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Rivethead: Tales from the Assembly Line [Kindle Edition]

Ben Hamper
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £3.99 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

The man the Detroit Free Press calls "a blue collar Tom Wolfe" delivers a full-barreled blast of truth and gritty reality in Rivethead, a no-holds-barred journey through the belly of the American industrial beast.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 457 KB
  • Print Length: 258 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0446394009
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (14 Dec. 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #71,429 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I was forced to read this book...against my better wishes, my hellish American History professor assigned this book to our class. As I read the title I remembered thinking: "how in the world is an assembly line job interesting enough to read about?" About the only thing I thought the book had going for it was the foreward by Michael Moore. It looked like I was going have to spend another weekend plodding though a boring book when I could have been spending it at the movies or out with my friends. It turned out to be one of the best weekends of my life. The books was hilarious -- It was real, gritty, sharp and wonderfully written. After reading the introduction, I was hooked: I locked myself in my room, unplugged the telephone and didn't put down the book until I was finished. That was ten minutes ago -- now I am online looking to see if he has written any other books...I was disapointed to see that he hasn't. Ben Hamper -- wherever you are -- I have joined the ranks as your loyal fan. Even though you no longer work for GM, I hope you will find another story out there and tell the world about it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required Reading 9 Jan. 2004
I just bought Rivethead again, probably the fifth or sixth time. You never get it back when you lend it to people. Not only is this book hilarious and bitingly witty, it is a brilliant look at how work screws you up. I first read it when working in an industrial packaging factory, no where near as brutal as the rivetline at GM, but there's so much you can relate to. Anyone who's ever worked in a factory, anyone who wonders why ordinary Americans are as they are needs to, no MUST, read this book.
Better than anything Michael Moore has written, sorry that Ben Hamper is no longer writing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bukowski with Comedy 18 Aug. 2003
Although Hamper's comedic effect is often too studied, almost affected, it still elicits a hearty bellylaugh - in a way that Bukowski has not.
Ben Hamper takes us on a journey into the industrial wastelands of blue-collar toil - beer, repetition, noise, grime, mental atrophy...all the things that have made the US in to the industrial giant it is. He writes with a casually sharpened observation that belies his eventual descent in to the maddened pit created by the demons of industrialization. Indeed, I was surprised by how this chronicle ends and the annals or work-related literature deserve a closure from Hamper, as the lastest recruit 'accepting the baton from crab claw to puppy paw'.
Ben Hamper has written about only one topic yet he has done it with greater panache than Bukowski's 'Post Office'.Like they say - 'It's a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it!'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A reluctant champion of the shoprat 8 Mar. 1999
By A Customer
Ben Hamper is best known as "the guy shooting free throws" in Michael Moore's "Roger and Me". But he was also a longtime columnist under the title "Rivethead". Years of working under the hypocritical policies of GM drive him to write his scathing this book about how to pass the time and abuse numerous substances while building Suburbans for upper-middle class soccer moms. If anyone thinks that working for GM, or any industrial powerhouse, is a plum job with high pay, good hours, and loads of fun, then read this book and learn something about the way corporations value human capital.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Rivethead hammers down to the real need to assemble the factory workers of today and rework their life, both in and out of the plant. This is the autobiography of a misfit fitting parts together with other misfits in a system managed by automotive nurse ratchets(or is that wrenches?). The goal is to work less, make more, and spend it all on booze and music. Friendships are born from boredom and last until the next layoff. It's a day of drudgery, whose purpose is somewhat existential with a Woody Allen twist. Finally, in the end, life is just a panic. Move on down the line and pick up this book, you just might need it before the next order comes on down from above.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Ben Hamper's outrageous description of life on the
car and truck assembly line had me laughing out loud at the antics of both workers and bosses at the GM factory in Flint, Michigan. Hamper uses words like rivets and blasts them at the nearest human target; no one escapes his savage attack, not even himself. Hamper is a "flake" and he knows it, but he is an observant flake who is just as adept at turning a phrase as he is finding ways to avoid work. He seeks to please no one, not even himself, and he succeeds beyond even his expectations. Read at your own risk is how Hamper himself might caution us about "Rivethead."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Hamper's style reads like a cross between James Thurber and Hunter S Thompson - savage, endlessy referential and very very funny. Ben would be the least likely to admit it, but in his own way his shoprat's-eye view on the state of labour relations in the US, and by proxy the rest of the western world, is as important as anything written by Lee Iacocca when it comes to business management. Although he's got nothing else in print, he still writes a more-or-less regular column on Michael Moore's website...
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By A Customer
This is a must-read if you're a white collar, blue-blood, fancy suburb-living, Subaru Outback-driving, Liberal Arts educated American. Or even if you're not--. Its honesty will rattle those who presume to "understand" the American blue collar work force--especially middle managers sitting in some cushy office with fake plants in the corner and hot coffee in a favorite mug. It's a great companion read to "Forming the Future: Lessons from the Saturn Corporation" -- written by Jack O'Toole, the labor representative on the team to create the 80's upstart GM division. The fact that Michael Moore writes the preface to Rivethead should give you an indication that this is raw, off the beaten literary track, good reading. Enjoy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read, honest it's good fun...
One of my favourite books. Ben has a great writing style, love it.
Published 1 month ago by J
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleased I bought it
Good Read
Published 3 months ago by Chris Melvin
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
My son enjoyed this
Published 7 months ago by H. Price
4.0 out of 5 stars Life on the line
This is a well written account of life on a car assembly line. Although not a fully in-depth expose and there's not a lot of the author's personal life outside the plant it does... Read more
Published 10 months ago by traveller
5.0 out of 5 stars A book titled "Rivethead" A truly riveting read.
The book was not available in the UK only from the USA, it was received in good time, the condition was very good and the story was interesting and very well written. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Dave Wheeler
4.0 out of 5 stars Review of of "Rivethead"
I found it to be a very revealing insight into Detroit of that era. How GM and I am sure the other auto-makers treated their employees. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Patrick OSullivan
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read
It was interesting but not riveting! At no point did anyone associate his alcohol or drig consumption with his phycosis
Published 13 months ago by Tom
5.0 out of 5 stars Present
This was a present for my brother and he absolutely loved it - so if you know anyone interested in the subject get them this and they will be very happy
Published 16 months ago by Pauline
5.0 out of 5 stars Great insight into factory life
A very interesting perspective on what it was like to work for GM in the late 70s and 80s, a real page turner and very funny at times
Published 18 months ago by Farmerpug
5.0 out of 5 stars Living in the real world!
There are many books written about industry, rarely by the people who are at the sharp end and have to cope with the worst effects of "progress", so where's the fun in... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Robert Ryan
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