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Posted August 2, 2012
Five for the book in general, zero for this edition. Horrible formatting. It looks as though it was pasted in from an old DOS word processor file. B&N acknowledges but has not offered a fix.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Will Cuppy was a great humorist. This is not his best book or his funniest, but it is as close as he ever came to writing autobiography. It provides fascinating glimpses into his life during the 1920s, when he was still an obscure and impecunious book reviewer.
The New York Times said that Cuppy was known as the hermit of Jones Beach "because he used to retire to a shack there to brood from time to time." In fact, he brooded there full-time from 1921 to 1929, which should qualify him as an expert. A hermit, said Cuppy, "is simply a person to whom civilization has failed to adjust itself." This book provides all you will need to know, including recipes, housekeeping tips, important information about the history of spinach, and full particulars on "living from can to mouth"— "new, novel and palatable ways of opening tin cans." Advice to cooks: "When you smell it burning, it's done." I hesitate to recommend his recipes, except in emergencies, but his "Cuppy Plan of Motionless Housekeeping" has promise!
He tells how to discourage visitors and how to hide private food stashes from them. He discusses whether a hermit should keep pets, such as fish or clams, concluding in the negative. Pet fish wound one's vanity past bearing with their complete lack of response. And "the appearance of the clam is all against it for anything approaching intimate relations. For what becomes of high romance when you can't tell whether the small exposed portion of the other party is its foot or its face?"
A book of philosophical reflections on housekeeping and etiquette, sardine sandwiches, canned corn, cabbages and beans. The humor is subtle and probably not for everyone, but must reading for Cuppy fans.