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I Want to Buy a Vowel
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I Want to Buy a Vowel

3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  212 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Kurt Clausen has worked as a salad girl, a porn salesman, and -- perhaps most reluctantly -- a journalist. In this "terminally irreverent" (Richmond News-Leader) novel, he finds himself taking on everyone from his editor and his girlfriend to the fundamentalists and vegetarians covered on his beat -- and along the way, learns some surprising (and hilarious) lessons about l ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published November 1st 1997 by Berkley (first published 1996)
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Community Reviews

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Jun 05, 2009 Theresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
This book is hilarious.

The story opens with Alfredo Santaya’s arrival from Guatamala in a small Texas town. The only English he knows is what he’s learned on TV. He knows “I want to buy a vowel” from Wheel of Fortune. He doesn’t know what it means, it just knows that vowels are important.

The story is mostly told from the viewpoint of Eva Galt, the 11-year old daughter of an Episcopalian minister. Eva is very observant about the world around her. She wishes that her parents liked each other again
May 18, 2009 Lisa rated it did not like it
Recommended to Lisa by: More Book Lust
This was completely disappointing! The biggest problem I had with it is that it wasn't at all the story it claims to be. The reviews I read made it seem it was about two young sisters in Texas that stumble across a Guatemalan immigrant(illegal) who doesn't speak English, except for the little bit he's gleened from watching American television, and how they try to help him. Well, ends up that is very little of the book. The story focuses mainly on a string of supposed (albeit lame) attempts at s ...more
Jan 13, 2009 Lauren rated it it was ok
Shelves: whatever
Weird book. It's a story that is making fun of the way people react and treat others - especially when it comes to illegal aliens in our country. There is an illegal immigrant from Quatemala who shows up in town about the same time as a teenager in the town(the son of a preacher) decides to pretend to be a satanist just to get some attention. An 11-yr old girl gets in the middle of it all. It wasn't quite what I expected from reading the book jacket at the library. At first I wasn't sure if I wa ...more
Brian Koppin
Nov 24, 2014 Brian Koppin rated it did not like it
I loved the first 2 books this author wrote, but this may have been the worst book I have ever read. I kept telling myself to put it down, throw it out, whatever, but I forced myself to read it with a sort of masochistic glee.
Oct 07, 2009 Marley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels
I seldom read novels outside of mysteries, but this is super. I found it for 25 cents at Goodwill and am glad I did.

What's not to like about a book that send-up American TV culture, bible bangers, immigration, and recreational satanists who sacrifice cans of Vienna sausasge. Eva, our 11-year old heronine is engaging, Kenlow Schindler, our satainist reminds me of people I went to high school with, and Waxahachie Sheriff James Lemore is a sheriff we all need. Waxahachie, itself is one of the cha
Jan 10, 2009 Suzanne rated it really liked it
It was so good to read a book that made me think AND laugh out loud. A very comic satire on evangelism, illegal aliens, and satanism. Believe it or not, they are all intertwined in this book. It really brings out how different people can see or experience the exact same thing and come up with widely different beliefs or viewpoints. The only down side was the ending - weak but okay
Mar 21, 2013 Dorothy rated it it was amazing
This small novel is heartwarming and funny. I'm thinking of even loaning it to my 14 year-old granddaughter to read. It is a rare book like To Kill A Mockingbird--only not quite so heavy, about a young girl trying to figure out the morals and mores of the adult world around her. I want to read another book by Welter--this one was written in 1996.
Feb 29, 2008 Janelle rated it it was ok
This was an okay book. It was witty and kind of humorous. About a man immigrating to America and a little child who befriends him and how they work together to stay in America. It is also about another young man who strives for attention and becomes rebelious and how their lives entertwine.
Apr 25, 2016 Mrsculpepper rated it liked it
a quirky little book with some deep themes
Mar 27, 2011 Karen rated it really liked it
very funny - this book made me laugh out loud. I read another book by this auther....nothing like this one. I recommend this book but not any others by Welter.
Jan 13, 2009 J rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Lighthearted read. Hilarious throughout. A little bit like Catch-22 in terms of pointing out obvious and not-so-obvious contradictions. Laugh out loud funny.
Apr 04, 2007 sue rated it it was ok
Shelves: read_2007, 2007
meh. I laughed sometimes. But why was the Guatemelan so dumb? It was kind of offensive. Wouldn't the little girls know some Spanish growing up in Texas?
Jul 26, 2008 Jim rated it it was ok
The first fifty or so pages were funny and enthralling but the narrative took a quick nosedive and the rest of the book was a struggle.
Jun 06, 2010 Rob rated it it was amazing
Want a super cool tonic to today's rediculous fever-pitched obession with immigration? This is it...a laugh-out-loud story! Loved it.
Mar 30, 2008 Michael rated it liked it
Shelves: literature, 1990s
It has been a long time, but I remember this being pretty darn funny.
Mar 15, 2010 Sophie rated it really liked it
Probably more of a 3.5 for me, but I like to round up. :)
Oct 07, 2009 Krista added it
Shelves: abandoned-books
Gave up on this one about half way through the book.
Jun 09, 2011 Suzanne rated it liked it
Fun book...Jerry discovered this one!
Feb 22, 2008 Carolina rated it liked it
I thought this was cute. Good story.
Michael Brockley
Aug 10, 2013 Michael Brockley rated it it was amazing
I'm a John Welter fool.
Oct 22, 2009 Russell rated it really liked it
I love this author! I can't find more than 3 books he wrote, though.
Feb 28, 2011 Chapple rated it it was amazing
Jul 26, 2008 Beth rated it liked it
Funny quick read
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