The Thurber Carnival

The Thurber Carnival

by James Thurber

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Overview

"An authentic American genius. . . . Mr. Thurber belongs in the great lines of American humorists that includes Mark Twain and Ring Lardner." —Philadelphia Inquirer

James Thurber’s unique ability to convey the vagaries of life in a funny, witty, and often satirical way earned him accolades as one of the finest humorists of the twentieth century. A bestseller upon its initial publication in 1945, The Thurber Carnival captures the depth of his talent and the breadth of his wit. The stories compiled here, almost all of which first appeared in The New Yorker, are from his uproarious and candid collection My World and Welcome to It—including the American classic "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"—as well as from The Owl in the Attic, The Seal in the Bathroom, Men, Women and Dogs. Thurber’s take on life, society, and human nature is timeless and will continue to delight readers even as they recognize a bit of themselves in his brilliant sketches.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060932879
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/19/2013
Series: Perennial Classics Series
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 372,772
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.01(d)

About the Author

James Thurber was born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1894. Famous for his humorous writings and illustrations, he was a staff member of The New Yorker for more than thirty years. He died in 1961.

Table of Contents

Foreword xiii
Preface: My Fifty Years with James Thurber xv
I Stories Not Collected Before in Book Form
The Lady on 142
3(8)
The Catbird Seat
11(10)
Memoirs of a Drudge
21(7)
The Cane in the Corridor
28(7)
The Secret Life of James Thurber
35(7)
Recollections of the Gas Buggy
42(9)
II From My World and Welcome to It
What do You Mean It was Brillig?
51(4)
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
55(6)
Here Lies Miss Groby
61(4)
The Man Who Hated Moonbaum
65(6)
The Macbeth Murder Mystery
71(5)
A Ride with Olympy
76(11)
III From Let Your Mind Alone!
Destructive Forces in Life
87(7)
Sex Ex Machina
94(7)
The Breaking up of the Winships
101(6)
The admiral on the wheel
107(4)
A Couple of Hamburgers
111(5)
Bateman comes home
116(4)
Doc Marlowe
120(6)
The Wood Duck
126(7)
IV From The Middle-Aged Man on the Flying Trapeze
The Departure of Emma Inch
133(6)
There's an owl in my room
139(4)
The Topaz Cufflinks Mystery
143(3)
Snapshot of a Dog
146(5)
Something to say
151(7)
The Curb in the sky
158(4)
The Black magic of Barney Haller
162(5)
If Grant Had Been Drinking at Appomattox
167(4)
The Remarkable Case of Mr. Bruhl
171(7)
The Luck of Jad Peters
178(6)
The Greatest man in the World
184(8)
The Evening's at Seven
192(4)
One is a Wanderer
196(11)
V My Life and Hard Times, complete
Preface to a Life
207(4)
The Night the Bed Fell
211(7)
The car we had to Push
218(8)
The day the Dam Broke
226(7)
The night the ghost got in
233(7)
More alarms at night
240(6)
A Sequence of servants
246(7)
The Dog that bit People
253(8)
University Days
261(9)
Draft Board Nights
270(11)
A Note at the end
281(6)
VI From Fables for Our Time and Famous Poems Illustrated
The Birds and the Foxes
287(2)
The Little Girl and the Wolf
289(2)
The Scotty who Knew too Much
291(2)
The Very Proper Gander
293(2)
The Bear Who Let it Alone
295(1)
The Shrike and the Chipmunks
296(3)
The seal who became famous
299(1)
The crow and the oriole
300(3)
The moth and the star
303(2)
The glass in the field
305(2)
The Rabbits who caused all the trouble
307(1)
The owl who was god
308(2)
The unicorn in the carden
310(2)
Excelsior
312(6)
"Oh when I was..."
318(2)
Barbara Frietchie
320(8)
The sands o'dee
328(4)
Curfew must not ring tonight
332(9)
VII From The Owl in the Attic
The pet department
341(22)
VIII From The Seal in the Bedroom
"With You I Have Known Peace, Lida, and Now You Say You're Going Crazy"
363(1)
"Are You the Young Man That Bit My Daughter?"
363(1)
"Here's a Study for You, Doctor---He Faints"
364(1)
"Mamma Always Gets Sore and Spoils the Game for Everybody"
364(1)
"For the Last Time---You and Your Horsie Get Away from Me and Stay Away!"
365(1)
"Well, What's Come Over You Suddenly?"
365(1)
"Have You People Got Any .38 Cartidges?"
366(1)
"The Father Belonged to Some People Who Were Driving Through in a Packard"
366(1)
"Stop Me!"
367(1)
"I Don't Know. George Got It Somewhere"
367(1)
"All Right, Have It Your Way---You Heard a Seal Bark"
368(11)
The Bloodhound and the Bug
369(10)
IX From Men, Women and Dogs
"This is Not the Real Me You're Seeing, Mrs. Clisbie"
379(1)
"What's Come Over You Since Friday, Miss Schemke?"
379(1)
"Hello, Darling---Woolgathering?"
380(1)
"It's a Native Domestic Burgundy Without Any Breeding, But I Think You'll Be Amused by Its Presumption"
380(1)
"Oh, Doctor Canroy---Look!"
381(1)
"I'd Feel a Great Deal Easier If Her Husband Hadn't Gone to Bed"
381(1)
"Touche!"
382(1)
"And This Is Tom Weatherby, an Old Beau of Your Mother's. He Never Got to First Base"
382(1)
"Perhaps This Will Refresh Your Memory"
383(1)
"...And Keep Me a Normal, Healthy, American Girl"
383(1)
"It's Parkins, Sir; We're 'Aving a Bit of a Time Below Stairs"
384(1)
"Darling, I Seem to Have This Rabbit"
385(1)
"That's My First Wife Up There, and This Is the Present Mrs. Harris"
385(1)
"You're Not My Patient, You're My Meat, Mrs. Quist!"
386(1)
"She Has the True Emily Dickinson Spirit Except That She Gets Fed Up Occasionally"
386(1)
"I Said the Hounds of Spring Are on Winter's Traces---But Let It Pass, Let It Pass!"
387(1)
"For Heaven's Sake, Why Don't You Go Outdoors and Trace Something?"
387(1)
"I Don't Want Him to Be Comfortable If He's Going to Look Too Funny."
388(1)
"Yoo-hoo, It's Me and the Ape Man"
388(1)
"Look Out! Here They Come Again!"
389(1)
"You Wait Here and I'll Bring the Etchings Down"
389(1)
"Well, Who Made the Magic Go Out of Our Marriage---You or Me?"
390(1)
House and Woman
390(1)
"Well, If I Called the Wrong Number, Why Did You Answer the Phone?"
391(1)
"This Gentleman Was Kind Enough to See Me Home, Darling"
391(1)
"I Come From Haunts of Coot and Hern!"
392(1)
"Well, I'm Disenchanted, Too. We're All Disenchanted"
392(1)
"What Do You Want to Be Inscrutable for, Marcia?"
393(1)
"You Said a Moment Ago That Everybody You Look at Seems to Be a Rabbit. Now Just What Do You Mean by That, Mrs. Sprague?"
393(1)
"Why, I Never Dreamed Your Union Had Been Blessed With Issue!"
394(1)
"Have You Seen My Pistol, Honey-bun?"
394(1)
"It's Our Own Story Exactly! He Bold as a Hawk, She Soft as the Dawn"
395(1)
"You and Your Permonitions!"
396(1)
"All Right, All Right, Try It That Way! Go Ahead and Try It That Way!"
397(1)
"Well, It Makes a Difference to Me!"
397(1)
"There's No Use You Trying to Save Me, My Good Man"
398(1)
Man in Tree
399(1)
"What Have You Done With Dr. Millmoss?"
400(13)
The War Between Men and Women
401(12)
About James Thurber 413(10)
The Thurber Carnival, 1945 423

