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Coyote v. Acme

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  383 ratings  ·  66 reviews
When Ian Frazier's first collection of humorous essays, Dating Your Mom, 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 ...more
Paperback, 117 pages
Published May 16th 1997 by Noonday Press (first published June 1st 1996)
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3.51  · 
Rating details
 ·  383 ratings  ·  66 reviews


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TK421
Oct 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jay
Jan 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Ian Frazier is a funny man. These short pieces, most of which were previously published in The New Yorker, are gathered here in a collection of supremely entertaining reading. I don't often erupt into eye-watering side-splitting painful laughter by reading something. However, Frazier's send-up of one of Bob Hope's total-BS golfing stories, how he supposedly hit a hole-in-one-and how Hope changed the details practically with every telling-had me ready for CPR. A sample from that piece:

(Hope speak
...more
Ryan Werner
Sep 16, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Trevor Schmoldt
Apr 29, 2014 rated it liked it
“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
Carl Koch
Apr 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Mar 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.

The
...more
Corey Schmidt
I read the book “Coyote V. Acme.” It was written by Ian Frazier. It’s all about how Wile E. Coyote is trying to sue the Acme company for selling him defective products that injure him and cause him not to be able to do his job. In the story he brings up four things that defected while he was trying to use them, and at the end he wants to get 38.75 million dollars for all of the damages they caused him. The court ends up awarding him all of the money.

The main character is Wile E. Coyote. He is a
...more
Samuel
May 01, 2014 rated it liked it
I read the short story "Coyote v. Acme," by Ian Frazier. This was an interesting short story about Coyote using faulty products to try and catch his prey.

The plot was Coyote suing the Acme company because the products he bought were defective. He bought a rocket sled, rocket skates, spring powered shoes, and an Acme bomb, but they all failed. Coyote sued the Acme company for 38.75 million dollars, and the court awarded him the money.

Coyote is the main character, he is a predator that tries to ca
...more
Chuck
Apr 09, 2014 rated it liked it
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
John Jorgensen
Apr 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing

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
James Swenson
Jun 29, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Marilyn
Aug 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
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.
Alex
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is billed as a humor book.

Some of these stories are not really humor. The first, for example, feels more like a coming of age vignette, where someone discovers, through the ending of the Mary Tyler Moore show, that life is finite and endings are inevitable. It's the sort of thing that might be a moving, or at least intentionally moving, passage in a book about a small-town American youth. "Webbing," on the other hand, is hazy and the action is inscrutable, but even in the absurdity the whol
...more
Bruce
Jun 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: lawyers, auditors, and actuaries
Shelves: humor
(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
Andrew Coltrin
Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel like three and a half stars is the more accurate reflection of my rating. However, I did laugh a lot while reading this slim volume. Also, I picked it up from a thrift store in Tahoe city for less than a dollar. So, for my entertainment value, it was well worth it. Also, I laughed several times. And, also, wished that I could write random 1500 word humor pieces for major American magazines. I would like that job. How do I get that job? What do you mean "what's a magazine?"

Okay. Fine. Mill
...more
Eileen
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
The humorous essays were mildly amusing, and the best by far was the title one, Coyote v. Acme. I just didn't find most of it as funny as the blurb and cover quotes promised. I don't think I laughed at all, even though it was supposedly "lough out loud" funny. Not even a Stalin chuckle.

The best part was how short the essays were. They didn't drag on and on, they got their point out of the way and ended. The whole book is a pretty quick read, if you want to read it all through, or you can read ea
...more
Margie Dorn
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comedy
It was hard to figure out how to rate this book of comic short stories. Most of the stories I found to be indifferent, yet the book also contains one of the very funniest stories I've ever read in my life, that is, the title story, Coyote v. Acme. That one I read again and again, every time I need a belly laugh, and I send it to friends who might enjoy it too. The one title story is worth the price of the book.
Jean-Pierre Vidrine
Jan 11, 2019 rated it liked it
The pieces in this collection are sometimes hilarious, sometimes baffling, but always amusing.
The title piece is, of course, one of the funniest in the book and it was smart to use it as the attention getter. It, along with bits like "Have You Ever," takes a satirical meta look at a recognizable staple of pop culture. Others, like "Line 46a" and "Dial W-H-Y W-O-R-K," take poignant stabs at real life frustrations.
It's sure to make one giggle.
Kelli Tarala
Nov 23, 2018 rated it liked it
22 comedic essays that provide glimpses into some of the more obscure areas of the human mind.
Scott
Jun 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Ian's humor is somewhat New Yorkish - sophisticated and complex. Overall, I prefer Dave Barry, but Ian at the top of his game is really quite good.
Brian DiMattia
May 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Blake
Mar 27, 2014 added it

“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
Bleuz00m
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: guilty-pleasures
Looking for the *perfect* gift for a #lawschool graduate, OR perhaps a for a retiring lawyer or judge THIS is the book to get. The "Coyote V. Acme" piece is an absolute howl about product liability and personal injury. It is rife with tortuous legalese to delight any legal mind. And it's not just for lawyers, either. Some wily -- as opposed to Wile E. , that is -- illustrations by engineerish artist Daniel Weill over at DailyIcon created schematics of some of the implements which Mr. Coyote's ca ...more
Emily Togstad
Apr 02, 2014 rated it did not like it
Emily Togstad
English 11-6
Goodreads


“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
Phyllis
Apr 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
William Young
May 01, 2014 rated it really liked it

Coyote v. Acme is about Wile E. Coyote suing the Acme company for selling him defective products that always hurt him. It was funny to read how the products would never work when he tried to capture the road runner.Wile E. Coyote would take time to set up the traps perfectly but they are always defective products. Wile E. Coyote is looking for a lot of money by suing Acme.


Wile E. Coyote is really the only character in this writing. He is the one who would use the products that never work so he
...more
Kelly Ferguson
Jan 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comps, essays, humor
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
Apr 17, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Shonna Froebel
May 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
MisterFweem
Feb 06, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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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.

http://us.macmillan.com/author/ianfra...
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