A Fistful of Fig Newtons

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Reviews of A Fistful of Fig Newtons (1 review)

5 - Excellent Review

Reviewer:

In Jean Shepherd's first 3 books of short pieces, none of the stories featured Ralphie and his gang over the age of 16 or 17. In this book, some of the stories are of a much more adult nature, and all are wildly funny. One is a familiar kid story--Ralphie and the gang at summer camp. The title tale is a story that could have happened in any dorm room on any college campus in the good old USA. 2 are high school stories--Lost At C, an adventure in algebra; and "The Great Ice Cream War," about a price war in Hohman, Indiana. Two feature our hero in the Army-one on a troop train, one as Ralphie is let out of the Army for good and comes home to claim the life he fought to preserve. Like his fellow humorist James Herriot, we fans can all be glad Shepherd never faced German or Japanese bullets--something tells me two funny men would have been easy targets, and the world would have been robbed of countless laughs. I know I turned to this book in particular, on the sad morning my father died. As at other bad times in my life, Shepherd's work proved a comfort on that gloomy day, and ultimately a soporific, allowing me to get much-needed sleep I had been denied owing to the crisis going on at that time. As some of these pieces appeared in "Playboy," the language is adult-appropriate. particularly in the Army stories, the men speak in the lingo of soldiers the world over--and that isn't kid-worthy. I love this book, like the 3 before it, and the world lost a good one when Shepherd quit writing books.