Book Report: A Hand to Hold, An Opinion to Ignore by Cathy Guisewite (1987, 1988)

Book coverThis book dates from the 1980s, so it is dated in some regards, but only in minor ways. Well, minor ways if lived through the 1980s. No one uses a computer or a cell phone, for example. Cell phone? Geez, even that’s dated; I’m the only one in the world except Jitterbug customers still carrying around anything but a smart phone these days. My poor children have no diversion when we’re waiting somewhere except for horning in on other children whose parents have provided them with a digital pacifier. But I digress.

Some of you might remember this strip, which ran for 34 years in the newspaper (geez, that’s dated, too). It dealt with an 80s career woman who was perpetually on a diet, sort of involved with a lightly stereotyped 80s man named Irving, and dealing with older, traditional parents who did not get her at all.

The material seems to hold up well; although I’m not a career woman, I have seen some struggle with the same issues that Cathy makes light of. Except they have cellular phones now, sorry, smart phones, and computers. It’ll probably hold up a little better than, say, Dilbert, which depends on technology and on surreal humor that will be about as funny and relevant as Bloom County remains today. Sorry, Scott Adams, but there it is. Cathy, like Calvin and Hobbes, comments on the human condition, not just the contemporary workplace or political landscape.

Books mentioned in this review:

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