This, for your amazement and enjoyment, is that strangest of all infernal regions, the real world of Richard J. Needham. It is a region inhabited by Bay Street belles with racy collections of motel matchfolders, by men divided strictly into classes according to their habits, by victims trampled... show more
This, for your amazement and enjoyment, is that strangest of all infernal regions, the real world of Richard J. Needham. It is a region inhabited by Bay Street belles with racy collections of motel matchfolders, by men divided strictly into classes according to their habits, by victims trampled to death in non-violent demonstrations, and other victims crowned with ketchup bottles for missing a subtle nuance in male-female understanding. However, no sketch map of these desolate parts would be meaningful without a knowledge of the urbane guide. He is both Virgil and Beatrice, and more; the contribution this one man has made to our appreciation of Toronto mores is incalculable. Yes, it was indeed Needham who discovered that Torontonians talking about moral values are thinking only of sex and liquor. He was also the first to publish the theory that girls enjoy being taken to expensive restaurants and given two Manhattans before lunch. Needham's proposition that women are human beings and that their feet hurt bears the same dazzling relationship to the undiscovered art of intersexual communication that the falling apple did to Newtonian physics. Most of the literary critics worth listening to agree that the best work done to rehabilitate the pun since Thomas Hood's time is by Richard J. Needham -- the very same Needham whose moral fables, with their refreshing scarcity of happy endings, have briskly demolished the obsolete structure of thought in many a sluggish mind. Though his wit is excellent, his anger is steely; though his fecund talent is divided into 187 parts, some of it is gall. And since he is a writer who understands about love, he also understands the proper value of proper hatred. But describing Richard J. Needham to those who haven't tasted him is much like describing water to a parched man. Open the gates of the book, enter the region he has created, and meet the guide himself -- irreverent, cultured, offensive, thoughtful, provocative, enjoyable, and unique.