Rivethead: Tales from the Assembly Line and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Rivethead: Tales from the Assembly Line Paperback – Jul 1 1992


See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
CDN$ 19.46 CDN$ 0.01

2014 Books Gift Guide
Thug Kitchen, adapted from the wildly popular web site beloved by Gwyneth Paltrow ("This might be my favorite thing ever"), is featured in our 2014 Books Gift Guide. More gift ideas

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought



Product Details

  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (July 1 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446394009
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446394000
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.9 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #239,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers 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.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From 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.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
I WAS SEVEN YEARS OLD THE FIRST TIME I EVER SET FOOT inside an automobile factory. Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Dec 3 1998
Format: Paperback
Unlike the songs of Bruce Springsteen that focus upon the working class of America, Hamper provides one with a glimpse into the life of an American factory worker. This book shows the lived experiences of people that have now become transperent voices in mainstream society. What Hamper does is provide a forum for these voices to be articulated. This book should be a mandatory reading in college classrooms. Specifically, english majors, sociology majors, and communication majors would benefit from the insight and rhetoric displayed through the harsh but real voice of Hamper. More books like this should be read by members of our society both in and out of the academic forums. In sum, I would recommend this book to the masses.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Houston on April 5 2000
Format: Paperback
As a former line worker at a Japanese assembly plant, I can honestly say that this is a very accurate description of life on the line. Although the working conditions at the plant I worked at were not as bad as at GM, the mentality of the workers and how they deal with management is the same in a non unionized Japanese Plant. In fact even though it is thought that there is more cooperation between management and worker at Japanese Plants, I found that there was still a deep division between the two. The description of the pranks are hilarious. In summary, if anyone thinks that workers in Japanese plants are any better off than the North American plants, think again. An auto plant is an auto plant.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tony (hustler@globalbiz.net) on Dec 1 1998
Format: Paperback
Life on the line comes back to haunt me with every word Ben writes. It's all true, I worked with Ben, I saw it all, drunk, high, sometimes sober. General Motors and all it's cronies couldn't keep the goodtimes from rolling down the line. Truck-in, truck-out, a drink here, a drink there, a joint here, a joint there, anything to escape.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Format: Paperback
I found out about this book while watching Michael Moore's The Awful Truth on Bravo. Ben did some correspondence work for Michael. My husband, my dad, and I were watching it and my dad told me that was the guy from Roger & Me (a movie about Flint by Michael Moore-a must see for anyone who enjoys this book) that was in the mental hospital on Holly Rd. I got the book and read the acknowledgements and I realized that I went to school with his daughter! He hung out and a bar called Mark's Lounge and I used to work at the Sunoco gas station right next door to it while I was in college! Anyway being originally from the Flint area and working right across the street from the factory Ben worked in I knew that quite a bit of drinking and long lunch hours took place but Ben tells it is so funny. My favorite parts are when he talks about Howie Makem the quality cat. It is an easy read too. It only took me a couple of days to read it. But then again maybe that is because I couldn't put it down!
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Format: Paperback
I was forced to read this book...against my better wishes, my hellish American History professor assigned this book to our class. As I read the title I remembered thinking: "how in the world is an assembly line job interesting enough to read about?" About the only thing I thought the book had going for it was the foreward by Michael Moore. It looked like I was going have to spend another weekend plodding though a boring book when I could have been spending it at the movies or out with my friends. It turned out to be one of the best weekends of my life. The books was hilarious -- It was real, gritty, sharp and wonderfully written. After reading the introduction, I was hooked: I locked myself in my room, unplugged the telephone and didn't put down the book until I was finished. That was ten minutes ago -- now I am online looking to see if he has written any other books...I was disapointed to see that he hasn't. Ben Hamper -- wherever you are -- I have joined the ranks as your loyal fan. Even though you no longer work for GM, I hope you will find another story out there and tell the world about it.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Format: Paperback
This is a must read for anyone who is curious what a day in the life of a factory worker is like. Ben Harper takes you on journey through the massive bowels of the General Motors Truck and Bus factory; and lets you in on the daily hijinks, scams and booze habits of he and his linemates to help ease the passage of time and the mind numbing by-product of their job. Harper's gonzoesque sytle is fresh, gritty, real and hilarious; and his take on General Motor's bureaucratic hierarchy of authority is as funny as it is frustrating. He let's us in on everything to GM's quality mascot cat "howie makum" to the flashing slogan banner in front of his work station announcing "riveting is fun". Ben Harper makes you want to come to work with him; but stay only for a day.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Format: Paperback
This is a must-read if you're a white collar, blue-blood, fancy suburb-living, Subaru Outback-driving, Liberal Arts educated American. Or even if you're not--. Its honesty will rattle those who presume to "understand" the American blue collar work force--especially middle managers sitting in some cushy office with fake plants in the corner and hot coffee in a favorite mug. It's a great companion read to "Forming the Future: Lessons from the Saturn Corporation" -- written by Jack O'Toole, the labor representative on the team to create the 80's upstart GM division. The fact that Michael Moore writes the preface to Rivethead should give you an indication that this is raw, off the beaten literary track, good reading. Enjoy.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.

Most recent customer reviews



Feedback