The New Yorker reprinting his second piece for the magazine reminded me that this was the one that launched his career as a writer and whatever you call what he did on TV.
His writing improved remarkably over the next 20 years. All the snark and attitude is there, but the subject matter meanders around and there’s barely a conclusion. At his peak, during the best of “No Reservations”, he was sharp and funny and snotty, of course, but he was insightful, and focused on a topic. He considered his topics and, even when he was just gong off about something he felt strongly about, positive or negative, he took time to refine and streamline his points in ways that aren’t as much in evidence in this piece.
I hadn’t seen it before. Really interesting! Thanks for posting it!
His second piece for the magazine is about as close to flawless as it gets.
Didn’t hurt that by then he had a book contract and an editor.