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Pl8Spk: California Vanity Plates Retell the Classics Hardcover – November 1, 1993


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins; 1st edition (November 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062585061
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062585066
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,444,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Platespeak" is a unique retelling of classic and familiar stories using only the vocabulary of vanity license plates. It gives new meaning to the phrase "poetry in motion."

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 13, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I went to Florida with a friend. We stayed at her Grandmother's. I got to sleep on the couch. Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep that first night. There, sitting on the coffee table was a copy of this book (which had the most original cover, that I've ever seen). Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. It was so cleverly written, that it was the highlight of my trip (Disney was cool too, though). Ever since, I've been trying to locate a copy for myself (that was over 5 years ago). This book must be re-issued, and given the marketing it deserves!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 1, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The metal-cover edition is beautifully crafted and a fantastic gift, if you can find one. [I wish I had bought 10 copies at the time.] The thought that went into writing and manufacturing this book was well worth the effort. A telling tale of language and communication on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By mkellogg@wpe.com on April 4, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book is clever, funny and wise, an charmingly oblique and literary look at American car culture. It should always be available to be given as a gift to word lovers everywhere.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think this is absolutely brilliant. The author has rewritten classics of literature like The Book of Genesis and Moby Dick, along with Beatles lyrics and other stuff, using text from actual vanity license plates registered at the California DMV. The covers of the book are metal and look like license plates. Among the highlights are versions of Kafka's "Metamorphosis" (Bug Dude) and "Oedipus Rex" (O Eddy the King).

This is simultaneously good silly fun, iconoclastic mockery of the canon of western culture, a celebration of California car culture, and very pointed social criticism of California (esp. southern Cali). Anybody who has spent any amount of time here will appreciate it. It will particularly appeal to people who have been transplanted here from other places, and have had to adjust to the local idiosyncrasies. I have given copies of this book as souvenirs to visitors.

Why this is out of print is beyond me. This book is a CLASSIC!
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Format: Hardcover
PL8SPK ("Platespeak") is an amazing book, a wonder of a book, a book that looks at vanity license plates and sees, quite literally, poetry in motion.

Nussbaum re-tells tales, from "Genesis" to "I Love Lucy", using only authentic vanity license plates from California -- and using each plate only once per story. Clearly here's a man with too much time on his hands, but oh! the use to which he puts it. Kafka's "Metamorphisis," "The Picture of Dorian Gray," and even "E.T." come to life in a vivid new way in Nussbaum's delightfully twisted mind.

If you delight at all in word play, snatch up a copy of "PL8SPK", decipher it, and share it with your friends.
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