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Reading pulp fiction taught me how to write, said S.J. Perelman

The great humourist ascribes his success to the hours he spent deep in the adventures of Tarzan and Fu Manchu – and watching lurid B movies in afternoon cinemas

18 May 2024

9:00 AM

18 May 2024

9:00 AM

Cloudland Revisited: A Misspent Youth in Books and Film S.J. Perelman

Library of America, pp.200, 15.99

This volume of short essays – originally written for the New Yorker in the 1940s and 1950s but never before assembled – provides ample evidence that the great S.J. Perelman could misspend his youth with the best of them. It’s also the closest thing to an autobiography he ever completed: a series of comic reflections on the awful, absorbing books and movies which entertained him when he should have been attending his classes at Brown University (from which he eventually dropped out), or keeping a steady job.

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