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The Crimson Bookshelf

PARIS TO THE LIFE, by Paul Morand, Sketches by Doris Spiegel. New York, Oxford University Press. Price $3.

By A. C. B.

WITH all due respect to Happy Bob Benchley, the Baker's Boy, one does get just the trace of an idea that he really is going from Bed to Worse these days. Nonsense combined with satire can be made to be extremely funny and Our Bob, as we used affectionately to call him, was able to make it so in the good old days. But recently one has the feeling that perhaps these depression years are getting him down, if not possibly out. Some of the little bits in the book rally the old savoir to their cause, but there are many that need more than savoir to bring them up to former standards. Nonsense as such won't quite pass unless its really pretty funny and somehow I did not feel that this was really pretty funny. Perhaps I haven't got that gay, carefree, New Yorker attitude of which Happy Bob has so long been the standard bearer, or perhaps Comforting Thoughts on the Bison don't apply to me, at any rate there were large portions of the book over which I was seen to nod just a touch.

But of course, there are sections which seem to catch some of the old fire, they may have been written some time ago, but at any rate such tasty little essays as Bargains in Butterfly Equipment, and Some Figures on Wind Velocity may bring a few good laughs from any Boston audience.

On the whole, though one gets the feeling that old Honest Bob, the people's friend, still can see what needs satirical comment, but has a hard time trying to write it. His nonsense falls just the least bit flat, but its a case of where a little goes a long way. He sees the faults of the day's work, but he sees them too obviously and the result is one which even the Gluyas Williams drawings have a hard time counteracting.

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