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Dishwasher: One Man's Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States (P.S.)

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Dishwasher: One Man's Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States (P.S.) Cover

ISBN13: 9780060896423
ISBN10: 0060896426
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Dishwasher is the true story of a man on a mission: to clean dirty dishes professionally in every state in America. Part adventure, part parody, and part miraculous journey of self-discovery, it is the unforgettable account of Pete Jordan's transformation from itinerant seeker into Dishwasher Pete — unlikely folk hero, writer, publisher of his own cult zine, and the ultimate professional dish dog — and how he gave it all up for love.

Review:

"For 12 years, Jordan (aka Dishwasher Pete) tramped about the U.S. washing dishes. Despite a survey of 740 occupations in which 'dishwasher ranked #735,' Jordan, then in his mid-30s, sees the inherent benefits of the job: downtime in between meals, free food (and beer), being able to quit at a moment's notice and an abundance of similar opportunities all over the country. The writing is lucid and earnest, and Jordan's passion for dishwashing and, even more so, for blowing-in-the-wind traveling, is infectious. As his quest extends from one year to the next, and he questions the worthiness of his goal to 'bust suds' in all 50 states, he demonstrates an ability to convey his deepest fears without losing the upbeat, fun tone that pervades the entire memoir. What does hurt this rather lengthy book's pacing is that every dishwashing job (save a few) is pretty much the same, and the descriptions can get as repetitive as a wash cycle. Still, Jordan's knowledge of famous dishwashers (Gerald Ford, Little Richard, etc.) and dishwashers' roles in creating unions adds a substance that juxtaposes nicely with the author's slacker lifestyle." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Jordan, sometimes known as 'Dishwasher Pete,' serves up one of the most entertaining memoirs to appear in quite a while....The book's exploration of the dishwashing subculture is fascinating." Booklist

Review:

"Dishwasher is an instant American classic. It should be required reading for every high school student in the nation, paired with The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." San Francisco Bay Guardian

Review:

"Enjoyable manifesto celebrating rootless irresponsibility, with rueful acknowledgment of the pitfalls therein." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Sprinkled with fascinating dish-washing history....Dishwasher's appeal is in Jordan's triumph, proving that following your heart — even into a sink full of scalding water — isn't such a bad idea." Penthouse

Review:

"This is a story of youth (desperate to avoid experience), of work, and of the mad vastness of America, as compelling to my mind as Jack Kerouac's On The Road." Sean Wilsey, author of Oh the Glory of It All

Review:

"[An] honest and fun account of a strange period in the life of a living oxymoron: a hard-working slacker." Bookslut

Book News Annotation:

Jordan chronicles the free food and personalities he encountered during 12 years spent washing dishes in restaurants in all 50 states. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Dishwasher is Pete Jordan's amusing memoir of his itinerant dishwashing extravaganza. For 12 years, I was the most prolific dishlicker of them all. From 1989 - 2001, I dished my way around the country, unwittingly searching for direction. From a bagel joint in New Mexico to a Mexican joint in Brooklyn; from a dinner train in Rhode Island to the Lawrence Welk Resort in Branson, MO; from an upper-crust ladies' club to a crusty hippie commune - I washed the nation's dishes, he explains.

Part adventure, part self-parody, and part self-discovery, it reveals how he transformed into Dishwasher Pete - the ultimate professional dish dog, unlikely folk hero, writer, and publisher of his own cult 'zine - and his struggles to find love, stability, and yes, the elusive happy-ever-after.

About the Author

Pete Jordan chronicled his adventures as a dishwasher on NPR's This American Life and in his underground zine Dishwasher, which amassed a following of nearly 10,000 readers. He moved to Amsterdam with his wife in 2002 and began a new life as a bicycle mechanic and writer. This is his first book.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

jgeneric, October 31, 2007 (view all comments by jgeneric)
I really like stories of people's jobs, and no one I've ever read about has had more jobs then Disherwasher Pete. The author of the long-run cult favorite zine "Dishwasher" has put out this great book by the same name. Pete decided at a very long age when he had a hard time figuring out what he wanted to do for his life, that he liked to travel and see the country, and that dishwashing was the way to do it. He put up a goal of going to all 50 states to wash dishes. This is his autobiography of those journeys. And as a former dishwasher, I love this even more.

It's one of those books you can't put down because it's so wild. He talks about his time aboard oil rigs, loads of evil, sick, and twisted bosses, grungy work conditions, the ability to quit a job that screws with him in any possible way (and believe me, he takes advantage of that, fulfilling the impulse of every worker in America.) Along the way, as he puts out his zine, he develops a reputation as a "Master Dishwasher" and treats the reader to the underground world of dishwashing, of sorts, like eating off of the bus tray buffet (sometimes I never got enough of when I was working as a pearl diver). He ends up on David Letterman (actually, just a friend of his impersonating him), has tons of near dates, and tells about the great history of dishwasher unions and the loyalty they have (to the exclusion of the servers and the cooks.) He doesn't spare the reader of descriptions of nasty kitchens full of roaches and rodents, and drinking on the job to pass it by.

