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The Spam Letters

by Jonathan Land

THE SPAM LETTERS: Humor book that fights spam, one email at a time

This is a collection of humorous, entertaining correspondence (and some bewildering replies) to people who send out mass junk e-mailings (a.k.a. spam). One part traditional book of letters and one part short stories, author Jonathan Land invents an entire cast of characters in his attempts to beat spammers at their own game. Reading his dialogues is almost as rewarding as ridding spam from your inbox. If you can't beat them, you may as well have fun at their expense.

Spam Letters Jonathan Land began The Spam Letters as a pet project to amuse friends and Web onlookers. After considerable media coverage (Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times, and Slashdot, among others) Land's pet project grew to gigantic proportions. Land (an accomplished stick figure artist) decided to send his manuscript off to join the literary circus, where such freaks of nature rightfully belong.

William Pollock, founder of No Starch Press, couldn't resist publishing the book because it kept him laughing out loud. Pollock comments:
      "I recall letting loose a few guffaws about 2 am. I wanted to read more and loved the idea of putting this all in print. Of course, what I'd really like to do is use the book as a kind of club to hit spammers with, but it's not a lead-lined hardcover book."

The Spam Letters tackles everyone's spam favorites, from cheap Viagra solicitations to the enticing get rich quick lures of Nigerian con men. All enter Land's crosshairs and are dealt with in warped and imaginative ways.

The Spam Letters itself is not a solution to spam woes and it won't reduce the amount of spam anyone receives (though the book does provide some tips for reducing spam). Still, it provides some sort of cathartic alternative to simply hitting delete or sending an unfruitful "PLEASE DO NOT E-MAIL ME AGAIN" message to the people who send you this garbage.

Don't miss click here THE SPAM LETTERS
by Jonathan Land

July 2004, US $14.95 ($21.95 Cdn), 336 pp., from, or directly from No Starch Press (,, and 800.420.7240) No Starch Press titles are distributed throughout the U.S. by O'Reilly Media, Inc. You Save: up to 30%


The Spam Letters site; Sample chapter: spamletters_ch5.pdf (PDF File)


Besides poking fun at spammers, Jonathan Land is also an accomplished stick figure artist and a participant in the experimental musical group Negativland. Born and raised in New York City, he now lives across the Hudson with his girlfriend Jill and their three cats, two guinea pigs, and one bunny. The cuteness of the small mammals helps offset his overwhelming negativity. He receives about 400 pieces of spam a day.


Since 1994, No Starch Press has published unique books on technology, with a focus on Open Source, security, hacking, web development, programming, gaming, and alternative operating systems. Our titles have personality, our authors are passionate, and our books tackle topics that people care about.

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