Anderson, M.T. Burger Wuss. Gardener, 2005. ISBN 978-1844282890 220 pp. $
M.T. Anderson serves up a McHit in this hysterically funny satire of the teen problem novel, revenge, and employment in the fast food industry. Mr. Nice Guy Anthony, age 16, has done everything right and been a perfect gentleman with his girlfriend Diana–why does he find her horizontal with her co-worker Turner from the burger joint O’Dermott’s? Diana quits her job when the scumbag wants nothing to do with her, and Anthony takes her job in a plan to exact revenge on Turner. Wuss no more, Anthony gets into fights, steals a promotional condiment dump, and creates a bona-fide fiasco involving Burger Queen, O’Dermott’s rival restaurant. Will Mr. Nice finish last in this tale?
This is a laugh-out-loud funny book. Anderson has a keen ear for teen dialogue, and the words sound genuine. Quirky yet real characters include the nosy but well-meaning neighbor who eavesdrops on her cell phone, Anthony’s best friends Rick and Jenn, who are sickeningly sweetly in love, and anarchist co-worker Shunt, determined to destroy O’Dermott’s from within.
The in-your face cover and strong title will make this book leap off the shelves into reader’s hands; the humor and honesty will keep the reader engaged to the end. Highly recommended for fans of Rob Thomas and Ron Koertge.