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Bruce McCall's Zany Afternoons Paperback – 1 Nov 1982

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Knopf (Nov. 1982)
  • ISBN-10: 0394735048
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394735047
  • Product Dimensions: 30.2 x 22.6 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,870,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is an amzing book of brilliant cartoon pictures with accompanying storyline by Bruce McCaul. I remember the first time I read it and the real sense of wonder I felt on turning each page. Were the articles true? Are the 'small ads' genuine, like the Liquid Carpet and packs of Perpetual Lunch Meat? Were those amazing cars he illustates really once manufactured in the USA?

The breath of his imagination is a delight and this is just one of a dozen equally great books by Bruce McCaul. Was there an Autogyro Joust, a Zeppelin Shoot, an R.M.S. 'Tyrannic' which dwarfed the 'Titanic' by facilitating pony races through steerage? Maybe........

While this particular book is out of print it is considered one of his best and will soon be re-printed. In the meantime enter his name in and see what comes up second-hand.
Tim Costello, Dublin.
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Format: Paperback
Great value and entertainment if you can find a cheap, slightly thorn example. I love this book and the works of McCall, but not to the point of forking the price it now fetches for mint items.
Jean-Philippe in France.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars 19 reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If You're Looking This Up And Don't Have It, Buy It NOW 21 May 2003
By J. Reynolds - Published on
Format: Hardcover
If you are visiting this item in the online catalogue, then something special brought you here. You already know of the book, perhaps already own it, and you want to see what other say about it -- or you know nothing about it. If the latter is the case, something lucky and/or magic brought you here, and you owe it to yourself to BUY THIS BOOK NOW. Maybe you heard some snippet about it, or glanced at a copy while visiting a friend. Whatever the case, SOMETHING in your psyche drew you to this fantastic volume of fantasy and art, and you absolutely need to have a copy in your home. People drawn to Zany Afternoons, regardless of the reason, have bigger, funnier, more open and creative minds than everyone else in the world, and the common bond we all share is the book itself. Detachable pants cuffs, five-in-one food paste, tank polo -- these are the creative/artistic concepts embraced by those of us who have been chosen by nature to live on Earth and put the "life" in "lifetime." If you're here, buy it now. You'll know why, after it arrives.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Boredom is the one thing our kind can't afford" 13 July 2000
By The Sanity Inspector - Published on
Format: Paperback
If F. Scott Fitzgerald had been a satirical cartoonist, half of this book would be the result. The real author used to be an automobile advertisement illustrator in the '50s, which accounts for the other half of the book. See, what the other reviewers were laughing too hard to explain, is that this is a book of spoof illustrations, taken from various publications. Blueblood nostalgia for the Jazz Age is sent up in gags on conspicuous consumption like "Indoor Golf", "Autogiro Jousting" and such. The clever, name-dropping text of those pieces is very funny, also. The auto ad gags feature parodies of 1950s layouts, featuring vehicles that look like they came off the proverbial wedding cake, and double-talking sales copy, like "...with twin-lock dual-fade brakes!" Anyone who's read old copies of Popular Science will scream at the parody of the articles (the automatic nose-blowing device) and the ads (I quit, boss! There's plenty more money in ACCORDION REPAIR these days!) included here. It's hard to believe that the author of this, well, zany book is the same as the author of the painful memoir _Thin Ice: Coming of Age in Canada._ Get this book by hook or by crook!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To me the closest to perfection 20 May 2003
By Gary Brown - Published on
Format: Paperback
...I have to say that this book is as close as I've ever come to perfection in humour. It completely matches my sense of the absurd and has such historical accuracy. The bloke really is a genius. My copy has long since fallen to pieces and I spend my life trying to buy back the copies that I gave away. Interestingly enough, many people just don't get it. You need to have a sense of what he is mocking I guess.
The funniest thing that I have ever read and looked at, this is after reading and looking at it for 20 years!!
Most highly recommended of all.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the funniest retro, old-money books I have ever seen. A real delight. 30 May 2007
By Sherman A. Thompson - Published on
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This colorful and off-beat book is visually hilarious and somewhat difficult to describe because it is so unique. There is just nothing to compare it to. The first part is a spoof of how the neer-do-well old money preppy crowd, out on a lark, might fight boredom. The retro 1930's style artwork is priceless, and the accompanying narration equally funny. The humor is delightfully dry. For example, In the Zepplin Shoot, depicted much like a grouse hunt, the comment is made by a gentleman in tweeds, "They fall so gracefully."

The fun games are depicted poster style, accompanied by short commentary. Games like Tank Polo, Autogyro Jousting, and the all-in-fun, "Blindfold the seaplane pilot" (as it banks and twists between skyscrapers). The absurd "Wing Dining," as depicted on the cover, is worth the price of the book.

The second part is a collection of spoofs of 1930's through 50's advertisements, everything from monstrously large automobiles with tail fins, to rediculous home-study courses so you can afford to "eat steak."

There is just too much good about this book that can't be covered by a review. It does, however, require a somewhat twisted sense of humor for full appreciation.

I first saw a copy of Bruce McCalls colorful book when I borrowed one from a colleague 35 years ago. I was finally able to acquire my own copy five years ago and may buy another one as a loaner.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1999 Apocryphal Edition - Zany Afternoons 18 Feb. 2006
By "Bucky French" - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I just ordered a copy of the 1999 Barnes and Noble (reprint... not original publisher, Knoppf) hardcover edition of Bruce McCall's Zany Afternooons.

Much to my surprise, they have replaced four pages found in the original with four different pages I've never seen before.

The original paperback edition from 1982 on page 114 - 117 featured "Stewardesses of the Emerging Nations" - RwandaAir and all that jazz. The new printing has replaced that material with "The Adventures of The Hotel Throckmorton, est. 1906." This new (?) material (though still funny) is not nearly as good - even though my Dad and I both agree that "Stewardesses..." was probably our least favorite section of the original. But why the replacement? Was the orignal artwork misplaced? Very very odd.

One thing to note that I JUST spotted after years of faithful reading, one the airplanes featured in this original section was one of the first commercial jetliners that flew for British Airways... the De Havilland Comet. Infamous in real life for it's disastrous window blowouts. The plane originally had square windows which would occasionally blow out at altitude causing the entire fleet to be scrapped. Looks like the "Airlines of Emerging Nations" contained an extra insider "joke" from Mr. McCall.
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