Those of you who were delighted with Solo, Atticus Grammaticus''s Guide for Men Whose Fate is Not to Endure the Raptures of Marriage, will find further enjoyment in this collection of timely essays on what Grammaticus calls with acerbic good humor "the human condition."
The twenty-five essays in this book-witty, intelligent, sometimes hilarious, but always thoughtful-will hold you in thrall. In "A Mother is Not Always a Mom" the author questions modern linguistic innovations (and their concomitant pitfalls), such as the contemporarily popular and virtually universal use of "mom" and "dad" as the replacements for the earlier, statelier titles of "mother" and "father." As only two examples of where this might lead he supplicates solemnly: "Our Dad, who art in Heaven..." and suggests that we "Just once, try singing "Sweet Mom Machree...."
His thoughtful but not optimistic analysis of the present state of American English will provide you with a good deal to reflect upon, and those of you who enjoy the poetical mood will find "Some Brief Thoughts on Poetry" a fascinating exposition on the too-often amateurish and disappointing plethora of contemporary verse with which we continue to be inundated. The Shaggy Dog," with its examples to support what could become "a whole new genre of comedy," will keep you glued to its pages.
In his very readable and highly prudential penultimate essay Grammaticus suggests that we not take ourselves too seriously, reminding us of Napoleon''s too-little-known aphorism that "Tragedy can be turned into comedy merely by the act of sitting down." In his final offering, "The Message" he supports this contention with a wry vignette from his experiences in Vietnam, which for reasons of his own he prefers to refer to as "Indochina."