How About Never--is Never Good for You? is Bob Mankoff’s engrossing memoir that focuses primarily on his experiences as a cartoonist and editor of The New Yorker magazine. Wryly funny and a little tongue-in-cheek, this book is a quick and enjoyable tidbit. The story initially focuses on Bob Mankoff’s life, but gradually shifts to his professional experiences and the cartoons of The New Yorker. As someone who has never read nor thought much about The New Yorker and its comics, How About Never--is Never Good for You? provided a fascinating introduction into that world. The book not only teaches one about the cartoons of The New Yorker and the cartoonists who make them happen, but also mirrors the style of the famed magazine, with cartoons and images often punctuating the text.
I had a surprisingly hard time putting this book down. The book’s short, snappy nature suits the story and keeps things flowing. Never once does the writing feel labored, or worse, bland and unoriginal. The prevailing feeling is that Bob Mankoff is taking the reader on guided tour through the world of cartoons. However, it should be noted that though the book is a memoir, Mankoff definitely focuses on his professional life over his personal life. While personal events are alluded to or briefly discussed, they are by no means the focus of the book. This didn’t really hinder my enjoyment of the book, but it definitely left me with some questions about the personal side of the author’s life.
I rate How About Never--is Never Good for You? 4 out of 5 stars because, though it didn’t change my life, this book was thoroughly engaging and got me interested in The New Yorker. I would recommend How About Never--is Never Good for You? to anyone looking for a funny, informative, and above all entertaining read.