Book Review – My Life and My Hard Times by James Thurber
Okay, okay, so I know James Thurber is a famous author and artist who spent most of his career writing for The New Yorker, but that was over 50 years ago. I really need to start washing my hands with classics like these because they’re just too old. I can appreciate his talent, but from a fun point of view, I just need to stick to humorous biographies written by people who are still alive and living in the present day. Even reading Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor pushes him.
My Life and Hard Times is a very short little book telling funny little stories from James Thurber’s childhood, teenage years and college years. I’ve heard these kinds of stories “when I was young we walked 20 miles up the hill to school in the snow” BILLIONS of times, so while this book may have been original to a moment, it’s definitely not for me. My Life and Hard Times isn’t terrible or badly written, but is nonetheless quite boring and put me to sleep.
My favorite chapter is “University Days”. Thurber recounts his frustration in science class trying to operate the microscope with no luck. His rant about seeing dust particles or seeing your own eyeball is hilarious because I can totally relate!
Although the book is only 106 pages, I would definitely recommend picking up a more modern humorous biography if you’re just looking for some light and fun entertainment. David Sedaris is quite prolific in the world of humorous memoirs, and many successful comedians such as Sarah Silverman and Wanda Sykes also have their own books.