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DEVIL'S CAROUSEL Paperback – Aug 4 1997

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Paperback, Aug 4 1997
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 225 pages
  • Publisher: Random House UK (Aug. 4 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0436201747
  • ISBN-13: 978-0436201745
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.5 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 240 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Format: Hardcover
Highly recommended to those with a sharp, biting wit who can appreciate true irony. Witness how quickly paranoia can spread throughout a car company and the way these "characters" handle the rumors.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
The Martians Are Coming ! June 26 2008
By Craobh Rua - Published on
Format: Hardcover
"The Devil's Carousel" was first published in 1996 and is a collection of short stories based around the Centaur Car Company's plant in Glasgow . Each story follows a different lead character, from the shopfloor right up to senior management - though one story's lead character does, occasionally, play a bit part in another story. The plant is not presented as a pleasant place to work - industrial injuries are clearly common enough, while the number of heart attacks and strokes has led to the local hospital naming a ward in the company's honour. There's even the occasional nervous breakdown...

Things in the plant run far from smoothly, and there is a slightly antagonistic relationship between the management and the workforce. The working conditions clearly don't take the workforce's best interests into account, though the grievances are probably nurtured by the shop stewards. (KIKBAK, a very unofficial and clued-in newssheet probably doesn't help either, and several articles also appear in the book). However, the management don't do themselves any favours : they keep themselves so far above the shopfloor, they are widely known as the Martians. (Only one Martian, Mal Kibbley, earns a starring role in one of the stories. The Martians are keen to build a top-of-the-range car, though they want it built without the workforce kept in the dark about it...accordingly, when the workforce find out what the Marians are trying to pull, they'll do everything the can to sabotage this perfect car's production). Unsurprisingly, the plant is rumoured to be in some trouble with the company's head office believed to be considering job cuts. Having said that, there are suggestions - as the book progresses - that the Bilbao plant is in a little more danger.

Most of the stories are about the ordinary workers - not the big picture - with each story having a different character taking the lead. (However, one story's lead character may, occasionally, pop up as another ctory's supporting character from time to time). There are a few stories that see characters die or suffer from breakdowns, which isn't too surprising given the health problems widely suffered by the workforce. One of the book's more memorable survivors, however, is Curley Brogan - such an effective shop steward that the Martians are actually afraid of him. However, since his personal hygiene leaves a lot to be desired, his colleagues aren't overly fond of him either. Curley isn't one of the characters who die - however, he decides to have a little fun for a day or two by 'faking' his own death...a plan that, naturally, causes him a little bother.

However, nobody can find anything good to say aboutTwitcher Haskins - another string character. Twitcher - the nickname comes from the fact he's a keen birdwatcher - is a very petty individual and the plant's Security Chief. (The plant's security officers are known, colloquially, as the snipes - as the Security Chief, Twitcher is also known as the Supersnipe). Naturally, he has an arch-nemesis - the Magpie - who is responsible for all major acts of pilfering in the plant...and there's nothing Twitcher would like better than to cap his retirement with the Magpie's capture...

A very enjoyable book overall, and very easily read.
Hilarious, dark look at life on the production line March 29 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Highly recommended to those with a sharp, biting wit who can appreciate true irony. Witness how quickly paranoia can spread throughout a car company and the way these "characters" handle the rumors.

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