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The Unexpected Salami

3.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  73 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
It was your basic band video shoot, with the lead singer of the Tall Poppies, lime green makeup in place, wailing into the camera, “I’m bent and distorted, like a gnome I’m contorted.”

An aging band on the verge, the Tall Poppies were still looking for their big break in the crapshoot known as the music business. So when their drummer was gunned down right in the middle of
Hardcover, 297 pages
Published January 5th 1998 by Algonquin Books (first published 1998)
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Susan Gottfried
Originally posted at

My book club read Laurie Gwen Shapiro’s The Matzo Ball Heiress. We loved it; it was a great romp through a fun story, and one most of us in my book club could relate to … in one way or another.

Then I picked up The Anglophile, her follow-up. I didn’t love it. I may not have finished it.

So what possessed me to pick up her first book, The Unexpected Salami?

Well, Matzo Ball was that good. And as a bonus, The Unexpected Salami has a rock theme: Rache
Jan 06, 2009 Antof9 rated it it was ok
So I realized that sometimes it's not good to read two books in a row by the same author. Especially if you read a second or third book by them, and then go back and read their first. In this case, I have to admit, it was a little disappointing. I just LOVED Matzo Ball Heiress, and this didn't come close. It certainly had some of her style, and some funny parts, but overall, just wasn't the same quality. I'm wondering if I had read this first if I would have thought it better. OR, would I not ha ...more
Robert Warren
Oct 31, 2011 Robert Warren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps you DO want to see how the salami is made. Like that proverbial meat product, into which many ingredients - spicy, savory and sweet - are compressed, then sheathed into a tight, tasty morsel, this rock and roll novel is a satisfying - and at times guilty-pleasure - feast. Shapiro takes up the gauntlet of several pop fantasies at once: How far will a desperate, aging band go to get noticed? What if a forgotten punk rocker was a Zen oracle? Would my parents still love me if I brought a jun ...more
I read most of this book while sitting in a hospital waiting area. I was giggling so enthusiastically at its absurdity that I had several people stop to ask what I was reading - that, to me, is the mark of a fantastic book!
Jennifer K
Feb 24, 2012 Jennifer K rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes strange, dark comedy
Recommended to Jennifer by: My Friend Sabrina
Weird, and funny. There is no other way to describe this book. I am not even sure I can sum up the plot; too many twists and turns. I would recommend it for fans of Christopher Moore, however. It is that strange but funny genre.
Dec 29, 2008 Rikki rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was OK at best. Its like a woman/child went on a vacation to Australia and it was so profound she had to write a crappy storyline so that the world knew that she had learned some Aussie slang.
Apr 15, 2009 Kayleen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've never forgotten the title, too bad the rest of it was so forgettable.
Nov 29, 2013 Velvetink marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
29/11/2013 1 0f 20 books for $10 the lot
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Writer and filmmaker Laurie Gwen Shapiro lives in New York with her husband and daughter. She has written three adult novels, one of which is in development as a major motion picture ("The Unexpected Salami").
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