Edwin Newman Critical Essays

Introduction

Newman, Edwin 1919–

Newman, an American critic, novelist, and reporter, is an advocate of grammatical precision and clarity. Once a well-known Broadway critic, Newman now writes about the humorous and misleading usage of English. He also writes and appears in television documentaries concerning the commonly accepted fallacies of language communication. Newman has recently written his first novel, Sunday Punch. (See also Contemporary Authors, Vols. 69-72.)

Most of [Sunday Punch] is mildly amusing, as are Newman's lightly satiric assaults in between the fights—on hog-washing Congressmen, chatty newscasters, the Washington in-crowd, bad sportswriters, gurus, and TV sit-coms…. But first-novelist Newman never really summons up a distinctive voice; it's all mixed echoes of Runyon, Lardner, Perelman, Wodehouse, and lesser sorts. A pleasant enough mix, but novel-length mildness (Perelman would have packed all the ideas here into a dazzling short story) may turn to tedium for all but the most sedate readers. (pp. 471-72)

"Fiction: 'Sunday Punch'," in Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1979 The Kirkus Service, Inc.), Vol. XLVII, No. 8, April 15, 1979, pp. 471-72.