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September 01, 1996|CHARLES SOLOMON

TOO SOON TO TELL by Calvin Trillin (Warner Books: $11.99, 292 pp.). In these columns from the first half of this decade, Trillin discusses everything from daily occurrences in his Manhattan neighborhood to national affairs. His reflections on the follies of politicians can be mordantly funny. He compares Ronald Reagan's memoirs to a Milli Vanilli recording and takes issue with critics who thought George Bush's 1992 State of the Union speech failed as "the defining moment" of his presidency: "What could define the Bush administration better than a speech that nobody could remember anything about two weeks later?" Trillin makes his prose sound as natural as everyday conversation without stooping to the faux-everyman poses of Andy Rooney and Mike Royko.

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