Calvin Trillin has been writing for over 40 years. His newest book Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin, Forty Years of Funny Stuff, pulls together literary highlights from his illustrious career. Trillin is one of the most entertaining speakers I have ever had the pleasure to listen to. His witty comments ring true and, rather than just humor, give the listener and reader pithy food for thought. This book includes essays, poems and excerpts from Trillin books and essays that have appeared in a variety of publications.
Trillin's books Uncivil Liberties and With All Disrespect are political satire at its best. Both of these books contain magazine essays that comment on all sorts of life issues. Trillin pokes fun at politicians, his family, other writers and himself as he takes on modern society.
Trillin's wife Alice passed away in 2001. She was a constant in his writing, and readers felt that they knew her from his various stories about their life together. About Alice is a loving tribute to his late wife from the writer. It is a touching book that celebrates her life and the many lives she touched.
Trillin loves food, and was called "the Walt Whitman of American eats" by Craig Claiborne. The Tummy Trilogy includes three books that collect Trillin's essays about food. Included in the book are American Fried , Alice, Let's Eat and Third Helpings . Trillin documented his quest for authentic American food in "American Fried." He has spent a lifetime trying to track down the best eating, which he feels is found not in pretentious restaurants, but in the local barbecues, rib joints, diners and holes in the wall that serve local favorites. The sequel, "Alice, Let's Eat" follows the Trillins gastronomical adventures around the globe. Third Helpings continues Trillin's devoted search for the best plain food that the locals eat.
Feeding a Yen is another Trillin book about food and eating. Trillin talks about bagels, Chinese food and barbecue. He travels the globe searching for delicacies and just plain food.
Killings is a departure from the comic Trillin. This collection of essays is based on sudden death experienced by people across the U.S. It is not so much about the death as the way people live. These essays appeared in the New Yorker. Trillin looks at the death of 16 people across the country.
What happens when what is purported to be an ancient Rune stone is discovered in a sleepy Maine town? Runestruck is a novel based upon that very situation. Berryville, Maine is transformed when Duane Minnick, a grease monkey with country music ambitions, discovers a Viking artifact on the beach. A variety of characters are destined to help history along in their quest to put Berryville and the supposed Rune stone on the map.
Tepper is a recurrent character in Trillin's writing. Murray Tepper is an ordinary New Yorker who likes to read his newspaper while parked in his car. Unfortunately, his car is often parked in a desirable spot, and numerous drivers wait for Tepper to leave. They do not understand that Tepper Isn't Going Out . Tepper and the people who covet his parking space are a comical study in modern sociology.
Travels With Alice documents Trillin's travels around the globe with wife Alice and daughters Sarah and Abigail. Whether looking for an American hamburger in Paris, cruising a hotel buffet in Barbados or shopping in an Italian market, Trillin's eye for detail and search for the perfect meal is insightful and fun.
Calvin Trillin is a versatile writer and his books provide hours of entertaining reading.
- Pam Christensen