The Wonder Bread Summer

The Wonder Bread Summer : A Novel

2.99 (1,137 ratings by Goodreads)
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It's 1983 in Berkeley, California. Cut loose by her parents, 20-year old Allie Dodgson is trying hard to make it on her own, attending college on a scholarship and working in a dress shop. But when the dress shop turns out to be a front for a dangerous drug dealing business and Allie ends up with a Wonder Bread bag full of cocaine, her studious life takes a turn for the wild. With a hit man named Vice-Versa in hot pursuit, Allie jumps into her best friend's brand-new Prelude and goes on the lam. In Los Angeles, she finds herself entangled with a duplicitous surfer, a paraplegic porn producer and his Mexican driver, a mean girl from high school, and a legendary rock star. The only people she trusts to pull her out of this jam are the two she can't find: her free-spirited mother, who ran off to be the tambourine girl in a band when Allie was 8; and her father, who moves so often Allie doesn't even have his phone number. Think '80s Alice in Wonderland with a Pineapple Express twist and you get the energy, freshness and wicked black humor of The Wonder Bread Summer.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 134 x 202 x 22mm | 220g
  • HarperPerennial
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0062199552
  • 9780062199553
  • 1,256,917

Back cover copy

It's 1983 in Berkeley, California. Twenty-year-old Allie Dodgson is a straitlaced college student working part-time at a dress shop to make ends meet. But when the shop turns out to be a front for a dangerous drug-dealing business, Allie finds herself on the lam, speeding toward Los Angeles in her best friend's Prelude with a Wonder Bread bag full of cocaine riding shotgun and a hit man named Vice Versa on her tail. You can't find a more thrilling summer read!
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Review quote

"Raunchy, poignant, and triumphant in turn--and sometimes manages to be all three at the same time." -- Booklist Blau's madcap chase through 1980s L.A. is over-the-top and...a liberal dose of dark humor and an oddly heart-warming ending add to the twisted ride. -- Publishers Weekly "A fun read! Even before the buzzard hits the windshield, THE WONDER BREAD SUMMER will make you feel better about your worst summer vacation." -- Christopher Moore, New York Times-bestselling author of Lamb and A Dirty Job "A rollicking, irreverent, sweep of a novel. Blau has written another shining, no-holds barred California heart breaker." -- Deborah Reed, author of Carry Yourself Back To Me "Jessica Anya Blau has taken the story of a young woman's search for self and rendered it into a hilarious, cocaine-fueled thrill-ride. From its Tarantino-esque opening scene to its twisty final pages, THE WONDER BREAD SUMMER is an unrelenting delight." -- Jon Michaud, author of When Tito Loved Clara "It's hard to recall a debut as warm, charming and comically satisfying as The Summer of Naked Swim Parties ... Blau conveys Jamie's world with compelling insight and wit ... [Blau's] sharp observation and affectionate humor [give] surprising depth to this shimmering novel." -- San Francisco Chronicle "This book will make you laugh and cry in public. Jessica Anya Blau has written a soaring teenage lament, perfectly pitched, containing the single saddest and funniest line of seduction ever uttered." -- Larry Doyle, author of I Love You, Beth Cooper "A book by Blau would be disappointing without pot smoking, hilarious and sometimes grungy sex, and bickering relatives." -- Boston Globe "Jessica Anya Blau returns with all the comedic powers of a master trickster." -- Jessica Keener, author of the nationally-bestselling novel Night Swim "Often hilarious and lewd, and also sincere and moving, like the naughty Southern Californian soul mate of Nick Hornby." -- Matthew Klam, author of Sam the Cat, and other stories "Blau has crafted a totally uniqu coming of age story, wrapped in a road trip, with a drug caper center. It's a wild, exuberant novel, full of humor, heart, and a solid dose of bad behavior. I loved it." -- Paula Bomer, author of 9 Months "No one writes like Jessica Anya Blau. Funny, tender, and outrageous." -- Michael Downs, author of The Greatest Show "Jessica Anya blau has the gift of creating people we feel and know as familiar, and then showing us how much we don't know them at all." -- Leora Skolkin-Smith, author of Hystera "This novel is addictive! I was hooked the moment straight-arrow Allie steals a bread bag full of blow...You won't be able to look away." -- Mary Kay Zuravelff, author of Man Alive! "Jessica Anya Blau's The Wonder Bread Summer is a lightning strike of a novel, sexy and dangerous and aglow with adventure. Allie is a tenacious and deliciously complicated heroine, and it's impossible to resist the ride she takes you on." -- Laura van den Berg, author of What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us "This is as fast, fun, and outrageous a book as I've read in a long time. But beneath all the antics is a poignant story about racial identity, fathers and daughters, and coming of age in one totally messed-up decade." -- Matthew Norman, author of Domestic Violets "In The Wonder Bread Summer, Jessica Anya Blau sends us tumblin down a rabbit hole of youthful mistakes and heartache, alongside the unsinkable Allie Dodgson. Coming of age has never been so wickedly thrilling." -- Tania James, author of Aerogrammes and Other Stories "The Wonder Bread Summer is the best ever! It even made me a little jealous and that doesn't happen often." -- Madison Smartt Bell "Picaresque, properly funny, unpredictable and altogether irrepressible...[Blau] reminds me of [Charles] Portis in a lot of ways ... [S]he has a steady nerve, as well as a wicked imagination, and she takes her craft seriously... Top-notch comic writing." -- Nick Hornby, The Believer
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About Jessica Anya Blau

Jessica Anya Blau is the author of the nationally bestselling novel The Summer of Naked Swim Parties and the critically acclaimed Drinking Closer to Home.
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Rating details

1,137 ratings
2.99 out of 5 stars
5 11% (121)
4 22% (245)
3 35% (394)
2 23% (260)
1 10% (117)
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