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Temping Hardcover – October 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Black Heron Press; 1 edition (October 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0930773764
  • ISBN-13: 978-0930773762
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,160,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Anyone who spent time after college as a temp must have wondered at least once if they were doomed to temp forever. That is exactly what happens to 38-year-old Milhouse Moot. Milhouse has made temping a lifestyle. He refuses to have permanent relationships with jobs, women, friends, or places. When a bizarrely honest therapist talks the virginal Milhouse into attending graduate school, he finally gets a career and falls in love with a Finnish circus performer. The two marry and Milhouse winds up teaching humor in famously humorless Finland. From Seattle to Hong Kong to Finland and back to Seattle, this absurdist fable follows Milhouse's search for a life. The black comedy is by turns frustrating and enjoyable. Marta Segal
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"... this book is laugh-out-loud funny, emotionally gritty, and psychologicaly raw. A deliciously ripping story." -- Mark Haskell Smith, author of Moist

"All in all, a romp deftly executed." -- Adrei Codrescu, NPR commentator

"Serious madcap. An intense and surprisingly realistic voyage into the light and the fantastic." -- Willie Smith, author of Oedipus Cadet

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By chrisbeck on December 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Somehow I stumbled upon this novel. It is an entertaining read, so absurdly hilarious at times that I had tears streaming down my face from laughing so hard. There is also quite a bit of philosophical thought in this book which together with the humor is a fresh combination. The main character is an anxious loner plagued with nervousness and strange theories of life and beauty that he has developed in his solitude (seemingly as a defense mechanism), but he is also endearingly naive. Sometimes you want to shake him, other times hold him and let him cry on your shoulder. It's a relief that he finds some normalcy in the end with the family he somehow winds up being a part of. This book has some uneven and frustrating parts, not a 'masterpiece' in the traditional literary sense of the heavy, canonical novel that takes itself seriously. It's a different genre altogether, belonging in some strange underground category. If you are a fan of absurd humor and enjoy your intellect being tickled, this book will make you laugh and perhaps even your head will spin. It is straightforward and doesn't play tricks on the reader, which I so appreciate.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Wagele on July 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I had read some of Olson's other works: poetry and his book on humor. This one is unique. It takes you to another world - the inner and outer world of an interesting writer to be sure. You couldn't imagine such a life no matter how hard you tried. It's funny, philosophical, and well-written. I recommend it if you're looking for something really different. - Elizabeth Wagele
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ivan G on March 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author created his own genre all right. The characters move in and out of plausibility and fantasy which creates a uniquely whimsical structure. It passes the Number One test of any book: "Do I want to turn the next page." The answer is always yes. I thought the ending could use a little work, but I liked this novel.
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