Picks and Pans Review: Dear Attila the Hun,
by Leonard Stern
The cover blurbs for this collection of ersatz historical documents suggest the contents: "It's the perfect gift for every wife!—King Henry VIII"; "My mother loved it!—Sigmund Freud." Stern, co-founder of the publishing house that produced this witty trifle, doesn't push the jokes. A memo from Genghis Khan reads in its entirety: "THINGS TO DO TODAY: 1. Pillage; 2. Plunder; 3. Diet; 4. Ravage; 5. Sack." An entry for Calamity Jane consists solely of her autograph, an "o." Stern notes, "Ordinarily, Calamity Jane signed her autograph with an 'X,' but in this period of her life she was using a pseudonym." The only lapse in taste comes with a Stevie Wonder music school test paper, a song whose notes are scattered all over the page. Otherwise this is a harmless bundle of chuckles. (Price/Stern/Sloan, paper, $8.95)
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