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Jobless Recovery Kindle Edition
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Jobless Recovery by LC Evans is not The Grapes of Wrath, but it's darn close.
Evans has crafted a near perfect contemporary look at the socio-economic world we now exist in. Looking back on the John Steinbeck classic set during the Great Depression, that novel focuses on a poor family of sharecroppers driven from their home by changes in financial and agricultural industries. Steinbeck wrote: "I want to put a tag of shame on the greedy bastards who are responsible for this (the Great Depression and its effects.)" Evans has accomplished this in Jobless Recovery. The book is not preachy, the characters are easy to relate to, and the prose is accessible.
Dave Griffin is a likeable young computer programmer for Markham-Hooks, a large financial company. In one day, his world is turned inside-out as the company outsources almost all of their employee jobs to India. Dave loses his home, girl friend, and most of what he holds dear. Simultaneously, his friend Joe Tremaine, a former FBI agent injured on the job, is faced with the loss of his job and medical insurance. He is disowned by his doctor, put on experimental drugs for his injury induced psychosis, and endures inhumane treatment at a clinic for the uninsured.
Joe confronts his Senator (whose life Joe saved years earlier) to beg for even a desk job in order to keep his medical insurance --the scene is guaranteed to fire your engines as Evans is an artist at describing human behavior.
"Senator Drake had looked Joe up and down with his piggish eyes, calculating, maybe deciding how best to give him the bad news. Then he reared back in his seat and rested his hands over his popped-out stomach, forefingers steepled and aimed at Joe's heart. `I appreciate you saving my life, but sometimes, and it's sad, but sometimes, we have to put a sick horse out to pasture.'"
The characters struggle, much like Steinbeck's, to carve out new lives, forced to compromise themselves. This is an extremely satisfying read. It opens doors that are at half-tilt and layers tension on tension, but with a sense of humor. What does Joe have in the back of his pickup truck? And will Dave's final wish come true? "Yeah, one day the country, and maybe the world, would return to government of the people, by the people instead of government by the greedy."
I can't recommend this book enough. It truly is a Must Read.
The three main characters--Dave, Joe, and Lark, and wonderfully brought to life. I was totally involved in their predicament and was rooting for them all the way. More than this, however, what made this novel stand out for me, was the deft touch author Evans has with contemporary social commentary. I really kept expecting some hard-handed political diatribe at every turn, but she manages to serve up biting, humorous social satire (witness the riotous phone calls that Dave makes to clueless government officials at the unemployment office) without seeming to take a political position. She skewers big business as much as big government. I dare you to guess her political persuasion.
The only thing I don't like about "Jobless Recovery" is the title. I almost didn't read this little gem because I thought it was a treatise on economic policy. It's fiction, folks! Except, of course, for the fact that the country does seem to be in a "jobless recovery."
Author--"Sounds of Murder"
To Evan's credit, she does not end the book with a miraculous job offer for Dave or with the government suddenly paying attention and vowing to end discriminatory practices. Instead, Dave finds a practical solution by facing reality and teaming up with his fellow-unemployed.
While the subject matter is serious, Evan's witty observations and humorous jabs at society's ills make the story a fun read even as she examines one of the bitterest pills our country's workers have had to swallow.
I first read the book several years ago and applaud Evan's for updating the novel, which is even more meaningful in today's economy.
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