184 F-Words, 28 Illustrations and 4 Book References: Andrew Smith’s ‘Winger’ by the Numbers

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724 days ago today, a class act was published. It’s called Winger by a guy named Andrew Smith. 724 days later, it’s still a class act. And so today, I break down this masterpiece by the numbers. Because there’s a lot to take in from this book and someone has to do it. Here, and you’re welcome:

184: F-Words
These include 68 times Ryan Dean West said fuck/fucking inside his head (“because [he honestly doesn’t] cuss”), 9 times out loud (uh) and 107 times it was said out loud by everyone else.

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195: Other Obscenities
Why stick to ‘damn’ (23) when there’s ‘goddamn’ (26) and ‘goddamnit’ (5), right? Or ‘shit’ (38) – ‘shitty’ (5) – ‘shithole’ (2) – ‘dipshit’ (5) – ‘bullshit’ (4) – ‘shitfaced’ (1). Obviously, you’d be such a tool to read Winger using the Clean Reader app. (Does ‘jerk’, if used in a you-know-what context, count? In that case add 4.)

28: Illustrations
Sam Bosma’s work is spot on. And it comes in parcels: 12 comics-style, 4 straight-up drawings, 4 diagrams and 8 notes/letters.

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1: Fourteen-Year-Old Eleventh Grader
He also happens to be in love with his sixteen-year-old best friend.

9: Hot Female Characters
From Annie Altman to Megan Renshaw to the five-out-of-five-possible-fruit-arrangements-on-your-head-in-a-Brazillian-dancer-kind-of-way-on-the-Ryan-Dean-West-Samba-mometer nurse to Rachel Altman—who is Annie’s mom and yes believe your eyes—to smoking five-out-of-five-toothless-one-eyed-hillbillies on the Ryan Dean West Drop-Yer-Pants-Boy Tote Board Nurse Hickey (that’s her name), there’s no shortage of ladies for our “142-pound sack of dehydrated failure” hero.

1: Unhot Female Character
There’s only 1 unhot female character in the world of RDW and it’s the “not-even-hot-on-Pluto” Mrs. Singer. But she sure has more than 1 epithet, which are anything but boring. “Never-spent-a-fraction-of-a-minute-in-her-life-being-hot,” “so-not-hot-you-should-never-look-at-her-when-you-have-a-hangover,” and “so-unhot-she-is-quite-likely-the-only-two-legged-female-besides-his-mom-no-wait-including-his-mom-Ryan-Dean-West-wouldn’t-want-to-run-into-at-night-when-he-is-only-wearing-boxers-and-nothing-else” are just a sampling.

1: Awesome Gay Friend
One name yo! Joey Cosentino.

4: Book References
These are Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Mosses from an Old Manse (specifically the short “Rappaccini’s Daughter”), Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, Foretopman, Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court and another short story collection, In Our Time, by Earnest Hemingway.

42: Perverted Thoughts
Ryan Dean West, who is also Winger because he plays wing for their rugby team, is a boy. A boy can daydream. A boy, however, doesn’t always get away with this:

12: Times Ryan Dean West is Called Out for Being a Pervert

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2: RDW-to-Parent Conversations
ONLY. These are through phone calls and both to his mom. I mean, WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU, MR. & MRS. WEST?!!

33: Self-Proclamations of Loserosity
Because what teenager doesn’t feel like a loser. “I am such a loser” appears 29 times, “I am a skinny-ass loser” 1, “I am such a fucking loser” 1 and “I’m a loser” 2.

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33: Pledges of Honesty
In his defense, Winger is as honest as can be in telling his story. Proof? He repeatedly maintains “I’ll be honest” (20) throughout the novel and “to be honest” (8) and “to be absolutely honest” (2) and “to be perfectly honest” (2) and “to be totally honest” (1).

6: Times RDW Got Into Trouble
The book opens in Upside-Down Toilet World and, already, that doesn’t sound so good, does it?

3: Doctor Visits
As the book cover would suggest…

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10: Betch Pet Names
Charles “Chas” Becker, a.k.a. Betch, is an asshole and he loves his roommate. Go figure! His terms of endearment for RDW include Chicken Wing, Idiot, Retard, Asswipe, Pusswing, Pussboy and Dipshit, to name some.

