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Other People's Rejection Letters: Relationship Enders, Career Killers, and 150 Other Letters You'll Be Glad You Didn't Receive Hardcover – May 11, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Potter Style (May 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307459640
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307459640
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #204,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"’A rejection letter can sway or scar a life,’ writes editor Bill Shapiro, ‘causing one person to give up his dreams, another to work harder.’  They’re no fun either way, but after reading the examples in his new book, at least you’ll know you’re not alone."  - People

"A lusciously laid out compendium of snobbery as delicious as it is heartbreaking" – New York Observer’s Very Short List

"A collection of more than 150 notes, letters, and telegrams that will make you feel good about yourself." – Esquire.com

 "Bill Shapiro shares 150 nay-saying (and jaw-dropping) messages that’ll take the sting out of your own recent burns, spurns, and turndowns" – More Magazine
 
"The native Angeleno and editor of Life.com must have rifled through lots of desk drawers (and government files) to come up with these: nasty emails, angry texts, and dismissals of both the famous (like Andy Warhol and Jimi Hendrix) and non-famous alike – and they’re funny because they’re not ours." – LAmag.com

 "A new anthology of career failure, romantic relationship disasters, cute letdowns, and outrageously nasty trash talk" – Boston Herald

“A great gift for anyone who has ever heard a resounding no.” -- AllYou.com

About the Author

BILL SHAPIRO is the editor in chief of LIFE.com and the former editor of LIFE magazine. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Fan of Tick Tock on May 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The letters in this book are fully engaging and beautifully presented, spanning a full range - from rejection letters sent to famous people (Andy Warhol, Jimi Hendrix, etc.) to relationship kissoffs ("You were right; I'll be fine without you") to notes scrawled by kids ("I hat you," [sic], "I'm running away"). But what's especially impressive is how the letters flow, one after another, with little treasures left here and there -- a typed note from Eleanor Roosevelt, a sexy text about a "doggystyle" party, the saddest break-up letter ever, and on and on. They're like sparkling one-act plays. And the book isn't just entertaining to read: it helps you see clearly that you're not alone in the universe, that everyone gets shot down once in a while. This would be a great gift for graduates seeking to make their way in the world with their pride and sense of humor in tact.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Cass J. Mcmain on October 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This was an amusing concept, and one in ten or fifteen of the letters in the book are actually very funny. The others are simply boring as hell. If the funny ones were made into a book, it would be a slender volume, indeed. I slogged through a reading of a foreclosure notice, numerous rejection letters of no interest whatsoever, a petition for divorce, and a long (boring) notice to a parent that her child bites other children and is being sent home. The book is virtually all filler, and very little frosting. I wouldn't buy it if I were you; if you want to read rejections of this quality, you could just send poorly written material to publishers and then visit your own mailbox. It's a shame, because this could have been much better.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Heidi S. on August 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ordered this book expecting that the rejection letters would be funny and entertaining. They're not. Many of them are simply standard, straight-forward rejection letters and I had to wonder, from an editorial standpoint, why they were even included. Some of them are mildly entertaining once you know the back story, but the background information is included in the very last section rather than with the letter itself. This is a very disappointing, and not at all amusing, book.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By God's Muggle on August 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is missing one rejection letter...the one that should have been from the publishers of this book. Exceedlingly boring, the follow up letters should be WITH the rejection letters, not stuffed in the back. Some letters are very hard to read. The good news is, it look less than 2 hours to read, but certainly NOT worth the cover price. DULL DULL DULL
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By WritingAmyB on July 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I saw a CNN article that mentioned rejection letters involving Jimi Hendrix, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Andy Warhol, and so I immediately decided I had to have it.

It's a fun book - but you should know that most of the letters are to and from "ordinary" people. Because of that, I agree with another reviewer that you probably need to see it only once. I personally don't feel the need to read someone's personal rejection over and over again. Reading it once confirms that, "Oh yes, we've all been through this." Reading it more than once feels like a waste of time and a tad bit weird. If you buy it - it's one of those things you might take out every few years.

If a larger number of the letters were to or from famous artists and public figures who I admire, it would be a five star. Then, it would be like reading a biography of a bunch of people who you want to learn about.

One more note - this isn't everyone's coffee table book. At least three of the letters I read were uncouth - so it's not something I'd necessarily have on the table with young kids around.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vicki Giordano on January 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Read the whole book in a day and I'm not a "reader"! The book is really funny and there are some surprising letters to some famous people. Very good!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's tough to work up a case of schadenfreude at the misfortune of others depicted in this book. That's because most of the missives reveal more about the sender than they do the receivers. The targets of these bad tidings have retained good humor about these episodes. They're in on the joke...which is why they got submitted to this book.

The ones that work the best are the famous rejections - Jimi Hendrix getting booted from the military, a young Andy Warhol getting the brush-off, The Black Sox participants getting blackballed from the game, and Jackie Robinson's stirring, courageous rebuke of President Eisenhower. The more personal notes - usually professional rejection or the termination of a relationship - are worthy of a short chuckle but quickly forgotten. Too bad those comprise about 80% of the book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Eva on June 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Once again editor Bill Shapiro has managed curate a collection of insight into people's most emotionally charged experiences in this selection of rejection letters. I loved being a voyeur into people's pain and couldn't put the book down until I'd consumed each letter. I am amazed by people's willingness to publically share the disappointment of rejection. I respect by all the people who were brave enough to share and I think this shows people's humanity in this universal experience. What's also cool about Other's People's Rejection Letters is that it encapsulates work, love and general life rejection and shows how people communicate over time using different technologies. What a journey through life and history.
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