Rivethead

Rivethead

4.1 7
by Ben Hamper
     
 

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The man the Detroit Free Press calls "a blue collar Tom Wolfe" delivers a full-barreled blast of truth and gritty reality in Rivethead, a no-holds-barred journey through the belly of the American industrial beast.  See more details below

Overview

The man the Detroit Free Press calls "a blue collar Tom Wolfe" delivers a full-barreled blast of truth and gritty reality in Rivethead, a no-holds-barred journey through the belly of the American industrial beast.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a voice often as powerful as the riveting gun he wielded in the 1970s and '80s in a Flint, Mich., General Motors assembly plant, Hamper nails down the excruciating boredom of a shoprat's life on the line. These roughly chronological essays, many published in the local press, bare the rage and humor that, with booze and drugs, friendships and enmities, served to speed along the timeclock's ``suffocating minute hand.'' A fourth-generation factory worker, raised on hard music, hard liquor and soft drugs, given a parochial school education, Hamper was the eldest of eight children deserted by their father, supported by their mother. He was determined not to be an auto worker but soon after high school, married and a father, he needed the steady work GM offered. With free-ranging intelligence and a sharply anarchic sensibility, he tries to figure out and establish some control over his place in GM's massive corporate system. While these essays might best satisfy in small doses, Hamper, no longer a GM employee, writes with unrelenting energy. BOMC and QPB selections; film rights to Warner Bros. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Hamper, a son, a grandson, and a great-grandson of General Motors' ``shoprats,'' chronicles ten years spent in an abusive marriage with GM in Flint, Michigan. Despite exploitative management policies, arrogant and/or incompetent supervisors, and mind-numbing working conditions, Hamper, like the abused spouse who keeps returning to the abuser, becomes de pressed during layoffs and revives when recalled to the assembly line. Hamper copes with his perceived limited options by consuming impressive quantities of alcohol and writing an irreverent, cynically humorous column about shoprat life for an alternative newspaper. How much of Hamper's alienation and later panic disorder are the result of his ten years at GM and how much are due to genetics and choices is unexplored. Another weakness is Hamper's graceless style and his overuse of four-letter words. Despite these shortcomings, blue-collar voices are rarely heard, and therefore this is recommended for public libraries.-- Andrea C. Dragon, Coll. of St. Elizabeth, Convent Station, N.J.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446394000
Publisher:
Hachette Book Group
Publication date:
04/15/2008
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
260
Sales rank:
526,750
Product dimensions:
4.90(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

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Rivethead 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Rivethead is one of the funniest books I've read. It is hard true grit of what goes on inside the factory assembly line. You won't be disappointed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! Gritty and humerous look into the world of a union laborer sank into the mire of American Industrialism. Touching portrayal of life under the rivet. Where are you, Ben? Looking forward to 'America Drinks and Goes Home'.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found the book all too real, having worked on the line myself. Everything is true and the attempts to deal with the boredom are very accurate.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read rivethead as a college course requirement, but I which I had discovered it sooner. Hamper's biography sheds light onto the brutal reality that is life for the backbone of America's workers. My appreciation for the hard work these men and women do so you and I can enjoy quality vehicles has grown to the Nth degree after reading this book.