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Letters to Wendy's Paperback – January 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Wave Books; 1st edition (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0970367201
  • ISBN-13: 978-0970367204
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

What kind of person is inspired by a fast-food restaurant? If this new book is any indication, it's one who is by turns worshipful, disturbing and just plain weird. Conceived as a series of comment cards to a local Wendy's, this unconventional fiction chronicles the life (or lack thereof) of an unnamed narrator who spends his days drinking oversize sodas and contemplating the meaning of the fast-food icon. In his more lucid moments, the narrator imagines Wendy's as a cradle-to-grave institution, supplying IV nourishment for a person's last days in the form of "liquid fries." He also posits that Wendy's would serve well as a site for state-sponsored executions, providing both the correct quality of light and an abundance of refreshments. He's just as likely, however, to devolve into soft-porn daydreams involving the counter help and prepackaged foods. About the narrator himself, we learn very littleAno name, no profession, no home address: just an Everyman as fast-food customer. In its best moments, the book delivers some insights into the social mores of people thrown together in a public place of business, people who share the same space and general eating habits but are unwilling to share much else. In short snippets, the narrative can be intriguing; excerpts have appeared on the Web site Nerve.com. But there's no plot to speak of, and spending time with this voyeuristic stranger quickly grows both creepy and tedious. (Dec. 15) FYI: Letters to Wendy's is Verse Press's debut publication. The press will devote itself to releasing innovative works in all genres by poets (Wenderoth is the author of two poetry collections, Disfortune and It Is if I Speak).
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

A perverse, sometimes pretty, obscene and confounding collection of one page meditative missives... trimmed with lunatic fringe. -- Rolling Stone

Charting the narrator's daily routine .... the work reveals an obsession with sexuality, isolation and consumerism run amok. -- Valley Advocate, February 8th, 2001

I couldn't have loved this book any more than I did. So good. -- kottke.org, April 2, 2001

Letters to Wendy's, believe it or not, is a work of genius. -- Philadelphia Weekly, February 8th, 2001

Likely to be known... as the most apt, able, and adventurous ars poetica produced for and by Generation X. -- John D'Agata, Boston Review

These postmodern koans work, in part, because they conjure images so incongruous in the context of a Wendy's visit. -- Feed Magazine, feedmag.com, February 8th, 2001

Wenderoth's first book of fiction ... offers a poetic figure uniquely in tune with what is simultaneously perverse and glorious. -- Rain Taxi, April 2001

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a brilliantly paced book of hilarious, sad, beautiful and perverted prose poems. It's like Nabokov in that it is simultaneously perverted and erudite. I read almost all of it on the subway this morning and relished the others reading over my shoulder as I read about Frosties, Porn in the morning, Foucault, and spanking Wendy.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jared Dublin on February 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
Wenderoth has found a new form for poetry--the customer comment card--and filled a series of them with more desire and truth than any restaurant could safely want to know. Imagine the phrase "How can I help you?" finding no compromise. A stunning and dangerous book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Katey on January 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
This little book full of little "poems" packs a thunderous punch. Wenderoth manages to incorporate humor, genius, sex, love, pain, disease, etc in an inventive form. Why is this book so great? Because nobody's done it before. Nobody's brave enough to create such literature. This is a new favorite on my shelves of poetry books. It stands out...a blur of genre, a combination of many realms. Absolutely wonderful.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
Well, okay, it's great to suddenly hear Wenderoth lust after an American Icon/logo (and she gets spanked!). "Letters" is interesting in parts, but by page 150 one starts to feel a sense of diminishing returns while reading this book. How many clever--albeit slightly twisted--aphorisms in a row can one continue to be as hungry for, after all, as, say one of those big double cheeseburgers with the dual square patties. This book lacks the formal variety of Wenderoth's books of poems. Wenderoth is not, as a writer, always best served by forced brevity. And in "Letters" he seems so intent on shocking the reader and it just feels mildly arrogant. I wouldn't dissuade anyone from buying this book, but I prefer the poems full of large breaths and diamond honed crystalizations in Wenderoth's first two groundbreaking books.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
Letters To Wendy's is an incredible achievement: it manages to blend pornography, philosophy and beauty into one big frosty dessert treat. This book is a "Biggie" in more ways than one: it's big on lyrical beauty, humor, sex and thoughtfulness. It's a hilarious and poignant collection of prose poems. As a colleague pointed out today, who else can make the word "employee" sound so beautiful?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By William Gass on September 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have never encountered a book like this before, laid out in such a snippet-like format where each page is a chapter. I also thought it was interesting that there were no page numbers. Apparently, we were supposed to use the dates of these "sayings" as page markers in the event we found ourselves without a bookmark or some other method of remembering our place. I thoroughly enjoyed Wenderoth's willingness to risk offending people in order to deliver on his point that we are all human, despite our proclivities and weaknesses. Good work.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Helena Vozhd on November 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
i read this in the bookstore in one sitting; it is immensely entertaining, & the author has some excellent turns of phrase, plus who has not at one point confessed some horrible secret on a We'd Like to Hear Your Thoughts card, or wanted to do so.

unfortunately some of the letters degenerate into mindless genital-centric bores without any redeeming prose elements, it seems one cannot get away from this in any form of literature. but vague & nebulous social commentary does not belong in reviews so i'll put this tape over my mouth & we'll all be a lot happier.

but for the most part i loved it, very surreal at times & surprisingly perceptive. i am definitely interested in reading more of his work.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
I was really surprised by this book. It doesn't work like a novel-- doesn't give the novel reader what the novel reader expects. It is foolish to understand this fact as an indication of the book's being deficient. Its value is more like the value of a book of poems-- a book one can look into, quite at random, again and again, and in which each Soul will surely have her favorites. The worth of the book can be gauged by how intensely one clings to one's favorites, and how elusive they nevertheless remain.
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