I have collected most of Liebling's published works. His war writings are intense and moving without being jingoistic, and his observational sketches about life and the characters one encounters are always interesting and sometimes brilliant. He once bragged that he could write faster than anyone who wrote better than him, and better than anyone who wrote faster.
This volume has much of his light fare. 'The Sweet Science' was listed by Sports Illustrated as the best book ever written about sports. 'The Jollity Building' is a collection of sketches about con men, hustlers and other artists who work really hard to make an easy buck. 'The Earl of Louisiana' is an immensely readable collection of essays about a fascinatingly flawed politician, Earl Long. (Some scenes from the Paul Newman film 'Blaze' seem to have been lifted from this book.)
To me, though, the finest work in this volume is 'Between Meals: An Appetite for Paris'. As a young man Liebling spent a year in Paris in the twenties. In 'Between Meals', written near the end of his life, Liebling reminisces about food, wine and love. The final chapter, 'Passable', concerns a love affair that happened during that year. It's lyrical, moving and unforgettable--a fitting coda to this book and to Liebling's life.