"The New Yorker Book of Literary Cartoons," edited by...

Editor's Choice

September 17, 2000|By Michael Pakenham

"The New Yorker Book of Literary Cartoons," edited by Bob Mankoff (Pocket Books, 105 pages, $19.95).

Adam and Eve, unshockingly naked, sit in a grove of shedding apple trees. The caption speaks for Adam: "I can't help thinking there's a book in this." A few pages later, a beach scene: A uniformed cop stands, mildly menacingly, above a folding-chaise seated man with a large book in his hands and lap. Thc policeman speaks: "I'm sorry, sir, but Dostoyevsky is not considered summer reading. I'll have to ask you to come with me." And so it goes. The New Yorker has in recent seasons produced more offshoot publications than any magazine in sight. On no subject can it claim more authority than in making fun of its heart and soul: books, authors and readers. A provocative delight.

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