99 Jobs: Blood, Sweat, and Houses

99 Jobs: Blood, Sweat, and Houses

by Joe Cottonwood


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99 Jobs: Blood, Sweat, and Houses by Joe Cottonwood

Joe repairs homes. With each job, he enters somebody's private world. Revealing a life. Or changing it.

Here's blue collar writing, finely crafted, about good hard work-and some bad work, too. Meet proud carpenters and working-class hippies. Meet clients who flirt, cheat, seduce, fight-and clients who warm your heart. Learn the taste of sewage, the jolt of a live wire. Drive to the emergency clinic with a wooden stake through your hand. Feel the satisfaction of work that is honest, simple, strong-sometimes perfect.

"A house is alive. It breathes. It expands and contracts. It ages. Sometimes it falls sick, and then I'm a doctor of houses. I probe intimate cavities. I study the bones, the nerves, the flesh of an old house where generations of remodels have built upon themselves. The structure tells a story: tragedy, comedy, or heartwarming family drama as day-to-day life slowly, inexorably leaves an imprint over the attic, on the walls, under the sink-or in the crawlspace."
-From 99 Jobs

Ninety-nine stories that are gritty, funny, wise. And always deeply humane.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780615909448
Publisher: Clear Heart Books
Publication date: 11/10/2013
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.64(d)

About the Author

Joe Cottonwood has worked as a carpenter,
plumber, and electrician for most of his life.
He is the author of nine published novels including Famous Potatoes and Clear Heart.

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99 Jobs: Blood, Sweat, and Houses 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
BigAl70 More than 1 year ago
I was slightly apprehensive about 99 Jobs, not sure whether it was something I’d enjoy or not. On one hand, I’ve found memoirs about ordinary people from different walks of life to be fascinating in the glimpses they give into those lives, helping give me a deeper understanding of a variety of people and, in theory, maybe making me a slightly better person. On the other hand, how well would you expect a typical carpenter, plumber, and all around handyman to be able to string words together? Hopefully better than I can drive a nail, replace shingles, or for that matter, string words together.  It turns out Cottonwood isn’t your stereo-typical blue collar guy. (Maybe there is a lesson for me there.) 99 Jobs could be viewed as a series of vignettes, each telling the tale of a single job over his long career. Every “job” or chapter could stand alone. One of the first chapters, Junior Electrician, chronicles Joe’s job changing light bulbs on a college campus in St Louis. That he was also a student at that same college, eventually graduating and working as a computer operator, is one way he turned out not to be your typical handyman, eventually realizing that he preferred working with his hands, often outside exposed to the elements, rather than spending his workday in the sterile environment of the computer room. However, taken together, the individual jobs or chapters form a coherent whole that paints a picture of Cottonwood as a person. Besides giving an idea of what the life of a handyman might be like, they’re also full of lessons about life and people well beyond just the nuts and bolts of Cottonwood’s work. **Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **