A Clever Back-Handed Compliment

Ending his WSJ review of Richard Zoglin’s new book about Bob Hope, titled Hope: Entertainer of the Century, Henry Allen makes the cleverest back-handed compliment I’ve ever read:

Mr. Zoglin’s excellence as a biographer is as mysterious as Hope’s excellence as an entertainer, but here it is, an entertaining and important book. You end up feeling that (1) you’ve learned everything there is to know about Bob Hope; (2) there isn’t that much to know; (3) you’ve had a good time learning it.

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