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October 21, 1928 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1928-10-21

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ER 21, 1928


B 0 0 K S
Somewhere we seem to have The language in the present New
missed the essential for an under- York stage success, "The Front
standing of Jim Tully. But at least Page"* is the kind that one would
we . read his books through-and inevitably get out of any fraternity
we admire the short, pungent style chapter room (or bathroom). And
with which his narratives move. it is language that finds an ap-
The latest, "Shanty Irish"* is even propriate place in the life of these
more swiftly and strongly written hard-living, dirt-chasing, mud-
than the forerunners. It moves raking, illusion-destroying report-
with a rapidity that keeps the ers. One finds these men-and the
reader ever alert for the change women, too-calling a spade a
tn scene--the shifts of tone and spade in the most violent terms.
tempo, and the slight deviations So big a part does profanity play
of the point of ithe Irish im- in their lives that "You god damn
migrant. The short vivid little baboon" becomes a term of positive
sketches, in their way, manage to regard and respect. The language
give one the panaroma of the scene is transcribed from the atmosphere
-the essential parts of life in in which these men live, move,
which these people played their breathe, and pound their type-
trifling parts. Hard drinking ditch- writers. It's great stuff-and the
diggers and glass-blowers, linen ex- play does move.
perts, street-walkers-all of these This Hildy Johnson is the throw-
play their little parts in the drama back from the days when news-
of life and depart. But they man- paper men would kill at the first
age to leave their impression-and syllable of the word "journalism."
the impression is that life is hard That word went with canes and
enough, without stressing the hard- bath salts as far as he was con-
ness. cerned. As the police reporter for
It is from this realization that the Herald Examiner, he's right on
we have the lies and the liars (one the spot-and he is the play.
might even call them romancers) The news is the thing with
which play such a large part in him-and one feels that on his
this play. These people live in con- death-bed-the book ' doesn't go
stant contact with life and its that far-he'll be thinking of
stringencies-and they seek their speaking to God about a big scoop
relief in dreams, in fantasy, and on the Devil.
in lies. If one likes strong, care- Walter Burns, managing editor
fully calculated writing, this book of the Examiner, is the satire of
is an excellent manual. And it is newspapermen and the profession.
characteristically Jim Tully. If you The authors, both of them good
don't believe the man can write, newspaper men, have litte respect
just analyze the character of Vir- for their former bread and butter.
ginia in this book-it's marvelous! The author calls Burns "The prod-
*By Jim Tully. Albert and Charles uct of thoughtless, pointless, nerve-
Boni. New York. $2.50. drumming immorality that is the
* * * Boss-Journalist-the lisensed eaves-
A LITERARY SYMPHONY dropper, trouble-maker, bombina-
If "Point Counter Point"* does tor and Town Snitch, misnamed
not very shortly become one of the the Press.'
most discussed books of the season, If you like good plays that click
it will be to the very great aston- -that have turns and twists that
ishment of this reviewer. Combin- keep you guessing-that have peo-
ing a daring realism, a vast scope, ple who fairly exude their atmos-
and a sincere, penetrating treat- phere and play the game the way
ment of life with a technique which they should-then you'll like this
though old is yet novel and well play. It is many things besides a
handled, the book cannot fail to good drama, the best of which is'
become a sensation, satire. But the biggest thing that
There are those who will prob- one can say about it is that it
ably label it a gross piece of hook- 'clicks.' As well, almost,, in the
um because of its outspoken tone book as on the stage. To tell how
and frank acceptance and portray- good it is-watch how long it plays
al of life as Aldous Huxley has in New York. In the meantime get
found it in the fashionable London it-you'll read it.
society; but they will be those *By Ben Hecht and Charles Mac-
whose narrow code of morality will Arthur. Covici Friede. New
prevent them from seeing that this York. $2.00.
novel is at one and the same timeT* * w
a delicious satire on our present STARTING THE DAY WITH A
modes ,of living and an excellent RHYME
study of at least a dozen major RHYME
charaters.The little rhymes in "The Cheer-
Huxley, as the title of his book ful Cherub"* have been appearing
suggests, has adopted a musical in daily papers around the country
technique in the working out of for years. With a little touch of
his novel. The major theme, the humor, and sometimes a pretty
living of life and the interrelations good insight into human nature,
of the sexes, is sounded in the they have a twist that is appealing,
opening chapter with two major even if not intellectual, and some
characters who are presently ig- of them make very excellent little
pored for a development of the bits to remember.
same theme by the exposition of They are accompanied with the I
t through still another set of char funny little cartoons that some-
acters. By the end of the fourth times are funnier than the verse.
chapter Huxley has complications But the verse is the thing and this

and triangles enough for several one will give a little sample.
>rdinary books, and through the "Though life is most uncertain,
shifting from one group to anoth- I'm sure of this one thing-
er and relating all, he works out That when I'm in the bath-tub
his theme. The telephone will ring."
The unusualness of the method All in all this isn't a bad little
les in the fact that each of the book-but you'll not find it the
many groups in his book is dis- equal to Parker or Hoffenstein.
inct and complete, and yet they *By Rebecca McCann. Covici
are all worked into an artistic and Friede. New York. $2.00.
ymphonic whole. * * *
In s p1 en d i d 1 y characterizing "HERE YOU ARE GENTS,
nany people, Huxley was neces- THROW THE ENEMY'S SONG
arily confronted with presenting IN HIS FACE"'
a number of different attitudes to- "The Intercollegiate Song Book"*
ward life and ways of living it, even is an excellent collection of the
hough all the characters do be. school and pep songs of the lead-
ong to the same society. He does ing colleges and universities in the
his extraordinarily well, and with3 United States. Here you will find
i reserve that is so complete that the songs that are sung as the
>ne is baffled at the conclusion of teams swing into battle black
he book to know which is Huxley' robed seniors march along for
wn outlook on life. commencement and at the tables
Perhaps his is merely ironical in thousands of fraternities and
or, though throughout the book he sororities in these United States. It
olds this irony in reserve for the is a book well-worth having.
urposes of giving an almost sci- The collection was compiled with
ntific study and analysis of peo- the aid of more than a hundred
le, there is hardly anything in college musicians in the United
conic attempts to equal the con- States and is comprehensive in the
luding sentences. It is necessary exteme. We c eny t n
o explain that they deal with a extreme. We notice only that "on
haracter by the name of Burlap Wisconsin" has been left out and
rho has just succeeded in seduc- we wonder at the omission of that
ug Beatrice. Here they are: "That ceent fighting song. But the
. . . - [; n- r.-1 fl. m'.. . ,11l------- --- 4- . I





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