7: Moments RDW had to Pee

147: Hyphenated Modifiers
If you’ve no idea what these are, please refer to the unhot-female-character-count-which-is-ruled-by-Queen-Mrs.-Singer. (See what I did there?)

15: RDW Rating Systems
Because Winger is so smart he has rating systems for almost everything.

5: Pine Mountain Teachers
And there are over 800 students.

10: Times RDW Misheard Something
That include 2 from Annie, 6 from Mrs. Singer, 1 from Joey and 1 from Screaming Ned.

“”Aww,” she said. “What a cute boy.”
Okay, I’ll be honest. I think she actually said “little boy,” but it was so traumatizing to hear that I may have blocked it out.”

7: Internal Debates
Because, clearly, Ryan Dean West doesn’t have enough going on for him.

So. Serious question: do you think this is the last time I’ll ever talk about Winger? HAHAHAHA. NO.

You can also stalk follow me elsewhere! On Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Goodreads, and Bloglovin.

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31 thoughts on “184 F-Words, 28 Illustrations and 4 Book References: Andrew Smith’s ‘Winger’ by the Numbers

    1. OH MY GODS YES HE DID! I had a serious episode of fanboying because I didn’t even tag him but he saw it. He also tweeted! *Collects self.* Anyway, yeah, I still hate you for Stand-Off, Jon. But it’s up on Edelweiss now. Hopefully I get approved. Fingers crossed! AND GO REREAD WINGER!!!

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  1. This is hilarious 😄 Such an original way to convince me to read this book, and I am pretty convinced. I’m a bit on the fence with the hot-to-unhot female characters thing, but the rest of the supposed exaggerations are pretty realistic depictions of the intense throes of teenage life 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. LOLOL I LOVE THIS POST. Also please do share some of your creativity to mo. I have not read Winger by Andrew Smith which is tragic because, and this may sound creepy, I want him in my favourite authors list!!! Alas I’ve only read one book by him — In the Path of Falling Objects (have you read it btw??)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Miggy you’re too kind! Thank you! 🙂 Please do! Read Winger! Like NOW. If I can force, er, encourage you to read JUST ONE TITLE from my recs, let it be this!

      I haven’t even heard about that! Did you like it? I know he has 9 published books, right? Stand-Off, which comes out this year, will be 10th. I’m thinking The Alex Crow next. I finished Grasshopper Jungle last week.

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      1. Yeah, according to our friend Google, it’s his 2nd book. I’m really glad you loved it! Hmm. I didn’t like GJ as much as Winger BUT that’s mainly because of the narrative style. BUT (again) Smith really does best with capturing the teenage experience! And there are disturbing imagery.

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  3. OMG WOAH dude this takes some serious dedication to write up! I would never have the patience to collect all that info, ahaha, so kudos to you! I’ve still not read Winger but I swear I will soon! I have read GJ but tbh, it wasn’t really my cup of tea.

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    1. I guess I’m just SO OBSESSED with Winger! 🙂 But, really, I haven’t done this before with other books. Oh oh, give it a shot! I finished GJ last week and I, too, didn’t like it as much. It’s the narrative style that was the drag for me. But Winger is different! So please pick it up soon!

      Thanks for dropping by Melanie!

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  4. I shall admit that this is fucking impressive work . . . shame it was for such a dreadful novel, HAHAHAHA!
    I’m sorry, but seriously though, you’ve put more effort into this than I have into all my college work for the past year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WOW. “For the past year.” You’ve got to be freaking kidding me! You have to. But, you know what Levi Isaac, I was secretly hoping you’d never see this post. For obvious reasons. And yet, I was itching, too, to know what you’d say.

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      1. Haha. I held back most of the uglier opinions I have about this book. You know, just to spare you.

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  5. But did you actually go through the book and COUNT ALL OF THESE???? I AM ADMIRING YOUR DEDICATION A LOT RIGHT NOW. And you’ve basically convinced me to read it. 😉 Who am I kidding?! I’M TOTALLY CONVINCED. *haunts library*

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