The prolific humor writer strikes again. This is Bangs at his finest and I don’t want to spoil the ending. If I could write good fiction, this is the style I’d adopt. The 1900 bizarre humor style suits me perfectly. It is a shame that its all but disappeared from the world of literature nowadays. Or maybe it hasn’t. I’ll admit I haven’t looked that hard.
Hopkins Toppleton Jr. is not a great legal mind like his father but he does retain the same name as that great lawyer. The legal firm his father helped create wants to retain the prestige associated with the Toppleton name despite the recent death of Hopkins Toppleton Sr. Therefore, they hire his idiot son, Toppleton Jr., and immediately send him off to England. In order to not disgrace the firm, he is given two rules. Go on vacation regularly and never ever get a client. Both rules are quickly broken. Take off your reading glasses and meet Toppleton’s Client.
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My unabashed love for this little book will be hard to explain. The book itself is a lowkey slice-of-life novel based in the 1890’s written as a diary. Each chapter collects almost a weeks worth of entries in the dull life of Charles Pooter. We hear about his many awkward moments and wait patiently for his rare, polite anger. Attempting to read this monotonous comedy in one sitting will just create an excess of snores. A chapter or two a day will make you crack a smile. In other words, consume this diary like an IV instead of shot.
Charles Pooter and his wife Caroline live a quiet homely life in the suburb of Holloway. They don’t worry about the world’s big problems. Instead, they might play dominoes in the evening after a simple dinner. Or he may complain about his job as a city clerk. Or they may worry of the future of their son, Lupin. In between these everyday occurrences, little coincidences will make you smile. Start your own journal after reading A Diary of a Nobody.
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This leaflet is a chilling reminder of America’s past when lynchings were commonplace. The author cited multiple newspaper articles that apologized for and encouraged the lynchings without trial. The unethical press distorted the facts to reinforce the 19th century beliefs of black inferiority and barbarism. To make matters worse black newspapers were pushed out of business for publishing articles condemning the unfair lynchings. The darkest point comes at the end when the author suggested that every black man should own a Winchester rifle to protect himself from the police and the lynching mobs. She cited multiple cases where the only reason an accused black man had a fair trial was by some desperate act of self defense. Learn from history by reading Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases.
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Everything in this novel is over the top. Each character is beyond grand and their adventures are somehow even more grandiose. You peek in on a conversation between a man and his typewriter. These typewriter keys click out the most fascinating and bizarre articles about the underworld. The authors view of hell is jaded but at the same time almost cheerful. Each time the typewriter begins to whir, we see through the eyes of a Hades newspaper writer, James Boswell. His writings range the gambit from a Sherlock Holmes story to a full Hand-Book to Hades. Bangs has beautiful way of merging the extraordinary happenings in hell with mundane everyday occurrences. In between are loads of shits and giggles. Stay up late waiting for The Enchanted Type-Writer.
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This is the book that introduced the legend, the folk hero, the idiot. You begin to appreciate this hilarious loudmouth as he repeatedly insults, argues and pontificates. The idiot explores a variety of almost insightful topics and themes. You learn about how he yearns for the simple country life. Also, the idiot and the genial gentleman who occasionally imbibed conspire against the other members of the breakfast club and create comic chaos. Plus, Mr. Pedagog is exposed as fool who knows nothing about poetry. So wake up early and join us around the breakfast table for some Coffee and Repartee.
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When I’m reading a great book, I find myself repeating over and over in my mind-“Damn this book is good.” This book was no exception. The idiot is an annoying but insightful fellow. He is argumentative about every and any subject to the frustration of his peers. His stage is the breakfast table. Here he needles the teacher and the owner of the house. He upsets the bibliomaniac and befriends the poet. But most of all the idiot reminds me of myself. Naturally argumentative with a touch for the bizarre and comic. The only difference is that the idiot is outspoken and doesn’t care what people think. Have a laugh and read The Idiot.
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