Mar 28, 2009

Letters From a Nut

by Ted L. Nancy

I sorely needed a break from Emma, so I breezed through this amusing little book. I don't usually read stuff that's strictly humor, and this is certainly like nothing I've ever encountered before. The author (I'm assuming he writes under a pseudonym) makes up letters pretending to be various wacky people in distress, or having odd requests, or wanting to make marketing suggestions- to huge corporations, famous people, large establishments, ritzy hotels, etc. The crazy thing is that then he mails them off- and more often than not, gets a response that tries seriously to deal with the customer service problem he presents- although I have to think many of the people who sat down to write him a reply were sniggering to themselves or scowling, and many are left unanswered, or get a flat refusal.

Some of Nancy's pretenses in Letters From a Nut? He saw a mannequin in a Nordstrom's window, thinks it looks just like his deceased neighbor, and wants to purchase it, to present to the bereaved family. He claims to have worked in a Florida hotel in 1960, where while cleaning a room he acquired Mickey Mantle's toenail clippings and now wants to send them to the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum. He belongs to a nudity club and wants to attend an all-nude gambling tournament in Las Vegas. He is traveling to a resort and wants to bring his own vending machine (or ice-making machine, or stuffed easy chair, etc.) into his room. (All of these examples got replies). My favorite was the one about the ants. (You'll have to read the book.)

I have to admit some of the premises were rather lame, and a lot of them are repeated with only slight variations. But I read at least half of the letters out loud to my husband, and we laughed ourselves silly over it.

I read this book for the 9 for '09 Challenge. It's been on my bookshelf since around the time I was dating my husband- over four years ago. I won it at a game night with some church friends. I was tickled pink at having won a book- and my roommate at the time wanted to swap prizes with me- you won't even like that book! she protested. True, at the time I had no idea what it was, and maybe back then I wouldn't have appreciated the humor. But I'm glad to say that even though it took me a long time to get around to reading this book, I did like it.

Rating: 3/5          192 pages, 1997

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  1. I noticed this in our sidebar the other day, and it got me curious. It helped that it has an intro from Seinfeld :P Sounds like something I'd enjoy!

  2. Hey, I'm all for a book that does nothing but make you laugh from time to time. Sounds like fun to me!

  3. I used to have this book on my classroom shelf. As I recall, it got lukewarm reactions from my students.

  4. Funny review!

    Thanks for being in 9 for '09.

    I hope that you are back with Emma.

  5. Nymeth- Some people think Seinfeld himself wrote the book.

    Bermudaonion- Sometimes I need a book that's just for fun!

    Jena- How old were the students? I can't picture myself enjoying this book even as a high school student. I just didn't appreciate that kind of humor.

    WorkingWords- Yes, back with Emma. Almost done now, just been taking it slow.

  6. Letters from a Nut, and the sequels to it, are the funniest books I've ever read I think. Reading them out loud with others is definitely the best way. Always leads to some serious laughter.


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