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Labor Pains Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Length: 371 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews


"Work and the working place environment is a slippery subject matter. C.A. Huggins' humorist approach to this rarely discussed topic is an original and appropriate way to deal with it. It's probably impossible for people to find a job that they would be passionate about all the time. There are many people who aren't happy about their jobs. People, who like Kevin, work out of fear, live from paycheck to paycheck and can actually relate to his situation. ...This dark comedy with some criminal action thrown in brings a lot of difficult issues up to the surface." - Portland Book Review

"While Labor Pains is irreverently funny, it also contains pearls of insight about the dichotomy of work. It's a glorious celebration of half-ass-ism and mediocrity, terrific for readers who recognize the ridiculousness of the struggle to get ahead and appreciate the irony of having to work harder to buy more things that one has to work harder to maintain." - San Francisco Book Review

"This book is chock-full of 'that's so wrong' kind of humor, the kind you'll want to read aloud to your spouse and get them to laugh with you."- Portland Book Review

About the Author

C.A. Huggins is a new author residing in San Diego, CA.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2194 KB
  • Print Length: 371 pages
  • Publisher: Captain of My Ship Publishing (December 26, 2013)
  • Publication Date: December 26, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #596,988 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

C.A. Huggins is the author of the short story "The Lotto Lothario" and the acclaimed novel "Labor Pains". He is a graduate of The College of New Jersey with a degree in English literature. C.A. currently resides in San Diego, CA.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I'm not sure why, but it took awhile for this book to grab me and I was happy that I stuck with it. At first, I think I was a little put off by the main characters and their half hearted approach to their jobs, but then things started to click for me and I was hooked. C.A. Huggins has a gift for modern dialogue and many parts of this book were laugh out loud funny. Half way into the book, I couldn't put it down and the characters that I didn't like began to grow on me until I was rooting for them and the success of their nefarious plots. The general story line is engaging and timely. In a sense, this book is representative of the modern American workplace where loyalty on the part of a company is non-existent, management is incompetent and employees have to fight for their economic lives.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Kevin Taylor, Huggins's first person narrator of this over-the-top novel about working for a large insurance company, is a slacker who hates his job at Schuster, Thompkins, and Dykes. (That would be "STD" if you get the reference.) He's the kind of guy who can tell you in colorful language all about the shortcomings of his fellow cubical dweebs while inadvertently revealing his own flaws. Thus Kevin is what is known in literature as an "unreliable narrator," in this case he is something like "the naif" who (quoting from Wikipedia) is "a narrator whose perception is immature or limited through his or her point of view" such as Huckleberry Finn or Holden Caulfield. It's a nice technique and Huggins handles it superbly.

Kevin's problem is that he seems both aware and unaware of his shortcomings. We've all known people who are absolutely blind to their faults but seem to have extrasensory vision and a fine gift of gab when it comes to the faults of others. Huggins' protagonist is a richly drawn example.

The novel is filled with all sorts of not entirely bright, sit com comical and crude sorts of characters like "Creepy Bathroom Chuck" who likes to follow people into the bathroom, and homeless Robbie Brown who mimics singer Bobby Brown of "My Prerogative" fame and manages to steal Kevin's...well, read the book and see how this improbability works out.

The plot is rather aimless like a coming-of-ager in the beginning but then centers around Kevin's need to get a promotion at STD. A fellow worker helps him out with various outrageous schemes that get the competition fired. But mainly this funny and somewhat crude novel is a satirical burlesque on the modern office environment and its denizens written in a way that makes it clear the Huggins cleverly made it all up as he went along.

--Dennis Littrell, author of the novel "Teddy and Teri" and other works
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Format: Kindle Edition
Labor Pains is a sly and sometimes satiric take on the perils and pleasures of every day office life. Kevin Taylor, the main character, is every manager's nightmare. Kevin is lazy, and when he isn't busy avoiding work, he's making fun of his co-workers. That doesn't stop Kevin from expecting to be promoted into management, based mostly on the fact that he shows up for work relatively frequently, and has been doing so for years.

To Kevin, everything about his job is lame, an irritant, or a joke; he shows up only for the paycheck. There is a germ of truth in Kevin's disdain for his coworkers as they are on the extreme side of weird work people--the diligent over performer, the people who decorate their cubicles, over eager interns, men with disgusting restroom habits, and a somewhat perverted boss. The office rituals are aching weird and familiar--pot luck lunches, mirrors on monitors so people can see behind them, proficiency tests, and birthday cakes. Anyone who has ever worked in cubicle land will recognize at least one person!

Kevin's laziness and laid back attitude extends to his personal life, where his girl friend, family, and friends bully him, take advantage of him, or both. He's such a pushover, he doesn't even get upset when he's called one to his face.

A series of events finally compels Kevin to change his work life, where he begins showing up on time and working late. As his confidence increases, he makes some changes in his personal life (his girlfriend would make an excellent Scumbag Stacie meme on Reddit). He decides that in an unfair world, he can not play fair, but after some initial successes, events take on a momentum he cannot stop until he lands in situations he never imagined.
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Format: Paperback
Firstly I should say that the main character of this book, Kevin, was one of the most unlikable people I've ever read. It really made it hard for me to get into this book. The only thing good about him was that he had such bad things happen to him, got himself into such horrible situations, that I sort of felt bad for him. A little bit. But a lot of the other characters, other people Kevin worked with, felt a lot like people I've worked with. I easily imagined Kevin and his co-workers working in the office space of my last job.

I very often am disappointed in books and movies because I see the end coming from a mile away. But not so with this book. It's creative ending caught me off guard. The entire story was depressing to me, until the big twist at the end. The situations Kevin got into, especially towards the end of the book (I'm trying not to give anything away) were over the top. If you like unlikable characters I highly recommend this book!
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