Qty:1
  • List Price: $14.95
  • Save: $1.93 (13%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
The Right Man for the Job... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: No markings in text. Only mild wear. Eligible for FREE Super Saver or Prime shipping, direct from Amazon. Tracking is included on every order and a no hassle return policy means your satisfaction is guaranteed.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Right Man for the Job: A Novel Paperback – January 6, 1998


See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$13.02
$2.68 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Best Books of the Year
See the Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (January 6, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060928956
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060928957
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,228,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This superb first novel, beautifully written in minor keys that reveal the omnipresent sadness of narrator Gunnar Lund, is set on the cash-strapped streets of a rough section of Columbus, Ohio. Gunnar is an alien from Wisconsin, and has a job as a bill collector and repo man for a company that rents home appliances; he's also a white man moving through a largely African American world. Well-told, stark, gritty and realistic, The Right Man for the Job is also an extremely successful study of race in this country. It puts on no sociological airs; it simply talks honestly about white people and black people, and how they treat each other. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

A white Wisconsin factory worker and a black college graduate team up as repo men, working the mean streets of Columbus, Ohio, in this unsettling but always surefooted dark comedy by a first-time Florida writer. Gunnar Lund is a very white man in a very black world, and he doesn't like it much. Having abandoned Sara, his fianc‚e, in northern Wisconsin, to follow neurotic single-mother Margaret to Columbus, where she's getting a master's degree in women's studies, Gunnar supports himself by cruising the city's inner city in a rattletrap Crown Rental van, repossessing local residents' rented TVs, refrigerators, and living room suites. Alienated by Margaret's rants against the male sex, guilty over his abandonment of Sara, and longing for his favorite Wisconsin drinking hole, Gunnar finds consolation only in the presence of Dewy Bishop, a black co-worker and Gunnar's linebacker-sized guardian angel. As the pair travel from one tough job to another, demanding back payments from teenaged mothers, West Virginia ``white-trash'' layabouts, and other marginalized victims of modern America, Dewy encourages Gunnar to delve ever deeper into the sin and degradation to which he seems terminally attracted. Everything Gunnar does in this urban no-man's land is ill-fated: When he tries to go for a bike ride, an increasingly unstable Margaret throws his beloved bike down the stairs; when he tries to do his job like a good repo man, he ends up killing an innocent guard-dog; and when he finally finds the courage to leave Margaret, she pours gasoline over herself and lights a match--leaving Gunnar with her ten-year-old son and a chance, though only a very slim one, to behave responsibly for a change. Just another tale of a white guy lost in a hard, violent world, but Magnuson's arresting prose and perfectly tuned ear for dialogue render the journey unforgettable. (Regional author tour) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lachlan Murray on September 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
The Right Man for the Job has a lot going for it. The narrative is exciting and fast-paced with an ever-present tension that Mike Magnuson skillfully modulates. White Gunnar Lund and black Dewy Bishop are two repo men trying to extract overdue furniture and appliance rental payments from mostly poor black women in Columbus, Ohio. As I followed Gunnar and Dewy's miserable exploits, I was dreading the moment when their trademark five raps on the door were answered with a gun. Extorting inflated payments, or repossessing the crap merchandise in which their employer Crown Rental traffics, is a dangerous business in the Columbus ghetto, especially for Gunnar, but also for Dewy. Gunnar worships his streetwise partner, a giant ex-football player, and Dewy enjoys taking the small-town boy from Wisconsin under his wing. He introduces him to the best fish sandwich in the hood, loads up the Crown Rental van with malt liquor, pork rinds, and cheap cigars to fuel their trips around town, and regularly dispenses repo wisdom -- the underhanded tricks of the trade. But three-quarters of the way through the novel Dewy tells 'Cheese', his nickname for Gunnar: "See, everywhere we go you gonna be the white guy. And that's cool with me. But it adds me another stress to the job, covering your white ass."

This frank pronouncement is a good example of what Magnuson does very well in his novel. He inhabits the core of white-black relations in convincing fashion, in the process articulating and exposing white neurosis regarding race. His character Gunnar is thrust into a threatening black world -- a world of hardship and misery and destructive pleasures created and maintained by the larger white society.
Read more ›
Comment 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
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robin Elliott (robin_e@msn.com) on August 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
Mike Magnuson does a wonderful job with this book. The insight he provides us in to the life of the main character, Gunnar Lund, is wonderful and vivid. Gunnar is a simple man, from a simple background, who has followed what he believes to be love to the big city. Having left his job of many years as a factory worker, the only job he is able to obtain in his new life is that of a collector and repo man for a furniture rental business. Buried by the emotional baggage of a job he hates and a somewhat mentally abusive relationship, Gunnar dreams daily of returning home to Wisconsin and the simple, comfortable life he left behind. Mr. Magnuson is a powerful writer, and does a wonderful job capturing the horrible emotional aspects of the job of a repo man, and the affects of the job on Gunnar's life. From page one to the end, when a surprising turn of events allows Gunnar the opportunity he has been hoping for, you will be riveted. Gunnar Lund is a character you will understand and relate to, and not be able to forget.
Comment 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
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Evon Donnell on September 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
Mike Magnuson possesses a powerful command of language. "The Right Man for the Job" grabs the reader with its stark realism and dark, gusty prose. Gunnar Lund is decidedly an anti-hero, but the reader empathizes with him as he drags along through the sewers of life. The boldness with which racial tensions are explored as this white narrator prowls about through a mostly African-American world rates special praise. Magnuson never falters from his task of bringing us a cruel, intensely real landscape, and he never slows his pace or loses his edge. This book is a fine example of a superbly fresh writer for the new millenium.
Comment 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 metheb on November 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
My wife bought me this book thinking I would like it and man was she right. Being a native of Columbus, OH I was instantly intrigued by Magnuson's intricate and dead on descriptions of areas I had found so bland and unremarkable. This novel has intense film potential (an extremely post-modern PULP FICTION of sorts) with characters more original and events twice a shocking. If you are looking for a quick, easy, entertaining read with realistic, heartfelt characters with frailties by the dozen set against the back drop of the disintegrating streets of a US state capitol, pick it up. You won't be disappointed. Magnuson is a powerful voice from the Midwest.
Comment 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
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Hogan on July 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
Magnuson captures the essence of the streets of many crumbling Midwest cities well. He also presents the main character as a man who trancends poverty and unhappy relationships. Overall, this is worth reading, if not for an example of really quality modern literature, then for a good narrative on the plight of being poor, lonely and trapped in somewhere like Columbus (which, to be fair, has one or two nice parts).
Now a book about Dayton, that would be really depressing. Note: Only saying this because I lived there for five years.
Comment 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
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 10, 1998
Format: Paperback
In today's star-struck society, it's a welcome respite to read a novel about two average guys working an average job. Magnuson does a great job portraying what life can be like in the oft-forgotten blue-collar section of society. This novel's best attribute, with all credit to Magnuson, is its common-folk, everyday, REAL use of language. That rarely happens in today's "form novels." Magnuson is, and will remain, one of my favorite authors.
Comment 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
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ricky Nations (nations@teclink.net) on April 7, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I just got through reading "The Right Man for the Job". I really enjoyed the book. It is right on the money in its descriptions of "the hood" and those that inhabit it. It is a good read. Good luck to the author on his next book. May it be as good as the first.
Comment 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

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?