Saturday, June 1, 2013

"Life In A Putty Knife Factory" by H. Allen Smith





I found this title and five other books by H. Allen Smith at Powell's Bookstore in Portland, OR.   I never heard of the man, and I just found it by chance - just one of the many great things about visiting a bookstore.  The chance element is very important with respect to book and record shopping.  Nevertheless H. Allen Smith is hysterical.  He is very much the NYC Manhattan writer of the  1940s.   Gin drinking, wise crackin' gentleman of the typewriting world.

This is not his first book, but I believe it is second volume of humorous essays.  Many gems here like this one regarding the writer Ring Lardner:

"Hey, Ring.  Let's get drunk tonight."
"What day is it?"  Lardner asked.
"Wednesday."
"Can't  Got an appointment next Tuesday."

Now I find that hysterical.  Also he mentions one of my favorite obscure writers, Thorne Smith, quite often in these pages.  Mentions him as a friend and someone who appreciates his work.  So one gets at least four stars for that fact.  Other then that there is a really great essay on Bing Crosby and trying to do an interview with him - that's funny and quite profound at the same time.  Smith is sadly out of print, but his wit hits the mark and his writing style is superb.


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