Wigfield: The Can-Do Town That Just May Not

( 11 )

Overview

Now in paperback, a hilarious, satirical look at a small town on the verge of extinction, from the comedic team behind Strangers with Candy.

In his desperate search for a small town dying in America, intrepid journalist Russell Hokes stumbles upon a quarter-mile stretch of concrete and gravel dotted with strip clubs and used auto parts shops. Welcome to Wigfield. Population: vague.

Upon his arrival, Russell Hokes wanders the streets searching ...

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Overview

Now in paperback, a hilarious, satirical look at a small town on the verge of extinction, from the comedic team behind Strangers with Candy.

In his desperate search for a small town dying in America, intrepid journalist Russell Hokes stumbles upon a quarter-mile stretch of concrete and gravel dotted with strip clubs and used auto parts shops. Welcome to Wigfield. Population: vague.

Upon his arrival, Russell Hokes wanders the streets searching for the salt of the earth. Instead he finds a town in crisis. Why State Representative Bill Farber wants to tear down the Bulkwaller Dam, thereby flooding the town.

Will Russell Hokes save the town? Is Wigfield merely posing as a town to collect federal disaster relief? Won't you please buy this book?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A bizarrely entertaining piece of social satire.
From the Publisher
The book seems to have been written as an audio book recording and then transcribed to a book, which is why the audio book is so superb. The authors really bring the characters to life, using different accents for each one. - Blogcritics
Blogcritics
The book seems to have been written as an audio book recording and then transcribed to a book, which is why the audio book is so superb. The authors really bring the characters to life, using different accents for each one. - Blogcritics
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786886968
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 4/28/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 523,083
  • Product dimensions: 7.88 (w) x 9.75 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Amy Sedaris, Paul Dinello, and Stephen Colbert met at Chicago's Second City and have been collaborators ever since. They have developed two separate series for Comedy Central: Exit 57, and Comedy Central's first live action series, Strangers with Candy. Amy Sedaris is one half of the "Talent Family"-the other half is David Sedaris—and together they have collaborated on eight plays, including the Obie Award-winning One Woman Shoe. Stephen Colbert is a writer and correspondent on the Peabody Award-winning The Daily Show. In addition to TV work, Dinello and Colbert are successful screenwriters. They all currently reside together on an organic date farm on the Tunisian coast.

Todd Oldham is a well-known designer and photographer.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2014

    Brilliantly Funny!

    This is a laugh out loud even if you are alone (or on a plane) book. These three writers are well-educated, brilliantly gifted people with very twisted imaginations. Great idea for gift giving - not just a book, a laugh to brighten anyone's day.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2008

    Perfect for SWC lovers!

    This book is not for everyone, but if you enjoyed Strangers with Candy, you will LOVE this book! It is absolutely hysterical and will have you laughing out loud. Again, the humor is not for everyone, but I find few people funnier than these authors.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2007

    Visit Wigfield

    Wigfield: The Can Do Town that Just May Not is the 2003 literary brainchild of Second City alums Amy Sedaris, Paul Dinello, and Stephen Colbert. After two mildly successful runs at cable television together - with a sketch show, ¿Exit 57,¿ and a series, ¿Strangers With Candy,¿ both cancelled by Comedy Central - they turned their collective attention toward print. Of course, Colbert is now infamous for his bloviate pundit character on Comedy Central¿s The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. But, fans of his recent work would be shocked at his work in, Wigfield. Narrator Russell Hokes is an ambitious, albeit lazy and incompetent, journalist looking for an idea for a book. A shot in the dark lands him with an advance, a deadline for 50,000 words, and a vague idea about dying small towns. He finds the inspiration he needs in the town of Wigfield¿ a quarter-mile stretch of highway dotted with shady shops and strip joints. It turns out the government is threatening to tear down the Bulkwaller Dam and flood the town to drive out its constituency of transients and misfits. So, Hokes interviews each of the residents of the self-described town, letting them tell their stories themselves, and finds himself involved in the campaign to save their home. The writing is as sharp as one would expect from this trio. The characters are surprisingly developed and completely original and believable. That¿s probably because the town and the people in it are loosely based on a town that Colbert visited while filming a story for The Daily Show. The highlight is the interaction of Wigfield¿s three self-declared mayors, one of which is a mentally handicapped man with a briefcase full of fudge. The conflict and history between the characters just keeps unfolding as Hokes makes his way through town, and he slowly learns who these people really are and what they¿re really doing in Wigfield. The book seems to have been written as an audio book recording and then transcribed to a book, which is why the audio book is so superb. The authors really bring the characters to life, using different accents for each one. One should not only read the book or only listen to the audio book, but should enjoy both versions. The last chapter where all the characters come together in a courtroom is particularly funny in the audio book version. One reason the book is completely necessary is the photos of the Wigfieldians, portrayed by the authors in full costume and make up. Designer Todd Oldham did all the styling and photography. The picture of Stephen Colbert as ¿Raven,¿ the big-boned stripper at the ¿Twat Shop,¿ clad in nothing but fishnet pantyhose and a bejeweled g-string, is worth the $13.95 alone. And Amy Sedaris appears unrecognizable as ¿Mayor Halstead,¿ who really likes fudge, and ¿Mae Ella Padgett¿ and ¿Dottie Fore,¿ the two 40-something women competing for the title of the oldest person in town. But each resident has their own hilarious and detailed portrait. Wigfield is as silly as silly gets, but only on the surface. The humor is dark, the story is serious, and the characters are ridiculous. Fans of the Strangers With Candy series would be familiar with the irreverent tone, and would embrace these unlovable ruffians. And, really, the illiterate could even enjoy this underrated cult-hit novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2006

