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Updated 30 December 2005

His Books | Books About Him |Other Lardners' Books
 

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pick of the month

I'd Hate Myself in the Morning: A Memoir
I'd Hate Myself in the Morning: A Memoir

 
 


 

  If you haven't read I'd Hate Myself in the Morning yet, you must.  Ring Lardner, Junior's last book may be his best.  As the title indicates (being his famous quote before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee), the book begins and ends with his memories of the Hollywood Ten and the blacklist.  Those curious about this fascinating (in a disturbing sort of way) time in American history will not be disappointed.

Neither will movie buffs.  His insider view of the movie industry from the 1930s through the present day is filled with eye-opening details and thought-provoking commentary.  Of special interest to me was his discussion of how movies have become a director's medium (rather than any credit going to the writers). 

For those who enjoyed his first memoir, The Lardner's, there is also plenty insight into the Lardner clan.  The relationship between Ring, Jr. and his brother Jim is especially well illuminated.  Simply, the well written story of a great man who finds himself in even greater circumstances (without ever truly believing either).  Click here to buy:  in hardcover for a little over $20 I'd Hate Myself in the Morning: A Memoir or in paperback for a little under $15 I'd Hate Myself in the Morning.  

 

   
His Books

You Know Me Al
You Know Me Al

You Know Me Al: A Busher's Letters (Library of Essential Reading Series)
You Know Me Al: A Busher's Letters (Library of Essential Reading Series)

   

 


The Annotated Baseball Stories of Ring W. Lardner, 1914-1919
The Annotated Baseball Stories of Ring W. Lardner, 1914-1919

 

 

 

  You Know Me, Al. 

The classic dialect letters from Jack Keefe, the ego-blinded but somehow loveable busher, to his friend Al have stood the test of time.  Most lists of best baseball books include You Know Me, Al near the top.   One needn't be a baseball fan, though (I'm not), to enjoy the universal story of the beautiful loser. 

There are many versions to choose from.  The cheapest is the Dover edition, available for $1.00 - $1.50.  These are good for your door-to-door Lardner proselytizing tours.  Hand them out to the literary needy. 

You Know Me Al
You Know Me Al

If you are looking for a personal copy to keep at the house, as opposed to your backpack, I would suggest either the Prairie State edition (green, on left) which has an introduction by Mark Harris, the Library of Essential Reading edition, brown, on left, or the Scribner's edition which has the classic introduction by John Lardner (no pic, just link):  You Know Me, Al.

  

The Annotated Baseball Stories of Ring W. Lardner.  1914-1919. 
Readers who know much more than me about baseball have a wide variety of opinions regarding the accuracy and usefulness of the glosses and footnotes to Lardner's baseball stories in this volume. I found them enjoyable. There are plenty of photos and statistics that aid my reading of these great stories. Many have never been collected.

Contains: You Know Me Al, "Call for Mr. Keefe!" "The Busher Reenlists," "The Battle of Texas," "Along Came Ruth," The Courtship of T. Dorgan," "The Busher Pulls a Mays," "My Roomy," Sick'Em," "Horseshoes," "Back to Baltimore," "Alibi Ike," "Harmony," "The Poor Simp," "Where Do You Get That Noise?" "Good for the Soul," "The Crook," "The Hold-out," The Yellow Kid."

Order on the left. 

 

   
Some newer collections  

Lardner on Baseball
Lardner on Baseball

 

 

Lardner on War
Lardner on War

   
   

Great American Humor: 16 Complete Stories (4 Cassettes)
Great American Humor: 16 Complete Stories (4 Cassettes)

 

       
Four Great Lardner Collections  

How to Write Short Stories (with Samples)
How to Write Short Stories (with Samples)

The collection that made Lardner's reputation as a great American storyteller.  Fitzgerald suggested the title, and Lardner supplied the stories.

 

 

Love Nest and Other Stories
Love Nest and Other Stories

The second major Lardner collection which includes the famous nonsense introduction by "Sarah Spooldripper."  This is an inexpensive reproduction. 

 

   
   

Round up: The Stories of Ring W. Lardner
Round up: The Stories of Ring W. Lardner

The mega-collection which is as close to a complete short stories collection as exists.  The good, the bad, and the ugly here.  This is an inexpensive reproduction.

