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Rejected: Tales of the Failed, Dumped, and Canceled Paperback – January 27, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Villard; First Edition edition (January 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345500962
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345500960
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,381,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this comic anthology of short essays, rejection veteran Friedman (creator of popular New York reading series "The Rejection Show") brings together a double-handful of writers and comics (Michael Ian Black, Neal Pollack, Mandy Stadtmiller, David Rees, Tom McCaffrey, Kristen Schaal) to share rejected work and their thoughts on it. The criterion for entry is an unpublished piece that has been rejected at least once; rejecting parties range from the New Yorker to television's Saturday Night Live to the perfect boyfriend to the suddenly silent agent. Entries include sketches abandoned by members of TV's The State to spectacular bachelor party failures to small, triumphant moments of rejection rejection (for one actress, hope makes a comeback at the local Pottery Barn).The overall quality of the work is remarkable; Friedman allows his writers immense latitude in style and substance while keeping his theme front and center. Though a bit New York-centric, the collection has something for everyone, laughs on just about every page, and an ultimately uplifting spirit; if every rejection is an opportunity, then the chance to be a part of this fine, funny collaboration was probably worth it-especially for readers.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School—Reveling in failure is the order of the day in this collection of essays. Some pieces are about relationships, as in Sarah Schaefer's "Jared," which describes a love affair and traumatizing breakup, conducted strictly via 11th-grade note writing. Others involve poor career choices, such as Kristen Schaal's account of time spent as a lackluster pink-haired, pink-sunglasses-wearing Miss Peppermint Twist in the F.A.O. Schwartz Sweet Shop. And many of the contributors describe creative endeavors that for one reason or another didn't quite make the cut. These are the meat of the collection, as a who's who in comedy share the work they forced themselves to do to make ends meet, thought they could pull off for easy cash, wasn't timely enough, or wasn't funny. Members of The Kids in the Hall get booed off stage and fistfight on, and writers from SNL's Weekend Update, The State, and The Onion, among many others, share snicker-inducing bits that perished in production or under an editor's red pen. For the mass amount of denial found here, Rejected is surprisingly lighthearted and inspiring. There's something satisfying in unearthing seriously cringe-worthy work or memories of some of the best and the brightest in comedy. There's also relief in realizing that some quality endeavors were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Teens will check out this one for its star contributors and their humor, and appreciate it for its realism and sincerity.—Shannon Peterson, Kitsap Regional Library, WA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Roscoe on January 29, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Loaded with fun great stories! Great variety too. If you buy it and don't like it you can personally reject it and return it! But you won't. It's a great read...
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Bosiljevac on October 7, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
John Friedman runs a show in New York called The Rejection Show, which celebrates the all-too-common experience of not succeeding. This book is a collection of some material from that show, various writers, comedians, actors and cartoonists reflecting on their favorite rejections.

Overall, the material in all over the place. Some of it, honestly, should have been rejected. Other pieces have moments of laugh-out-loud humor. Neil Pollack's short story, "Brother Elk," is a pretty solid short story. And both the collection of rejected headlines from The Onion and rejected jokes from Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" both have some hilarious lines. But in general, the bigger the bomb, the better the comedy. And that goes to Kevin McDonald's recounting of a show his comedy troupe did at El Macombo rock club. It ends with the audience hurling homophobic insults (their act followed a gay men's choir) and two of the performers getting into a fistfight on stage.

I recently heard an interview with John Friedman, and perhaps better than anything in this book were some of his insights on what it means to fail and, in this case, what it means to celebrate failure. By looking at his failures as something to be collected, as positives in that regard, he gave himself the freedom he needed to really take some creative risks. Although not as funny, thoughts on the nature of rejection itself would have given this book a little more heft.
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Format: Paperback
This is a nice assortment of unacceptable stuff. And I found it all the more interesting because it's so clear why some of the sketches, stories, or ideas were unacceptable. Some are hilarious, many mildly amusing or touching, however reading most one can understand what failed to appeal to the powers that be. 'Losing It,' the chapter by Michael Colton was probably my favorite, but it is gentle family humor. Maybe it's my poor vision, but the smudgy little thingies on each chapter heading troubled me. I'd got to looking to determine what on earth they were but never decided unless they were supposed to be erasures? Minor detail. I liked the variety of types of rejection! The book was good.
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By B. Roberts on February 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
I LOVED this book. There was so much I could relate to and somehow found the experience of reading it to be uplifting, encouraging and so very funny. I heartily recommend Rejected to anyone who has been turned down, cast aside, brokenhearted or enjoys a good laugh. It was unique and terrific...but it NOW!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Albrecht on August 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
Really enjoyed this book- fun to read about other peoples failures. Highly recommend it!
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