    high intellect required to understand this humour

    Much funnier than The Book of Liz or Holidays on Ice, a certain level of intelligence and dry humour is required to understand the subtleties in this novel. This was by far the best novel of the Sedaris siblings.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2003

    Wigfield- more like Stinkfield

    Please writers- go back to your day jobs- what a waste of paper, I tried to pass this book off on anyone- and they would not touch it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2003

    The Only Book I've Ever Thrown Away

    I've loved and hated many books, but this is the first time I've ever needed to submit my opinion. I bought it on a whim, without checking any reviews. Of course, checking these would not have helped me because they were all 5 star ratings. Usually when I don't like a book, I can at least see how someone else could. I cannot fathom how anyone could have enjoyed this. There was never a page, and seldom a paragraph that wasn't a drudgery. I cannot think of a book, a movie, a TV show, or a song that had less merit. The entire book felt like it wished Dave Barry had written it. It was set up a bit like a Barry book, but it lacked every bit of the humor. I tried reading it at different times of the day. I tried drinking (beer & coffee) whilst reading, to no avail. I really wanted to like this book, but nothing I did could make it funny. You know you're in trouble when you find yourself counting how many pages are left in the introduction! I can read anything, from The Hitchhiker's Guide to Decline and Fall, and enjoy them for what they are. But this... thing. I feel sorry for the paper that was wasted on this book. I maintain a fairly large library, but I just couldn't let this be part of it. I'd try to sell, trade it, or give it to a bookstore, but then I'd have to live with the guilt.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2003

    A Guilty Pleasure for Public Consumption

    Wigfield is more than a book about a small town; it¿s a book about a book about a small town and about writing that book. The book that this book is about embodies the writing career of Russell Hokes who has written about a small town which though it has never seen better days, is looking down the barrel at its last ones. Will the dam be destroyed? Will the town be destroyed when it is? Will the self-involved, self-centered denizens of Wigfield band together to achieve their own self-interests? Who is the Wigfield Maniac? Those are the questions that Hokes wants to have answered for him. Does he succeed? You be the judge. Though Hokes wrote this book, it is authored by the writers, creators, producers and stars of 'Strangers With Candy,' the show on Comedy Central. If you watched that show, then you liked it because, unlike the shows on PBS, liking it is the only reason for watching it. That is the same reason for reading this very excellent book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2003

    Insanity: It's not just for the rich, anymore.

    As anyone who has seen the TV series 'Strangers with Candy' will know, the people responsible for it are certifiably insane. Who better, then, to write this searing oral history of a town FULL of certifiably insane people? Oh, sure, you may find yourself, not sympathizing, but, laughing hysterically on every page. But, ask yourself, what does that say about you?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2003

    Strangers With Candy...and now they write.

    Boom, boom, ain't it great to be crazy? The authors have writen a book about the people you'd never want to meet, but really want to run into someday. Think about it, I haven't. Anyone that appreciates Strangers With Candy will enjoy the smart writing in this book. I have very high low expectations for these authors and they exceeded them with flying colors (and not just black and white, but lots of pretty colors too).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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