Pete really lives a lot of people's dreams, and refuses to let it end until he's at the age of 35, having been to every state in the union and seen a lot more than most people do in their whole lives. He's got such a sense of humor that's so self-depricating but at the same time proud that he doesn't let anyone tell him how to be. Everywhere from racist Louisiana resteraunt owners to hippy communes who try to sucker him into doing more than he wants, Pete always seems to end up on top. He lives dollar to dollar and makes every buck count in his travels, but always confident he can find another job, because once you washed one dish, you can wash any dish.
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(21 of 37 readers found this comment helpful)
Marie Angell, October 27, 2007 (view all comments by Marie Angell)
"Dishwasher" is a fun read but it could have used a little tightening up. While the story of how Pete Jordan fell into dishwashing is interesting, after a while, the dishwashing jobs start to blur together.

Jordan has a jaunty, ironic writing style, although I found it a little wearing after awhile. But we can chalk that up to the crabbiness of this reader.

This book is ideally suited for sticking in your bag for a trip. It doesn't demand a lot of brainpower, it's a quick read that you can jump in and out of, and it's about traveling.

There you go.
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(19 of 38 readers found this comment helpful)
Paul McFarland, July 15, 2007 (view all comments by Paul McFarland)
This is one-half of a wonderful book. The book traces the adventures of a full time slacker through his quest to earn a living by washing dishes in all fifty states. Along the way, the author imparts fascinating information about the history and art of washing dishes on a commercial level. He also treats us to an honor roll of famous people, from Woody Guthrie to Gerald Ford who were ?dish men? or ?pearl divers?. However, this dishwasher fundamental rule was to ?never work at a place where I couldn?t just up and leave?. He applies the rule to finishing books also, leaving his quest undone just as the book hits its stride. This is a good book, never the less, but it could have been a great one.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780060896423
Subtitle:
One Man's Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States
Author:
Jordan, Pete
Author:
by Pete Jordan
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Subject:
General
Subject:
Restaurants
Subject:
Employees
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
United States Description and travel.
Subject:
Jordan, Pete - Travel
Subject:
Biography - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series:
P.S.
Publication Date:
20070501
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1 in 17.78 oz

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » General
Biography » General
Cooking and Food » Food Writing » Gastronomic Literature
Cooking and Food » Food Writing » General

Dishwasher: One Man's Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States (P.S.) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780060896423 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "For 12 years, Jordan (aka Dishwasher Pete) tramped about the U.S. washing dishes. Despite a survey of 740 occupations in which 'dishwasher ranked #735,' Jordan, then in his mid-30s, sees the inherent benefits of the job: downtime in between meals, free food (and beer), being able to quit at a moment's notice and an abundance of similar opportunities all over the country. The writing is lucid and earnest, and Jordan's passion for dishwashing and, even more so, for blowing-in-the-wind traveling, is infectious. As his quest extends from one year to the next, and he questions the worthiness of his goal to 'bust suds' in all 50 states, he demonstrates an ability to convey his deepest fears without losing the upbeat, fun tone that pervades the entire memoir. What does hurt this rather lengthy book's pacing is that every dishwashing job (save a few) is pretty much the same, and the descriptions can get as repetitive as a wash cycle. Still, Jordan's knowledge of famous dishwashers (Gerald Ford, Little Richard, etc.) and dishwashers' roles in creating unions adds a substance that juxtaposes nicely with the author's slacker lifestyle." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Jordan, sometimes known as 'Dishwasher Pete,' serves up one of the most entertaining memoirs to appear in quite a while....The book's exploration of the dishwashing subculture is fascinating."
"Review" by , "Dishwasher is an instant American classic. It should be required reading for every high school student in the nation, paired with The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."
"Review" by , "Enjoyable manifesto celebrating rootless irresponsibility, with rueful acknowledgment of the pitfalls therein."
"Review" by , "Sprinkled with fascinating dish-washing history....Dishwasher's appeal is in Jordan's triumph, proving that following your heart — even into a sink full of scalding water — isn't such a bad idea."
"Review" by , "This is a story of youth (desperate to avoid experience), of work, and of the mad vastness of America, as compelling to my mind as Jack Kerouac's On The Road."
"Review" by , "[An] honest and fun account of a strange period in the life of a living oxymoron: a hard-working slacker."
"Synopsis" by , Dishwasher is Pete Jordan's amusing memoir of his itinerant dishwashing extravaganza. For 12 years, I was the most prolific dishlicker of them all. From 1989 - 2001, I dished my way around the country, unwittingly searching for direction. From a bagel joint in New Mexico to a Mexican joint in Brooklyn; from a dinner train in Rhode Island to the Lawrence Welk Resort in Branson, MO; from an upper-crust ladies' club to a crusty hippie commune - I washed the nation's dishes, he explains.

Part adventure, part self-parody, and part self-discovery, it reveals how he transformed into Dishwasher Pete - the ultimate professional dish dog, unlikely folk hero, writer, and publisher of his own cult 'zine - and his struggles to find love, stability, and yes, the elusive happy-ever-after.

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