BLOWN SIDEWAYS THROUGH LIFE by Claudia Shear

BLOWN SIDEWAYS THROUGH LIFE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 The curriculum vitae of an intelligent and self- indulgent misfit. In this book, based closely on her highly praised one- woman show, Shear mocks the working world--from her first job at 12 years old when she answered a BOY WANTED sign to the 65 jobs she's held since. Shear has been a waitress, an actress, an artist's model, a proofreader, a makeup artist, a cook, and the phone operator in a whorehouse. After being fired from or quitting one job too many, Shear became fat, depressed, and indigent until she finally pulled herself up and took control of her life. Now she's on job number 66: this book. In a series of vignettes, Shear attempts to convey her experiences. She has always been an avid reader and envisioned her life as a potentially great romance. When the truth fell far short of her dreams, Shear was angry and self-pitying. She feels that life has blown her out of her stratum and jerked her around, but there are many instances in her account where Shear--unwilling to accommodate bosses, customers, and reality--clearly sabotages herself. (When the manager at New York City's Bar Lui hesitatingly informed her that there were rules about personal phone calls, she muttered, ``Oh please, you must be fucking kidding.'') She wants to be treated special, but in her rage she only sees her own side of the story. She views herself up as defender of the working person, sermonizing that ``you talk to people who work for you the same way you talk to the people you work for.'' But, when she's employed as a bartender by two kind Chinese men, Shear can't even take the time to distinguish between them. Maybe it's time to start looking for job number 67.

Pub Date: March 22nd, 1995
ISBN: 0-385-31312-8
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Dial
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1995