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The Thurber Carnival by James Thurber.

Thurber's line drawings are featured throughout (particularly toward the end portion of the book).

Published by Harper & Brothers in 1945.



369 pages / 5.5 x 8.75 x 1.1 inches / 14 x 21 x 2.5 centimeters


Please see the images above for an accurate representation of what the book looks like, but...

The dust jacket has quite a bit of wear - it has discolored with age, the color has worn away in spots, there are a few small tears and stains. Take off the jacket, and the book has another attractive cover underneath.

Bookplate inside front cover.


Too many people have come to grief trying to define an analyze James Thurber's particular genius for us to dare do more than say simply that this is a selection of his best writings and drawings, sifted from the whole of his work during the past fifteen years.

However, we are quite willing to go on records as saying flatly that we doubt if any book published in 1945 will contain as much concentrated brilliance, wild humor, and innocent wisdom. A writer of the first order, a humorist whose farce "walks a tightrope over the waterfall of tragedy." as Heywood Broun once observed, a strangely gifted artist, Thurber represents something unique in our national letters. He has been called mad often enough, but it would be truer to say that he is, rather, that disturbing phenomenon, a completely logical man bewildered by and at grips with an utterly illogical world. The London Times, after a long discussion of the wellspring of his humor, once concluded helplessly, "Thurber is Thurber." Perhaps it would be best to leave it at that--thankful that it is so.

James Thurber grew up in Columbus, Ohio, where he was born, and in time attended Ohio State University. There he edited the humorous under-graduate magazine. In his senior year he left college to do war duty as a code clerk in the State Department in Washington and later in the Paris Embassy. (He had lost the sigh of one eye in a childhood bow-and-arrow accident and thus was incapacitated for active service.) After the war he became a newspaper reporter and worked variously on the Columbus Dispatch, the Paris Tribune, and the New York Evening Post.

In 1927 he joined the staff of The New Yorker magazine. His first book, Is Sex Necessary?, was written in collaboration with E.B. White, who was also a staff writer on The New Yorker at that time, and the book, illustrated with Thurber's drawings, was enormously successful. It marked the beginning of his literary reputation and his career as a humorous artist.

Eventually he left The New Yorker staff to devote his time to writing, although he remained a valued contributor. Now married to Helen Wismer, a former magazine editor, and living much of the year in Cornwall, Conn., he still manages, in spite of greatly impaired eyesight, to turn out his brilliant stories and inspired drawings with considerable regularity.

His published books include: Is Sex Necessary?; My Life and Hard Times, Let Your Mind Alone, The Middle-Aged Man on the Flying Trapeze, The Last Flower, Fables for Our Time, The Male Animal (a play, written with Elliott Nugent), Men, Women and Dogs, The Seal in the Bedroom, My World and Welcome to It, as well as two juveniles, Many Moons and Great Quillow.

The Thurber Carnival - text and pictures by James Thurber


  • Vintage item from the 1940s
  • Material: book
  • Ships worldwide from United States
  • Feedback: 428 reviews