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Aug 30, 2005 04:14 PM

Which Calvin Trillin book?

  • d

Have read his articles, never his books. What are your faves?

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  1. Your best bet is The Tummy Trilogy, which gives you three of his books (American Fried; Alice, Let's Eat; and another whose name escapes me) in one volume. My favorite is probably Alice, Let's Eat, but they are all good.

    I love his non-food-related books as well, especially Tepper Isn't Going Out, which is very funny, and Remembering Denny, which is terribly sad.

    I tried to get tickets for his New Yorker Festival event, a tour of Chinatown followed by a dim sum feast, but tickets were gone within thirty seconds (literally) of going on sale.


    5 Replies
    1. re: curiousbaker

      In addition to the titles you noted, add THE DEADLINE POET. Not all food-related but wonderful to read.

      The title is almost longer than the poem of my favorite -- A SHORT MILITARY BIOGRAPHY OF SADDAM HUSSEIN
      "This guy who often said he'd smash us flat in one battle
      Turned out to be what Texans call all hat and no cattle."

      1. re: Sherri

        Deadline poet is indeed very good. However, lest anyone get the wrong idea from this quote about Trillan's political perspective, one should also read another poetry book of his: 'Obliviously On He Sails: The Bush Administration in Rhyme.'

        1. re: Sherri

          These pieces are published weekly in The Nation - as good an excuse as any to subscribe, provided that one finds its political perspective congenial.

        2. re: curiousbaker

          I love the food books, but Tepper Isn't Going Out is absolutely wonderful, especially if you live/lived in NYC. I read it before we moved back to NY, and now we have a car here - reminds me of Trillin all the time.

          Was just mentioning the book to my husband an hour ago, as we saw a guy in a minivan park in a v. small spot by bumping (aka hitting) the cars in front and in back of him.

          1. re: curiousbaker

            That third volume that you could not recall the name of is THIRD HELPINGS. This was actually the first of the books that I bought. I read one chapter and decided that I had to stop and start from the beginning, so I sought out the first two books.

            Any and all of the four books are essential reads for anyone who loves food.

          2. The first Calvin Trillin I ever read was "American Fried". I recommend it and "Alice Let's Eat", both in "The Tummy Trilogy". Actually, all his writings are wonderful, whether about food or other topics.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Seattle Rose

              Yeah, it's not his topics that are so interesting, it's the way he addresses them. Just get any one and start reading. Can't go wrong.

            2. I think you should read "Feeding a Yen" first, then meander on your path through food and non-food as you please.

              1. Trillin is a treasure and he's a versatile writer, but I love him best when he is writing about Kansas City. For that reason, I have to vote for American Fried, now available in the Tummy Trilogy. The chapter in which he follows Fats Goldberg around the city while Fats gorges is my favorite C.T. piece.

                1. Thanks for all the advice!! The Tummy Trilogy is on its way, and now I know where to move on from there.