears, cannot sustain a native film industry.
Loren Ghiglione recounts the fascinating life and tragic suicide of Don Hollenbeck, the controversial newscaster who became a primary target of McCarthyism's smear tactics. Drawing on unsealed FBI records, private family correspondence, and interviews with Walter Cronkite, Mike Wallace, Charles Collingwood, Douglas Edwards, and more than one hundred other journalists, Ghiglione writes a balanced biography that cuts close to the bone of this complicated newsman and chronicles the stark consequences of the anti-Communist frenzy that seized America in the late 1940s and 1950s. Hollenbeck began his career at the Lincoln, Nebraska Journal (marrying the boss's daughter) before becoming an editor at William Randolph Hearst's rip-roaring Omaha Bee-News. He participated in the emerging field of photojournalism at the Associated Press; assisted in creating the innovative, ad-free PM newspaper in New York City; reported from the European theater for NBC radio during World War II; and anchored television newscasts at CBS during the era of Edward R. Murrow. Hollenbeck's pioneering, prize-winning radio program, CBS Views the Press (1947-1950), was a declaration of independence from a print medium that had dominated American newsmaking for close to 250 years. The program candidly criticized the prestigious New York Times, the Daily News (then the paper with the largest circulation in America), and Hearst's flagship Journal-American and popular morning tabloid Daily Mirror. For this honest work, Hollenbeck was attacked by conservative anti-Communists, especially Hearst columnist Jack O'Brian, and in 1954, plagued by depression, alcoholism, three failed marriages, and two network firings (and worried about a third), Hollenbeck took his own life. In his investigation of this amazing American character, Ghiglione reveals the workings of an industry that continues to fall victim to censorship and political manipulation. Separating myth from fact, CBS's Don Hollenbeck is the definitive portrait of a polarizing figure who became a symbol of America's tortured conscience.
“The ultimate literary bucket list.” —THE WASHINGTON POST Celebrate the pleasure of reading and the thrill of discovering new titles in an extraordinary book that’s as compulsively readable, entertaining, surprising, and enlightening as the 1,000-plus titles it recommends. Covering fiction, poetry, science and science fiction, memoir, travel writing, biography, children’s books, history, and more, 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die ranges across cultures and through time to offer an eclectic collection of works that each deserve to come with the recommendation, You have to read this. But it’s not a proscriptive list of the “great works”—rather, it’s a celebration of the glorious mosaic that is our literary heritage. Flip it open to any page and be transfixed by a fresh take on a very favorite book. Or come across a title you always meant to read and never got around to. Or, like browsing in the best kind of bookshop, stumble on a completely unknown author and work, and feel that tingle of discovery. There are classics, of course, and unexpected treasures, too. Lists to help pick and choose, like Offbeat Escapes, or A Long Climb, but What a View. And its alphabetical arrangement by author assures that surprises await on almost every turn of the page, with Cormac McCarthy and The Road next to Robert McCloskey and Make Way for Ducklings, Alice Walker next to Izaac Walton. There are nuts and bolts, too—best editions to read, other books by the author, “if you like this, you’ll like that” recommendations , and an interesting endnote of adaptations where appropriate. Add it all up, and in fact there are more than six thousand titles by nearly four thousand authors mentioned—a life-changing list for a lifetime of reading. “948 pages later, you still want more!” —THE WASHINGTON POST