Coyote V. Acme
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Coyote V. Acme

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  231 ratings  ·  42 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 addre...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published February 9th 2002 by Picador (first published June 1st 1996)
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Fellow Goodreader, Brian DiMattia, describes COYOTE V. ACME as " brilliant and hilarious...but only for certain senses of humor. It's random, high-brow, and intellectual. It's ironic, but obtusely ironic. It's requires a knowledge of, or at least an appreciation for, both literature and pop-culture and often cross-breeds them to produce bastard children of comedic brilliance."

I cannot agree more with this assessment.

Ian Frazier has taken often overlooked, mundane, or talking points that have be...more
Carl Koch
I read "Coyote v. Acme" by Ian Frazier. The story talks about various encounters Wile E. Coyote has had with Acme products and their failures. It goes in depth on the failures of the Acme Rocket Sled, a pair of Acme Rocket skates, a spherical Acme Bomb, and a pair of Acme Spring-Powered Shoes. Each fails for different reasons but they all cause harm to Wile E. Coyote. It also tells how Wile E. Coyote intends to proceed and what he expects of the Acme company if the decision is in his favor.

The m...more
Trevor Wetzel
I read the essay, “Coyote V. Acme” written by Ian Frazier. This essay is based as a court hearing for Mr. Wile E. Coyote. Mr. Coyote is suing the Acme Company for it’s faulty equipment and for the damage that it has caused him. Mr. Coyote names four different Acme products in his case that have faltered. Each product acted in a manner in which put Mr. Coyote in extreme pain and discomfort. Mr. Coyote suggests to the court that he receives over $38 million for the total damages that endured.

John Jorgensen

Plot: In this story, Wile Coyote is at a decision of suing the ACME company. In the beginning, it tells of how this came to be and throughout the story, it tells of all the products that have failed to catch the prey.

Characterization: Wile Coyote is a self employed hard worker who can’t catch his prey. ACME company is a company who sells faulty products to Wile Coyote.

Setting: The story takes place in Tempe, Arizona in the present time. In order for there to be a mesa, it has to be in a locati...more
Coyote v. Acme is a story written like a courtroom drama. It is about a coyote who continues to get hurt when he uses products from the Acme Company. It makes the coyote out to be a victim of bad products. He thinks the company needs to pay him a huge amount because of their bad products. If you ever watched the Roadrunner cartoons you will be familiar with this story.

The main character in the story is the lawyer for the coyote. He is very good at describing all the injuries to the coyote. The c...more
Ryan Werner
Though praised as one of the forerunners in American humor writing, Ian Frazier fails to deliver any laughs outside of pity or nostalgia for shoddy, safe witticisms.

In concept, Ian Frazier’s 1997 book Coyote V. Acme (Picador, ISBN: 0312420587) should turn out great: twenty-two essay/short-story hybrids, each satirizing a different topic in American culture from a different point-of-view. However, in execution, Frazier falls between otiose wit and contrived, trying-too-hard absurdity.

The First Es...more
James Swenson
Frazier's essays are generally delightful. In this collection, the writing is good, but the main pleasure is in the concept of each article. For example, the title piece, "Coyote v. Acme," is a great idea. Now that you get the joke, though, you don't really need to read through the legalese of the plaintiff's opening statement. Likewise "Boswell's Life of Don Johnson," etc.

The best of the bunch is "Line 46a," the new instructions for tax form 1040 inspired by the tagline for the movie "Point of...more
Emily Togstad
Emily Togstad
English 11-6

“Coyote V. Acme”

“Coyote V. Acme” was written by Ian Frazier. It is an essay written about a court case. The court case is about a Coyote that is suing the Acme Company of $38,750,000. The essay talks about all the products that the Coyote used to capture a certain prey, and why they did not work.

The main character is the coyote. He seems really dumb. If the products don't work the first time, then why would he keep using them? The person speaking is Mr. Harold...more

“Coyote v. Acme,” is a short story by Ian Frazier. It started in a courtroom with Wile E. Coyote pleading to the judge about the mishaps and injuries he encountered when using Acme products. He purchased these products from Acme to capture the roadrunner. The first thing he talked about malfunctioning was the Acme Rocket Sled. When he sat on it, it took off at high speed and stretched his whole body out as he tried to hold on. The second contraption that malfunctioned was the Rocket Skates. Afte...more
Brian DiMattia
Brilliant and hilarious...but only for certain senses of humor. It's random, high-brow, and intellectual. It's ironic, but obtusely ironic. It's requires a knowledge of, or at least an appreciation for, both literature and pop-culture and often cross-breeds them to produce bastard children of comedic brilliance.

