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What is the Saddest Thing?

December 2, 2011

Microwave for One by Sonia Allison
Publishers Weekly pick for The Worst Book Ever
Status: The perfect gift for someone everyone hates

ERNEST HEMINGWAY ONCE WROTE A FAMOUS STORY IN SIX WORDS:  “For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn.” It is still unsurpassed in the short and sad genre of Flash Fiction — until now. The title of the most recent Publishers Weekly nominee for The Worst Book Ever has Hemingway and everyone else beat in half the space. The situation is made worse by that fact that this is a real thing that actually happened.

In 1987, The Book Services Ltd published a slim, 144-page cookbook called “Microwave for One.” The book is by Sonia Allison, who has quite a few publications under her belt. But she’s best known for her masterpiece of tragedy, a book whose title and cover is so rife with sadness that one almost has the urge to brush the invisible tears from Ms. Allison’s face as she leans over her microwave and her food spread.

An Amazon review of the book, posted by none other than “Michael Pemulis” has this to say:

It used to be that I got home from work and the only thing I’d want to put in my mouth was the cold barrel of my grandfather’s shotgun. Then I discovered Sonia Allison’s Chicken Tetrazzini, and now there are two things.

Given all the Pemulis, microwave and suicide references here, I’m going to go ahead and link to the Infinite Jest Liveblog.

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