At the helm of America s most influential literary magazine for than half a century, Harold Ross introduced the country to a host of exciting talent, including Robert Benchley, Alexander Woolcott, Ogden Nash, Peter Arno, Charles Addams, and Dorothy Parker But no one could have written about this irascible, eccentric genius affectionately or critically than James Thurber an American icon in his own right whose portrait of Ross captures not only a complex literary giant but a historic friendship and a glorious era as well If you get Ross down on paper, warned Wolcott Gibbs to Thurber, nobody will ever believe it But readers of this unforgettable memoir will find that they do....
|Title||:||The Years with Ross (Perennial Classics)|
|Publisher||:||Harper Perennial Modern Classics December 26, 2000|
|Number of Pages||:||336 pages|
|File Size||:||596 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Years with Ross (Perennial Classics) Reviews
Many years ago, I read in the previous edition of The Portable Dorothy Parker Mrs. Parker’s review of The Years with Ross by James Thurber, which she wrote for Esquire magazine, if I recall correctly. How I wish I had her gift for writing a witty, concise review, because hers made me want to read that book and, back then, it was out of print. Finally, though, I found myself a copy because the book was reissued and I was the opposite of disappointed.
I had an old worn falling apart copy of this and wanted an updated book. It is a wonderful and lively tour through the relationships within the New Yorker including Harold Ross, James Thurber, Benchley, Woolcott, Nash, Dorothy Parker and dozens of others. And, as a bonus, the book is littered with Thurber's drawings and cartoons. This is meant to be enjoyed in an armchair by a fireplace with a few fingers of gin. It is a wonderful reflection of that time and those literary giants.
Rereading this book more than forty years since I first read it was entertaining and interesting. I had not realized how much of it was about Thurber rather than Ross. And there were many things that jumped out at me as things that I once took for granted about society.
I like Thurber but I though he was snippy about "The New Yorker" so I didn't enjoy the book as much as I expected. Still, if you have an interest in the early days of "The New Yorker" you'll enjoy this.
We all know Thurber as a great wit and that reputation hampers appreciation of this book. It is simply not as witty as Thurber intended it to be, and Harold Ross, who Thurber intends to portray as an irascible, but lovable, founder and owner of The New Yorker, comes across in this book as quixotic, insecure, manipulative, and sometimes unreasonable. At times, the book is even deadly dull. Worse, for dramatic effect, the chronology of events is altered, which can be disconcerting. Of course, this book does not purport to be a biography, but rather a chronicle of Thurber's wry impressions and recollections of his decades working for Ross, a man Thurber clearly respects and admires, even as he pokes fun at his many flaws and insecurities. But Ross's endearing attributes are barely apparent in this book, and the reader finds himself asking himself repeatedly why any sane writer would continue in his employ for long. In my view, the book does no favors for its author or its subject. However, there are numerous examples of Thurber's New Yorker cartoons, which are in themselves rich compensation for the books shortcomings.
One wonders if Harold Ross was a genius or just incredibly lucky. Hiring Thurber was one of the best moves any editor has ever made. The New Yorker is still one-of-kind and Ross and Thurber set an original stage that would be hard to top. Anyone who likes this magazine should own this book.
These are the recollections by James Thurber of the years he spent with the New Yorker's founder, Harold Ross (as you can tell from the title). It is really funny stuff. Thurber is a marvelous writer. Ross is the star - an enormously eccentric, hilarious figure. The whole thing is great. Just get it.
Orefer his cartoons to his writing.