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Hearing from Wayne and Other Stories Paperback – July, 1989


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins (July 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060972327
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060972325
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,664,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Franzen's highly entertaining debut is a collection of short short stories, most of which are reprinted from such journals as the New Yorker, Gentlemen's Quarterly and the National Lampoon. The 18 pieces are carefully crafted studies in whimsy and moments of truth, and all of them prompt a smile. Almost invariably, the characters are waiting for the "right moment" or the "right person" and as a result have put their lives on hold. The casual first-person style is deceptive, because few writers capture with such grace and precision the sloppiness of folksy speech and mannerisms. In the title story, the narrator receives a postcard from his best friend, written from beyond the grave; "After I Won the Lottery" concerns a man who has trouble giving away his money; "37 Years" is about a man whose doctor tells him he has only that exact number of years left to live and who brags about the heightened reality of his existence as a result. He vows to "enjoy life, maybe drive to the bank, maybe take the long way." "Mom and Pop Biz" recounts every writer's nightmare: Mom and Pop start a magazine, ask Sonny for an article, then reject it, several times. Perhaps the funniest and most biting is "Come Stay with Us," a collection of travel brochures for affordable vacations with the desperate farm families of "beautiful Luling peninsula," one of which gushes: "Don't be too surprised if the eldest ones in our brood want to entertain you on their motorized bikes."
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Claude Singer on February 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
Charming, goofy, brilliant first-person short stories. Two are among the best stories I've ever read. Bill Franzen - whatever became of him?! - captured the voices of ordinary eccentric Americans - or eccentric ordinary Americans. The one about the church organist is so cool and satisfying and hilarious and poignant that it's worth reading every few years just to remember how perfectly it is wrought. I only wish we could hear from Bill Franzen again.
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By Tzar on December 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
I love this book of stories. There is a wonderful dry midwestern humor to them (He's from Minneapolis) A masterful natural style of writing. Even the oddest character are shown with humor and without disrespect. Wonderful, wry and human.

I just Googled him and it appears he's doing book reviews for Salon.com.

Come on, Bill - more stories please.
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By dirtwitch on March 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I agree with the previous review. Bill has a delightful comic voice and a deceptively easy prose style. I thought this book would naturally lead to more by this talented author. Forget Waldo, where's Bill?
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By mxwll on July 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
I adore these stories and re-read this book frequently. I'm with the others: More More!
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