 

 

Some Champions
Some Champions

My second favorite posthumous collection (the first being Shut Up He Explained).  It mixes nonfiction humor pieces with later short stories.  These are the stories with real shocks of sadness.

 

   
Some classics newly published  

Gullible's Travels, ETC.
Gullible's Travels, ETC.

The above link is for the paperback edition.  Get the hardcover by clicking here:  Gullible's Travels, ETC.

 

 

The Real Dope
The Real Dope

The above link is for the paperback edition.  Get the hardcover by clicking here:  The Real Dope.

This is the last baseball book Lardner wrote.  The humor is still here, as is the insight into baseball.  In addition, though, is a certain sadness that leaves the reader with quite a mixed feeling.

 

   
   

The Story of a Wonder Man Being the Autobiography of Ring Lardner
The Story of a Wonder Man Being the Autobiography of Ring Lardner

Lardner's "autobiography"--and if you look hard enough, you will find some truth in it.  It is a parody of all autobiographies.  An inexpensive reproduction.

 

Treat 'EM Rough: Letters from Jack the Kaiser Killer
Treat 'EM Rough: Letters from Jack the Kaiser Killer

Jack Keefe, from You Know Me, Al, joins the army.  It doesn't have the energy or charm of the original, but it is still funny in parts.  It also shows Lardner's attitude toward WWI.  An inexpensive reproduction.

 

   
   

Selected Stories
Selected Stories

Nothing new here.  The "selected" stories are the same as have been selected oh so many times before.  On a brighter note, they did manage to get the one person who doesn't like Lardner to do the introduction.  A must have for the complete collector.  Only.

 

 

The Big Town
The Big Town

The wise boob comes to life.  Some of Lardner's most quotable language is found here.  An inexpensive reproduction. 

 

   
   

Gullible's Travels
Gullible's Travels

A short story (not the book) published by Kessinger, an inexpensive reprint company.

 
 

 

   
   

Horseshoes
Horseshoes

A short story.  See above.

 

Three Kings And A Pair
Three Kings And A Pair

A short story.  See above again.

 

   
   

The Water Cure
The Water Cure

A short story.  See above and over.

 

Three Without, Doubled
Three Without, Doubled

A short story.  Yep, another.

 

   
Books About Him  

Ring Lardner and the Other
Ring Lardner and the Other

 

  Ring W. Lardner: A Descriptive Bibliography

No picture, but, then again, it isn't much to look at; however, it is something to look in.  A must for every collector, fan, or scholar.  I have worn mine ragged.  For whatever reason, these now cost half the $100 I paid years ago. 

   
   

Ring: A Biography of Ring Lardner
Ring: A Biography of Ring Lardner

The only biography in print, and as such, the best biography out there.  Yardley benefits from researching Lardner's letters and does a fine job of establishing the historical context in which Lardner lived. 

 

       
Other Lardners' Books

 

     
Ring Lardner, Jr.  

I'd Hate Myself in the Morning
I'd Hate Myself in the Morning

 

The Ecstacy of Owen Muir
The Ecstacy of Owen Muir

 

   
   

The Lardners: My Family Remembered
The Lardners: My Family Remembered

 

Backstory 3: Interviews with Screenwriters of the 60s
Backstory 3: Interviews with Screenwriters of the 60s

 

   
Ring Lardner, Jr. on DVD Laura

Cincinnati Kid

Nothing Sacred

Cloak and Dagger

Star Is Born

M*A*S*H

Woman of the Year

Greatest

 

   
James Lardner,
son of Ring, Jr.,
grandson of Ring
 

NYPD: A City and Its Police
NYPD: A City and Its Police

James Lardner on the NYPD.

 

Inequality Matters: The Growing Economic Divide in America and Its Poisonous Consequences
Inequality Matters: The Growing Economic Divide in America and Its Poisonous Consequences

James Lardner edited this one.  If the title doesn't explain, visit his web site, http://www.inequality.org.

 

   
Kate Lardner
Kym Lardner
 

Shut Up He Explained: A Memoir of Growing Up on the Blacklist
Shut Up He Explained: A Memoir of Growing Up on the Blacklist

Kate Lardner is the granddaughter
of Ring.  Here is her memoir about growing up with Ring, Jr.  I just ordered it, so I'll have to comment soon.

 

Arnold the Prickly Teddy
Arnold the Prickly Teddy

A fine children's book (as if the cover didn't tip you off) by Kym Lardner.

   
       


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