Honestly, one of those books you will either love or hate. You will probably either think it's full of conceptually brilliant ideas or will write them off as being dumb, elitist, or "tryi...more
Jun 01, 2013 Bruce rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: lawyers, auditors, and actuaries
(More like 3.5 stars.) Going to the library to find Mark Twain's travel books, I was directed to the humor section. There I came across the three thin volumes that form the basis of this triple review. Generally speaking, it's probably not fair to the authors to compare their respective works, but I'll exercise the prerogative anyway because these are all so similar (and who's gonna stop me). Each of these books weighs in at a squidge over 100 pages, with about 20 short essays that achieve absur...more
What a wild and crazy book! Odd ball humor is an understatement. I especially liked "Line 46a" and "Issues and Non-issues." If cartoonist Edward Gorey were to write an essay on a "contemporary" topic, the essay would be just like the ones in this book. I read the book slowly as I reorganized my linen closet. I wanted to fix the linen closet for the last time so it would be useful and I wouldn't need to come up with a new way of organizing it in three months. This crazy book kept me sane while I...more
Kelly Ferguson
The essay Boswell's Life of Don Johnson about sums up the intended audience here: the reader has to have the literary reference point of Boswell's Life of Johnson, and be old enough to remember the Miami Vice hoopla phase of America. (Raise your hand if your high school boyfriend ever showed up in a white jacket over a pastel top, no tie.) Which is to say, the audience for Coyote v. Acme is me. I love Ian Frazier. The four stars comes the limitations of publishing a book written for a particular...more
Nuthouse Magazine
We have been anxious to read this story collection for some time because of all the raves it has received. So, perhaps our expectations were just too high. Yet other than the title piece, "Coyote v. Acme" - a legal brief in which Wile E. Coyote of Warner Bros. cartoon fame sues the Acme company for his being burned and maimed by one faulty mail-order product after another - most of this book fell flat for us; and certainly not pratfall flat either. Our recommendation is to borrow this book, if y...more
May 15, 2012 Marcie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Marcie by: Stories on Stage
I decided to read this after hearing Allison Watrous read (perform) the title short story at Stories on Stage in April. I decided I needed some short, funny stories and I sure got what I wished for. The first story, "The Last Segment" is both humorous and poignant. I realize this may be dated for some people, but I think it's a stitch.

"From the Bank with Your Money on their Mind" is even more relevant now. And there is an end that is for mature readers only. Love it!

OK, not all the stories are m...more
I'll save you a little trouble here. If you're thinking of reading this book, skip to the titular essay, then go on to "In the Plain Air," and "The Novel's Main Character," and you'll have read what's worth reading in "Coyote V. Acme."

I really wanted to like this book. At first, he kind of reminded me of Steve Martin writing in "Cruel Shoes." But as I went on reading, I realized that it was "Cruel Shoes" without the humor.

I'll have to read more of his stuff, and maybe this is a book that would g...more
Shonna Froebel
This collection of humorous essays made me immediately think of my brother as he has the same quirky sense of humour. The book jacket has praise describing the author as "a genius at the tough representation of idiocy, which is everywhere, and flourishing as, perhaps, never before." and I would agree.
From Saturday morning cartoons, to classic television to classic novels, Frazier pulls his material from many sources, remaking it in ways I would never have thought of. An interesting quirky take o...more
humor writing is always a relaxing read ... ian frazier can be quite funny esp. (for example) in his "lamentations of the father" ... in coyote v. acme his chapters are uneven -- "coyote v. acme", "in the plain air", "issues and non-issues", and "stalin's chuckle" were my favorites while the rest were "eh. not that funny" ... still it's worth checking out mr. frazier's writing and i'm glad he keeps at it (writing humor) b/c when he is good, he is very very good.

unevenness can easily, then, be fo...more
Nikhil Dole
This book is hilarious! It is about Mr. Wild E. Coyote suing ACME (his explosive and other item supplier) for causing him multiple physical and mental injuries. There are also many different stupid, yet funny short stories about other people like the comedian Bob Hope, Comrade Stalin Stand-up comedy, and a suburban short story that is attacked by Germans. This book is jam-packed with comedy, bad golf games, and ACME products that always seem to blow up Mr. Coyote. Find this book at your local li...more
Cue foggy memories: I seem to recall that this book had a whiz-bang premise and a great start, but that it lost gas as it went on. Think of a Road Runner cartoon that's movie-length... there's only a handful of basic Road Runner gags, and after fifteen minutes, you've pretty much used them up.

I seem to recall that I didn't make it through this book. It would have made a better book if it were shorter.
Catherine  Mustread
Apr 17, 2009 Catherine Mustread rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Catherine by: Thurber Prize for American Humor 1997
Shelves: award, humor
Funny short stories including one about the Coyote's lawyer filing suit against the Acme company for damages sustained by Coyote while using Acme products. The Impressionist Art story has Renior "Ren", Manet "Man", and Monet "Mon" arguing about who is the better artist and telling jokes about Van Gogh.
Actually, this should be three or four stars for the title essay. Coyote is bringing a lawsuit against the Acme Company for injuries suffered because of the malfunction of several of Acme's products. Funny. The other pieces were much less clever and funny. One star for them.
Karen Keyte
A great collection of essays by a very interesting and very funny man. The title essay (text of a lawsuit brought by Wile E. Coyote against the Acme Corporation for their faulty products) makes me laugh out loud. If you've never read Ian Frazier before, give this one a try.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Leonard Pierce
Ian Frazier is a terrific modern humorist: smart, elegant, funny, and intellectual without being overbearing. This isn't as great as his first collection, "Dating Your Mom", but it's still got tons of great pieces in it.
I don't recall how this book got on my list, but I glad it is short. Of the several essays, only one really brought even a smile to my face. I didn't see what was funny about most of them. Moving on.
A collection of ridiculous essays. Some were so phenomenal that I really laughed so hard I choked and had a coughing fit. Others, not so great. All and all a quick worthwhile read.
an uneven book of essays but the best of them are really funny. 'in plain air' describes a factious session with monet, manet, and renoir painting each other. i had tears in my eyes.
What if Wile E. Coyote sued Acme? What if someone wrote a play entirely about inanimate objects and intangible ideas? What if someone wrote a terribly unfunny book about random premises?
With the exception of the title essay, and perhaps the one about Bob Hope, I didn't find this collection of essays as hilarious as the cover superlatives would have me believe.
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Ian Frazier (b.1951) is an American writer and humorist. He is the author of Travels in Siberia, Great Plains, On the Rez, Lamentations of the Father and Coyote V. Acme, among other works, all published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. He graduated from Harvard University. A frequent contributor to The New Yorker, he lives in Montclair, New Jersey.
More about Ian Frazier...
Travels in Siberia Great Plains On the Rez The Cursing Mommy's Book of Days Gone to New York: Adventures in the City

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