"Working Stiffs" might have been the title of this novel, which is a wicked send-up of life in a Scotland auto factory?a "multi-nat," in the parlance of its tough, irreverent crew of characters. Nothing is sacred and nothing is spared in Torrington's merciless if humorous gaze, not the faked demise of a crafty union steward nor the real death of a luckless "nightshifter." The workers attempt to gain some measure of control over their working lives by dint of mischief, sarcasm, and pure cussedness until forced to confront their essential powerlessness in the end. The local slang and shop jargon, while sometimes difficult to follow, is effective in evoking the workers' world, and the ending, abrupt and pitiless, serves to point up the ironies of that world's collapse. Recommended.?Kay Hogan, Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham, Info/Instructional Svcs.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Torrington wrote his acclaimed first novel, Swing Hammer Swing! (1994), when he was 58 and reportedly worked on it for more than 30 years. This follow-up is set in a Glasgow automobile plant, the Centaur Car Company, and follows the fortunes of several factory workers. Among the more memorable characters are Curly Brogan, the shop steward with incredibly bad body odor who attempts to fake his own death; Sputnik McQuirr, so unnerved at being issued a new number for his time card that he embarks on a vandalism spree; and Twitcher Haskins, the senior chief of security who, after being awarded an expensive pair of binoculars upon his retirement, finally espies the thief who's been pilfering auto parts for years. Chock-full of slang, Scottish dialect, and linguistic pyrotechnics, the novel is a somewhat difficult read. Yet the pun-loving Torrington offers a large dose of irreverent humor and an inside view of the sheer drudgery and in-the-trenches camaraderie of life on the assembly line. Joanne Wilkinson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description