Ring Lardner was an American original. He had countless imitators -- journalists who tried to reproduce his uncanny virtuosity with the American idiom; writers who tried to evoke his brilliant blend of drama and irony. Yet he remains without rival.
You Know Me AI is Ring Lardner at his best. It is a classic of baseball, the game, and the community. Through a series of letters from a bush-league pitcher to his not quite anonymous friend Al, Lardner maintains a superb balance between the funny and the moving, the pathetic and the glorious. And Jack Keefe, the correspondent of these letters, is one of his most brilliant achievements.
In a revealing and comprehensive introduction, John Lardner, the author's son and a well-known writer himself, demonstrates, with the testimony of such disparate voices as Virginia Woolf and H. L. Mencken, the awesomely complex reputation of You Know Me Al.
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In his day, Ring Lardner was a legendary humorist (a job-description he disavowed), and You Know Me Al shows why everyone loved him so. In the letters of Jack Keefe, a bush-league pitcher who finally gets his chance in the majors, Lardner shows not only a faultless ear, but also a keen eye for the amusing details of human folly. Keefe is no comical bumbler--he has talent--but also possesses astonishing na´vete, and a lack of self-awareness that is unerringly hilarious. The busher blames everyone but himself for his failures (a trait that Lardner uses to wonderful comic effect in the story "Alibi Ike"). Still, thanks to Keefe's mixture of hubris and puppy-dog trust, you want to see him come out all right.
Lardner--who played a role in breaking the infamous "Black Sox" scandal of 1919--wrote You Know Me Al while covering pro baseball in the teens; for baseball fans, the book is an intriguing glimpse into the past. Athletes haven't changed much, poor devils. They're just as funny as ever, only richer.From the Back Cover:
You know me Al is a classic of baseball- the game and the community. It's about competition, about the ability to reason, and most of all it's about being human.
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Book Description Scribner. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. This book has a light amount of wear to the pages, cover and binding. Bookseller Inventory # G002568440XI3N00