Backing into Forward (Jules Feiffer) - Doubleday - 2010 - 444 pages

Buy this book and read it!  Jules Feiffer is the most honest social satirist of our time.  This book is appropriately subtitled "a memoir" since it contains numerous accounts of his experiences with important cultural events, as well as autobiographical accounts.  Feiffer admits that he has no talents other than cartooning and writing, and he often doubts his abilities in those areas.  The book contains wonderful stories about his experiences with the comics (Will Eisner's The Spirit), his longstanding relationship with the Village Voice, his plays (Little Murders, et al.) and other writings including the screenplay for Robert Altman's Popeye.  He admits that his 1977 novel, Ackroyd is unreadable.  Throughout the book, Feiffer recounts memories of his talented but dysfunctional family.  Life with his mother was the biggest challenge of his life.  His writing style flows so easily that I found myself reading chapter after chapter and losing track of time.  I have had an unopened paperback copy of Ackroyd in my library since 1981.  This is the year that I will read it.  [JAM 5/6/2010]