The rest of the title is Tales From The New Yorker, but don't let that get to you. I've been reading it for nearly a week now, a bit every evening at bedtime. It's a collection of drawn-from-life articles from the 1930s onward from the talented St. Clair McKelway, a reporter with a keen eye for humanity and a keener ear for language. His tone and style are what Heinlein aspired to (and often achieved). His subject matter ranges from true crime to a tragicomic military farce to what appears to be -- I'm still reading it -- a spy spoof. The latter was expanded to novel length; I may have to hunt it up.
One of his reports was the basis for the movie Mr. 880, about an elderly fellow who counterfeits one-dollar bills, badly, and gets away with it for years. It's about as charming as you think and the film's happy ending was largely what happened in real life, too.
McKelway, who appears to have been an engaging man in his own real life, a man who enjoyed drink and made five tries at wedlock, didn't bother to finish High School. His effortless-seeming prose, well above The New Yorker's high standards, shows why he didn't need to.
Highly recommended. This guy can write -- and he knows how to choose his subjects.
2 months ago