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At Wit's End Mass Market Paperback


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Frequently Bought Together

At Wit's End + If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits? + Family - The Ties that Bind...And Gag!
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Fawcett; Reprint edition (May 12, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449211843
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449211847
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 4.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"America's irrepressible doyenne of domestic satire."
THE BOSTON GLOBE
Madcap, bittersweet humor in classic Erma Bombeck-style. You'll laugh until it hurts and love it! "Any mother with half a skull knows that when Daddy's little boy becomes Mommy's little boy, the kid is so wet, he's treading water. What do you mean you're a participle in the school play and you need a costume? Those rotten kids. If only they'd let me wake up in my own way. Why do they have to line up along my bed and stare at me like Moby Dick just washed up onto a beach somewhere?"

More About the Author

Beloved for her wry yet warm look at family life, Erma Bombeck was America's favorite humorist at the time of her death in 1996. Ten of her 13 books, including Forever, Erma, appeared on the New York Times best-seller list. She claimed her first fiction writing was the weather forecast in the Dayton Herald. Her favorite food was pasta, and her hobby was dust.

Customer Reviews

She tells it like it really is in a family.
emjoh
What can I say- If you like short essay type hilarity- this is for you.
David Allen Brogger
Rereading Erma Bombecks book is like pulling on a favourite jumper.
Heather Parker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Allan Schmidt on August 16, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I used to occasionally pick up my mother's Erma Bombeck books when I was a young teenager and read some of it -- I found it funny but didn't quite understand it.
I am now the stay-at-home mother of a three year old with the second baby on the way. What she writes about is as true in 2000 as it was in the 1970s. The environment may have changed -- not nearly as many stay-at-home moms, and the ones that are tend to be working from home, et cetera.
But there are still husbands who decide to fix the plumbing themselves, there are still kids who want cupcakes and a costume for the school play on Sunday night, and there are still women with college educations who haven't gotten to read a book other than the Dr. Seuss series since before the kids were born.
I understand now. I comprehend fully why my mother told me, when I asked as a naïve teenager what was so funny about Erma Bombeck, I'd understand later. There is no better author to make mothers feel like they're not the only person in the world that puts up with this . . . because their kids and husbands haven't noticed yet.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 1, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was Erma Bombeck's first book, and it is hilarious! It takes her through a one-year period, with all the trials and tribulations of housewivery. She tells a great story . . . and explains who she wrote this book for! It is a marvelous pick-me-up book. Read it! "My children have an imagination straight from the pages of Frankenstein. Once they put a live hamster on my chest to wake me up in the morning. As I bolted upright, my throat muscles paralyzed by fear, they asked, "Can we have the cardboard that comes with Daddy's shirts?"
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Patricia R. Andersen VINE VOICE on December 22, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is Erma Bombeck's first book and you can see all that talent, all that material ready to make its mark on the world.
But it doesn't read as a "first book" - all the stuff is there - the kids letting you know on Sunday night they need a costume for the school play - this happens in 2002 just the same as it happened in the 1970s - and of course, mom has no idea what she's supposed to do about a costume. That part is worht the price of admission alone.
So find a quiet spot, maybe after the kids have gone to school and you're wondering if you relaly should have sent them since it's snowing and school will probably close early - get a cup of coffee and read about what it's really like to be a mom.
Oh, and keep the radio on, too - they'll be announcing the school closings for you - and of course, the bus won't be available to pick them up;)
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Privacy, Please on February 28, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was originally published in the 1960s and my mom received a copy as a Christmas present a few years after that. I ended up swiping her copy and reading it many times, not so much because I understood all the humor at age 8 - I got some of it OK, but I remember distinctly asking my mom to explain to me certain jokes and tell me why they were funny. Mom would just sort of groan and shake her head and tell me I shouldn't be reading such a grownup book that I was too young to appreciate. But, I kept reading it anyway because Erma quite simply had a magical knack for putting funny scenes and sentences together. It was like reading an adult version of Dr. Seuss. I'll never forget my favorite part of "At Wit's End" as a child, which was the description of how, the minute Mom gets on the telephone, "the children swing into action like a highly organized army on maneuvers, each marching to his favorite 'No No, Burn Burn' or whatever" that culminates in all sorts of chaos with one kid in the middle of everything climbing onto the kitchen table and taking off his clothes.

By the time I was in college I had read this and several other Erma books (a family friend kept giving them to my mom each Christmas so we got each new one as it hit the stands) multiple times and I not only had a better sense of what the books were about, but Erma had indelibly influenced my writing style with her zingy descriptions and metaphors. I thought of her especially when I wrote humor columns for a couple of school papers and tried to make it read as funny as her writing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pushed 60 on November 14, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first read this book while in high school in 1967 and many times in the 1970's and '80's while raising my son. My paperback edition is buried "somewhere" with books that haven't been read in many years. Having just finished the Kindle edition, I am amazed at how much things have changed since the book was written. What struck me most was descriptions of the family dinner...something that seems lost in the over-scheduled lives of suburbanites. Although I was a "housewife" as described in the book, I can't help but wonder if that role is also something of the past. References to smoking and wanting a color TV were eye-openning for sure. Knowing that Erma Bombeck passed away more than 15 years ago is also quite sad. To think of her observations about a computer-driven, cell phone toting teenage experience would be insightful and probably quite funny. In my opinion no one in the years since her death has filled her shoes. Read the book if you loved Erma Bombeck...read the book if you want a view of a simpler time.
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