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Broken Piano for President Paperback – February 11, 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Lazy Fascist Press; 1st edition (February 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1621050203
  • ISBN-13: 978-1621050209
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #927,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"[A] psychedelic trip of a novel."
-Publishers Weekly
"A laugh out loud, thought-provoking novel."
-JMWW                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       -
"A D.I.Y. Frankenstein's monster that uses parts pulled off Kurt Vonnegut and David Cronenberg, drunkenly stitched together while a Stooges bootleg plays at 110 decibels."
-Louisville Courier-Journal
"Broken Piano often reminds me in ways of [Nick] Cave's last novel, The Death of Bunny Munro."
-The Fanzine
"Chok-full of sharp wit and punk irreverence and is a guaranteed treat for all enemies of Jonathan Franzen."
"Like Christopher Moore on very strong acid.  In Broken Piano For President, he's created a Pynchonesque universe...A rollicking good time of a novel."
-Greg Olear, author of FATHERMUCKER and TOTALLY KILLER

"Not only continues to break fresh Wensinkian ground, he continues to find his voice, a warped voice surely, but one uniquely his own."
-Ben Tanzer, author of My Father's House and You Can Make Him Like You
  • "Deliciously dark and funny."- Louisville-Courier Journal
  • "This is Wensink's special touch: to go as far out as possible with character and concept, but still drive a deeper meaning home. He does so by mixing his Palahniukian style with the kind of twisted humor you can normally only find on Adult Swim."- LEO Weekly
  • "In Wensink's world 'nothing special' always turns 'mucho weirdo' before the story is over."- PANK
  • "One of those rare gifts we get every now and again."- The Fanzine
  • "Irreverent, outrageous, and fearless in his choice of material, Patrick Wensink has a true knack for absurdity."- JOEY GOEBEL, author of Torture the Artist
  • "Patrick Wensink demonstrates a gift for darkly absurdist humor that (just guessing here) surely derives from watching either too much or not enough television." - JAMES GREER, author of The Failure
  • "Absurd, surreal, and funny." - Lance Carbuncle, author of SMASHED, SQUASHED, SPLATTERED, CHEWED, CHUNKED AND SPEWED
  • "Wensink has a sharp wit on display."- Jordan Krall, author of Tentacle Death Trip

Customer Reviews

Not the person who asked me to read this.
When a main character is passive, it almost always means that it will be difficult for a reader to maintain interest in the story.
I purchased this book because of the Jack Daniels design as the cover.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By MPO on July 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is defintitely not mainstream, which is a very good thing! Broken Piano for President takes you on a wild ride with Deschler Dean, the protagonist, as your [drunk] driver, so wear your seat belt. By day, Deschler Dean is a sub-par valet, parking cars for the city's elite and VIPs. By night, Deschler BECOMES one of the VIPs. Through the course of heavy imbibing, Deschler transforms into one of the fast food industry's biggest and best kept secrets. Deschler has an amazing ability to create delicious hamburgers while he's hammered. Unfortunately for Deschler, he has no recollection of events when he wakes up hungover. Ultimately, the two largest fast food conglomorates vie for Deschler's loyalty. Hijinks ensue.

I read much of this book on an airplane and found myself having to stifle laughter so my seat neighbors wouldn't think I was crazy. I would recommend this book be read with a nice glass of Jack Daniels. A fun read- two thumbs up!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Duff HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
Normally, Broken Piano For President by Patrick Wensink would not come up on my radar screen. The only reason it did was publicity over the cover (which resembles the Jack Daniels logo), and how the company handled the situation with class and humor. Anyway, it was enough to get me to pick it up at the library and give it a read. It turned out to be one of the most "out there" novels I've read of late. It reminds me of a very dark version of a Tim Dorsey novel.

Deshler Dean, the main character, refers to himself as a "cliff drinker". When he starts to drink, he completely loses track of what happens. But apparently, he's very active during those times. From what he can tell, he apparently works for two warring hamburger mega-corporations, coming up with ideas that top each other. Furthermore, each side knows he's working with the other side, but thinks he's really spying and trying to lead their competitors astray. Meanwhile, he works a day job as a parking valet, approached by many important people who mean nothing to him, but who apparently know him very well. His life is a continual quest to figure out who and what he's supposed to be, and whether he can be that person during the times he's sober and can remember things.

Both the characters and the writing make this an enjoyable (if not strange) read. In addition to Dean, there are band members who are reluctant assassins, girlfriends who aren't who they appear to be, and Russian cosmonauts who may or may not be real and who might have an axe to grind. And during all this, the two mega-burger chains are continuing to top each other in bigger and more unhealthy fare (which the public literally eats up).
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Pterodactyl Samurai on July 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
Broken Piano for President takes place in a familiar world: an unforgiving, almost featureless city ruled by fast food corporations and millionaire execs. Nothing grows there except cement pilings.

And the main character is a guy I knew in high school: the fairly clueless band member whose only loves are his band and his booze. No matter how close you get to this person, in real life and in Broken Piano, you don't really know what's going on with them. They're eccentric and kind of stupid, but so mysterious (maybe it's the memory loss, maybe it's the entertainer charisma), that you can't help wanting to be close to them.

Considering all of these things I've seen and read before, Wensink's done a thing in Broken Piano that I've never encountered anywhere. He's made me feel the same way I felt when I was living in that city and dating that clueless band member. Like I wasn't on the bandwagon, like I wanted to be, and then when the life of Deshler Dean is falling to pieces and I'm finally aboard, I realize just what is at stake and it's too late to keep everything from self-destructing--which it does, in real life and in Broken Piano.

It's weird, truthful, and hysterical. Wensink's timing is spot on, his writing is conversational and smooth, and his characters are so familiar, and yet still surprising.

I highly recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gary A Brown on December 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has already had a number of favorable reviews, so I'll skip the preamble and tell you why this book affected me personally. Throughout it's pages, the protagonist references The B*tthole Surfers, a band with which many people may not be familiar, but a band which formed one of the corner stones of my adolescence. The Surfers are a band that cannot be called GOOD by any conventional estimation, but they are undeniably unique and bad-trip inducing. I recall taping their music on a cassette before going to skate badly in someone's driveway. The Surfers embody something juvenile yet unmitigated. Something raw yet transcendent.

Their music is the kind of thing that 3 young guys might sit around in a basement jamming on, thinking they were really doing something special, while their parents bang on the floor so they will turn their amps down. It's the kind of thing the 3 main characters of THIS book spend their time jamming on in the basement. And it is also the feeling of complete dissociation that this books invokes in the reader. Faking your way through life -- we all do it, but it is rare that we see it so eloquently confirmed for us on the page. My hat's off to Mr. Wensink. You made me feel like a young poseur again.
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More About the Author

Patrick Wensink is the author of the bestselling novel, BROKEN PIANO FOR PRESIDENT. The book's viral popularity led him to appearances in New York Times, NPR's Weekend Edition, Forbes and others. The New Yorker once wrote one entire sentence about him. After which he had a heart attack.

His writing also appears in New York Times, Oxford American, Salon, Huffington Post and many seedier outlets.

He is also the author of the essay collection, EVERYTHING WAS GREAT UNTIL IT SUCKED and two other books. He lives in Louisville, KY.

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