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Thurber Carnival 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
figre on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
How disappointing.I admit, all I really knew of James Thurber was ¿The Secret Life of Walter Mitty¿ and a few cartoons and his reputation. But that was enough to make me really look forward to this collection. I was greatly disappointed.I have no real explanation other than the humor must be just too dated. I know for a fact that many of the pieces definitely are. I realize these are from a certain period of time, but some hold racist (unintentional) overtones and others are particularly demeaning to women. But even the pieces that don¿t suffer from such problems just don¿t rise above the mundane. They are clever, a couple are humorous, one or two are downright funny. But, as a whole, the collection is depressing for how little there is that makes it worth reading.
gregory_gwen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Love this! I have read it many times since childhood, had to buy a new copy recently.
LTFL_JMLS on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Love this! I have read it many times since childhood, had to buy a new copy recently.
Darla on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I remember reading all the books of his they had in the library when I was a kid--inspired by the short-running TV show "My World and Welcome to It" which was based on his work. Amazingly, I found him just as entertaining as I did as a child. The Thurber Carnival is a hodge-podge of essays, stories, and drawings culled over several decades and from several other collections. Some are better than others, of course, and quite a few of them are very dated--unsurprisingly, since the book was originally published in 1945, and compiled at that time from earlier sources.It doesn't really seem to matter. Even though I can't really relate to the early days of the automobile, it didn't stop me from laughing aloud at "Recollections of a Gas Buggy." Human nature hasn't changed all that much in the past 60 or 70 years.There are quite a few classic stories in here, including "The Catbird Seat," which is a delicious story of revenge, and "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," which I hadn't even realized was Thurber's.His drawings are just as entertaining, which is even more startling after reading in the biography what poor eyesight he had. With just a few lines, he manages to do the same thing he does in the stories and essays with just a few words.Most of the humor has to do with human nature--specifically, with the way people communicate, or don't. One of the best (i.e. most hilarious) examples is "What Do You Mean It Was Brillig?" in which he lampoons both his housekeeper's accent and his own misunderstanding of and reaction to it. There's also a darkly humorous story, "The Breaking Up of the Winships," about a couple who divorces over a disagreement about Greta Garbo. Change a few minor details, and these stories are as true today as they were when they were written.I'm really happy I bought this. Not only was it wonderfully nostalgic, and still entertaining today, but I've got this lovely book of very funny, very short pieces that are easy to share with my family. I don't even begrudge the 3 days it took me to read.
rossryanross on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Does anyone read Thurber anymore? I don't think many people do, and it's a damn shame, because that gawky misfit of a man wrote some of the greatest stories of the past century. His drawings are loveable, and the stab in his voice is mild (much less brutal than Dorothy Parker's) but penetrating and funny in a way that makes you think and laugh at the same time. Thurber is an American master who is slipping through the cracks.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am currently in a college production of this play and we are enjoying every moment of it. With James Thurber's humor was as good them (I assume) as it is to today's audiences
Guest More than 1 year ago
Everything one needs to understand and appreciate the comic nature of humanity.