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Cracker Ingenuity: Tips from the Trailer Park for the Chronically Broke Paperback – March 1, 2003

11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Couched as a how-to guide for today's belt-tightening times, this book ostensibly celebrates the all-American resourcefulness that has turned used refrigerators into beer keg coolers and old bathtubs into lawn shrines. But practicalities aside, this is, of course, meant to be a satire, taking the idea of "making do with what you have" to ridiculous extremes. Thus readers get tips for turning old televisions into fish tanks, converting broken down pick-up trucks into backyard pools and using Kool-Aid as hair dye. All this is supposed to have readers laughing down their noses at redneck know-how. If only it were that funny. Though the authors obviously have an eye for tackiness, they fail to turn their material into the stuff of a successful mock handbook. There's no evident irony in their suggestions for how to rig your meter to rip off the power company or how not to pass a drug test, nor in their recipes for such trailer trash delicacies as "Velveeta Fudge" or "Tater-Tot Casserole." Like too much of the book, these recipes are only raw material, still waiting to be shaped into jokes. For all their condescension, filmmaker Elliott and English teacher Lowry have achieved the opposite of the "crackers" they ridicule: instead of making something out of nothing, they've made nothing out of something. B&w photos, 20 illus.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Cracker Ingenuity [offers] a collection of the best tips, tricks, and lifestyle enhancements from the trailer park's best and brightest." (Maxim Magazine, 3/01/03)

"This book is highly recommended -- it's interesting and informative, without taking chunks out of anyone's dignity." (Java, 3/01/03)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (March 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312290829
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312290825
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,996,242 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
I began Cracker Ingenuity with high expectations after reading and enjoying P. T. Elliot's last book, 100 Proof. I was not to be disappointed. Cracker Ingenuity is hysterical. The content is totally true blue redneck America with an eye for appreciation of this side of our culture rather than condescension. Many of the "ingenuities" had me actually laughing in my seat as I read and the illustrations seem to fit the authors' ideas perfectly. I would recommend this book for anyone who wants a bit of insight into a part of the U.S. that, while somewhat rough around the edges, is likely in all of us.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Trollhair on October 27, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading this book I could see my neighbors, my community and elected officials. Fast, funny, and if I wasn't living in the South I would swear this was fiction.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a humorous book, but what surprised me about it was the number of topics discussed that are now part of academic curricula, particularly vernacular technology and outsider art. There are entire museums devoted to the latter, and this book offers some insight into artists known to these museums, as well as ordinary people who don't think of themselves as artists. It also shows how people use what's at hand to create articles that are practical or aesthetically pleasing to them (vernacular technology, as the academics call it). And it does this with good humor; anyone who thinks the authors are out to embarrass their subjects isn't reading the book closely. On the contrary, the authors seem to have respect and sometimes admiration for their interviewees' nonconformist way of life. It's not a 'serious" book, but it's a worthwhile and amusing look at a part of America that doesn't always receive gentle attention.
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Format: Paperback
elliot and lowry are important voices resounding in the name of american culture...they are not only able to reveal and share the hidden majesty of the people of this fine country...but are also able to do so with an originality and enthusiasm that is refreshing to read...fun and funny, often times laugh-outloud...this book allowed me access back to my own roots in tennessee...i could see myself in this book and i loved my reflection! thank you ladies!!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By avid reader on May 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
Not only is this a delightful and informative read, but it is also beautifully designed. Trailer Park ingenuity is often merely dismissed or laughed off, but this charming book presents the reader with the wisdom and ideas that have been developed over the years by a very resourceful segment of our society. There is much to be learned from them!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is the cooki-est and most hilarious book I have read in years. what an eye-opener and a great surprise on trailer trash culture. this book takes on a fantastic journey in a culture that most of us europeans know so little about or have so much disdain for.
Highly recommended.
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