"[A] dark, satirical comedy. . . . Written with the same kind of deadpan humor Levison used so well in his first book."—USA Today
"A gleeful satire. . . . It’s an amusingly bleak little (im)moral fable."—Detroit Free Press
"Exciting, funny, poignant and sociologically important."—The Chicago Tribune
"Levison’s irony is acute as he caricatures the working world’s groundlings."—The New York Times Book Review
The work Jake Skowran is offered is a lot less than legal. He’s got little choice except to take it. The guys who owned the factory have left town for someplace where there’s more sun and cheaper labor. The deserted plant is fenced in and the fence topped with razor wire, as if they’d worried that the locals would steal tractor-building equipment and start making tractors in their basements. Jake’s girlfriend has also decamped (along with the vacuum cleaner and the entertainment center).
"She went off with some used car dealer, huh?" his bookie mocks.
"He was a new car dealer," Jake retorts.
Jake’s got six months of unemployment left before he’s dead broke and the locks get changed. Life has turned into one big downgrade. It has downsized and hardened him. He’s up for anything. The economy is pain, lies and silliness, and he is going to carve off a piece of it for himself or die trying.
Iain Levison is the author of A Working Stiff’s Manifesto, an account of his postcollegiate work experience, consisting of 42 jobs in 10 years. He lives in Philadelphia.