Synopses & Reviews
Reviews of the original 1976 edition:
" Like] something out of the brain of a poetic trash compactor fed on ten years' accumulation of The New York Review of Books and As the World Turns. Cohen is bewitched by the novelty of the novel. He uses plot and language not to tell a story, but to discover and utilize all the lavish possibilities and pleasures these provide. This book is a writer's lark, yet also a benign ramble through the Disneyland of a literary man's literature." (Soho Weekly News)
" Cohen] has put his sophisticated hand into the wiring of the language and twisted it impishly. ... The reward for your attention is that you hear a new voice and a new kind of surreal music." (The New York Times Book Review)
This new paperback edition of Others, Including Morstive Sternbump has been completely reformatted and contains the full text of the original version published in 1976. In addition, it includes the transcript of the 23-minute December 24, 1976 Reader's Almanac interview with Marvin Cohen conducted by Walter James Miller courtesy of New York Public Radio (WNYC 93.9 FM), as well as a new brief introduction by the author.
Marvin Cohen, now 85, was one of the most innovative voices in American literature during the 1960s and 1970s. He authored 9 books, two of them published by New Directions, and his short fiction and essays appeared in more than 80 publications including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Nation, Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, Fiction, The Hudson Review, Quarterly Review of Literature, Transatlantic Review, and New Directions annuals. Staged readings of his 1980 play, The Don Juan and the Non-Don Juan, featured such actors as Richard Dreyfuss, Keith Carradine, Jill Eikenberry, and Wallace Shawn.
During Cohen's heyday, his writing was praised for its originality, sincerity, and humor. Here's what the New York Times Book Review had to say about his 1967 debut, The Self-Devoted Friend:
"It is rare these days -- perhaps, any days -- to come across a work that not only reveals a striking, fresh talent, but stands outside current literary preoccupations. What Mr. Cohen has is his own: a joy in language, and an eye, at once innocent and shrewd, for the paradoxes inherent in the human condition. He puts both language and people through their paces, stands them on their heads, and hugs them to his heart in what amounts as a tour de force of serio-comedy, a sort of superb clowning in which pathos and absurdity intertwine as they do in a Charlie Chaplin film."