Pete Jordan, “Dishwasher: One Man’s Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States”

The title says it all: This dude, a kind of pioneer slacker, travels around the country, getting jobs, eating leftovers, quitting jobs—often all in one day. It’s not incredible writing, but it is great fun. (Hear an NPR story here.)

Published: 2007, 385 pp.
Obtained via: Library
Date started: 10.5.07
Date finished: 10.18.07
What I liked: Dishwasher Pete ran a zine from various pitstops and friends’ places over the years, and you can feel the zine origins in the writing. I also love the Pittsburgh shoutout and all the mentions of how awesome Portland is. (He put out a few issues from Reading Frenzy, a zine shop I love.)
What I didn’t like: Dude takes about 50 pages to get to the nut graf/thesis of the whole thing. Luckily, the rest of the book flies by.
What I learned: If I want a job with ultimate mobility, dishwashing is it.

2 thoughts on “Pete Jordan, “Dishwasher: One Man’s Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States””

  1. […] THE LOWDOWN Published: 2007, 310 pp. Obtained via: Library Date started: 12.25.07 Date finished: 12.26.07 What I liked: Kyle’s story is all about the potential inherent in the smallest things and how powerful people are when they work together. I have to admit I got a little teary in the last two chapters. What I didn’t like: This book is exploding with awful, awful jokes. And every chapter is punctuated by a page of “dude, no seriously, dude” philosophy. And it’s all written in a stream-of-consciousness style that should have been edited down really heavily. (I was hoping this book was searchable in google books so I could see just how many time he follows up a sentence with “[Noun I was just referring to] is like that.” I know it did occur on two sequential pages, and more times than I cared to keep track of while reading.) I felt like I was living in this man’s head the entire time I was reading, and it was often excruciating. What I learned: Dudes who do awesome things shouldn’t necessarily write their own stories. […]

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