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“Shepherd has a style and a vision all of his own . . . A Fistful of Fig Newtons is as bright and pleasant a diversion as one is likely to encounter.”
“Certainly the greatest American humorist of the last twenty years, and arguably one of our best writers, period . . . A Fistful of Fig Newtons is an excellent introduction to those who know no Shepherd, and refreshment to those who do, and who would trade almost anything to be able to read him again for the first time.”
Posted November 3, 2003
Ferrari captures the spirit of kid-dom as expressed in a tike's eye view of the world (see A Christmas Story, the movie Shepherd wrote and narrated) with Army stories and sardonic essays. It is one good fiction piece or essay followed by another, in no predictable pattern, much like the Jean Shepherd who ruled the airwaves as a radio monologist and raconteur for 30+ years. Shep weaves between the reckless daredevils of the Jersey turnpike and sentimental journeys to Indiana to recall a great ice cream war or faking his way through HS algebra while hiding in the alphabetical ghetto. Then there's the unsentimental KP tour from hell,ladling gravy round the clock on a moving troop train and the ultimate act of military insubordinance. Another classic is the 'Lost Culture of Deli,' an essay first appearing in 'Omni,' where archaelogists thousands of years from now try to unravel the mysteries of the 20th century armed with a few reels of old TV commercials and an old Dannon yogurt container. The common thread here is Shep's view of the world and the various passage rites of American life.
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