Synopses & Reviews
The title essay of Coyote v. Acme
, Ian Frazier's second collection of humorous essays, imagines the opening statement of an attorney representing cartoon character Wile E. Coyote in a product liability suit against the Acme Company, supplier of unpredictable rocket sleds and faulty spring-powered shoes. Other essays are about Bob Hope's golfing career, a commencement address given by a Satanist college president, a suburban short story attacked by the Germans, the problem of issues versus non-issues, and the theories of revolutionary stand-up comedy from Comrade Stalin. From first to last, this is Frazier at his hilarious best.
"Mr. Frazier makes me laugh out loud."—Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times
"Can you imagine Wile E. Coyote suing the Acme Co. for all those faulty explosives devices that failed to work in the Road Runner cartoons? What if Boswell did a life of Don Johnson, rather than Samuel Johnson? The writer also pokes fun at Bob Hope's flawed memory about accidents and golfing gems, Stalin's theory of comedy and a bank with a great, new system of notation. It's sophisticated and it's funny."—Bob Trimble, The Dallas Morning News
"Makes Henry Kissinger look like a straight man."—David Mamet
"A few years ago, when the title piece from this collection appeared in The New Yorker, it lit up fax machines all over town . . . Now this masterpiece of the humorous essay spearheads a collection of similar gems."—Time Out New York
"To write ineffable lyrics, page-turning thrillers or profound epics—none of this is easy. But to write something that is truly funny—so funny that your eyes water and you laugh out loud—this may be the hardest and rarest thing of all. Ian Frazier does it with apparent ease."—The Kansas City Star
"Coyote v. Acme should make it clear that Frazier hasn't lost his gift for amusement. If you're in the right mood, it's possible even to scan the contents page without cracking up."—James Marcus, Newsday
"In Coyote v. Acme, a collection of (very) funny pieces, Ian Frazier separates issues ('Young Elvis, Old Elvis') from nonissues ('Old Elvis, Dead Elvis'); contemplates a life-insurance questionnaire for daytime drama characters; and has fun with critics' favorite crutch: positing cities (or mortality, or the English language) as a novel's character."—New York magazine
When Ian Frazier's first collection of humorous essays, Dating Your Mon, was published in 1986, Time's reviewer Paul Gray called it "hilarious" and warned readers to" read sparingly... By 1996 another collection may appear". And he was rights. Frazier's new collection, Coyote v. Acme, includes twenty-two more side-splitting glimpses into some of the more oddball corners of the American mind. The title essay imagines the opening statement of an attorney for cartoon character Wile E. Coyote in a product liability suit against the Acme Company, supplier of unpredictable rocket sleds and faulty spring-powered shoes. Other essays are about the golfing career of comedian Bob Hope, a commencement address given by a Satanist college president, a suburban short story attacked by Germans, the problem of issues versus non-issues, and the theories of revolutionary stand-up comedy from Comrade Stalin.
About the Author
Ian Frazier is the author of Great Plains, The Fishs Eye, On the Rez, Family, and Travels in Siberia, as well as Dating Your Mom, Lamentations of the Father, and The Cursing Mommy's Book of Days. A frequent contributor to The New Yorker, he lives in Montclair, New Jersey.