A celebration of America's greatest comic strip—and the life lessons it offers—from a stellar array of writers and artists. Contributors include Ann Patchett, Chuck Klosterman, Jonathan Lethem, Rick Moody, and many more.
This collection of deeply personal essays will help you see it clear, if you don’t already, as a psychologically complex epic about stoicism, faith and other approaches to existential struggles ... The book’s most inspired match of writer to subject is Peter D. Kramer’s entry on Lucy’s work as a psychoanalyst, which to my mind is like having Clayton Kershaw write about Charlie Brown’s pitching career ... The roster of writers skews quite noticeably to the older and whiter side, and the book doesn’t reproduce any of Schulz’s strips, but there are original illustrations (though not of Schulz’s beloved but copyrighted kids) by some of the cartoonist contributors ... This is a collection full of Peanuts adorers, which is how it should be, but it might have been entertaining to see some dissent ... There is nothing overthought about these pieces, even when they reach toward what Joe Queenan calls a tendency to “find more in ‘Peanuts’ than was really there.” Deep warmth courses through even the most eggheaded appraisal. And the eggheadedness that is present always feels fully backed up by the source material ... one of the more spiritual books I’ve read in years ... I should note at this late point that I’m not a Peanuts enthusiast. I have a deep well of affection for it, especially the TV shows that flickered against my youth, but I’ve certainly never considered myself a fanatic. But this charming, searching book made me wonder if I’m right about that after all.
Thirty-three writers and artists wax eloquent and often poetic ... The book is, quite simply, a necessary and important work, a text that gives Peanuts a proper dissection and adds to the pleasure of the original source material ... it is completely necessary that The Peanuts Papers remain faithful to the comic strips' childlike candor. It does just this, but it also captures the raw emotions of childhood in each piece ... an assortment of some of the most popular writers and artists in the world share insights and revelations of varying degree with such ease that, as a reader, you'd be foolish not to sift through the text with pen or highlighter in hand. There are topical essays for everyone and more than enough for the casual reader to absorb with pleasure ... The writers explore Peanuts from every angle and cover a great deal of literary ground in the process ... The joy of reading The Peanuts Papers comes in a rush once you realize just how universal their experiences with these characters are ... Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of The Peanuts Papers is the breadth of coverage ... a worthy addition to the legacy of Charles M. Schulz and the legacy of American culture.
The best thing about this excellent and pleasing anthology of 33 tributes to Peanuts is that it will probably evoke your own memories of newspaper comic-strip reading and reawaken your appreciation of Charles M. Schulz’s round-headed, adult-sounding children and the imaginative dog Snoopy ... Almost every contributor has something smart to say, and editor Andrew Blauner has managed the anthology so that there is remarkably little repetition.