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The Temp Paperback – 7 Oct 1999


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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; First Edition edition (7 Oct 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099409879
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099409878
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 966,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Sasha never intended to be a temp: "My school wanted us to go to university, as though that would, aside from keeping them up in the league tables, be the magic formula. "You don't want to end up typing for a living," they said. So I went to university, got the degree and bingo, here I am typing for a living anyway."

It's a year since she left university. After six months travelling with chinless boyfriend Matthew, they've ended up in a house owned Sasha's oldest and best friend--and former boy-band sex-god--Ben Cameron, along with layabout Craig, housing advice worker Donna, and city-type Tania, who writes her name on milk cartons, and throws a fit if someone chucks out her flat champagne. "Between us we have notched up five degrees, two careers, one ex-career, three dope habits, two years on the dole and, so far this year, sixteen jobs, fourteen of them done by me."

Alongside hilarious tips and observations on work life--including step-by-step instructions for holidaying PAs on how to make their temporary replacement's life hell and how to get fit by filing inefficiently, thinking and taking up smoking in a non-smoking office--this clever, witty, well-constructed novel also packs in a nail-biting, page-turner of a plot, some shocking and moving bits, revenge, romance and a sly poke at all those trashy novels aimed at twenty-somethings. "Giles or Luke? Penny couldn't decide. All she knew was that being a successful model/editor/advertising executive/film producer/private detective was not proving to be as fulfilling as she had expected. What do you do when you've got everything but all you want is love?". --Lisa Gee

Book Description

Invisible, Indispensable. In at the deep end.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Nov 1999
Format: Paperback
The Temp is a very compelling and enjoyable read. I am a veteran Wall Street/City banker (male), and find the author's characterisations of office life spot on. Anyone who has been an employee can relate to her clever observations (which you can only assume are based on some crazy real-life experiences!). Half the time you laugh out loud at how dumb people can be, and the other half you are outraged at their bad behaviour.
That said, the book is about much more than office life and temping. What hit home most was the theme of leaving university and heading out into real life in the big city. Seeing your friends (and yourself) change and adapt is not an easy experience. You find that some people were friends only because you lived with or near them, and they drift away, back into the world from which they came. Others define themselves and those around them by their jobs and relative success, and end and lose friendships because of this. You learn that the people that you really like, have something in common with, and are loyal - no matter what or how well you do - are absolute gold.
The book's short chapters race along, and there's never a dull moment. The characters are interesting, varied, and well developed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 July 2001
Format: Paperback
Clever, witty and fun, this novel captures perfectly a situation that more than a few people will find familiar - that post-university stage where you come to London (or any other big city, for that matter) ready to conquer the world and find out the world has been dealt much better cards than you.
Mackesy's brave and likeable heroine, though, is a game girl and remarkably unself-pitying despite spending her working hours surrounded by people who call her "Umm" because they don't know her name. The supporting characters are equally well-drawn, instantly recognisable without being in any way stereotypes. If you like books about urban twentysomethings - and why shouldn't they be written about? - this is several cuts above the usual fare. If you don't like books about urban twentysomethings? Well, let's hope you're smart enough to work out from the cover that this ain't the book for you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Thornton VINE VOICE on 23 Oct 2002
Format: Paperback
'The Temp' is a refreshing change from many modern novels which feature soppy, spineless heroines that spend most of the novel confessing their insecurities and searching for the perfect man. The heroine of 'The Temp' is smart, funny and thoroughally realistic. After finishing university, she moves with five friends into a houseshare in London while she works for a temping agency until she can find a 'proper' job. Unfortunately, as we all know even the best laid plans can go badly wrong and nothing in life is predictable...
'The Temp' is fresh, cleverly written and even laugh-out-loud funny in places. It will certainly appeal to anyone who is at, or who has not long finished university, and anyone who has ever worked for a temping agency. The plot is not at all predictable and the characters in the story are easy to identify with as they all have their ups and downs and none of them are perfect. This book is long but extremely readable, and it never becomes stale or boring. The plot occasionally jumps around a little but not so much as to spoil the story. The conclusion of the story is surprising, even though you know it's all going to end happily, and this is a fun, feel-good book that I really enjoyed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mass Consumer of Fiction in Arizona on 18 Jan 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You'll be pleasantly surprised by The Temp. Considering the genre, and what places it appears to hold within that genre, the book delivers much, much more than I had assumed it would when I first began it. Yes, it's about a young twenty-something woman and her trials. And, yes, it's flip and funny and many chapters are nothing but short newspaper columns. But instead of the usual angst about romance and "careers", I found a touchingly funny book about coming of age. Friendship, loyalty, betrayal, uncertainty about the future, depression, assuming responsibility are all dealt with sensitively. Although the actions taken by the circle of friends when one of them faces a true tragedy are a bit far-fetched, they illustrate the point of what real friendship is all about. I think the ending is a bit tidy, but since our protagonists are only 23 or so, it's probably not the ending after all - just a wonderful beginning.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 July 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Huh! Disappointing!", I thought, as I began this book. I was irritated by its obvious birth as a series of newspaper columns, and found it bitty and disjointed. But guess what? Before putting it down I just had to read one more chapter, and then one more, and became increasingly absorbed in the life of the narrator and her endearing friends.
The details of office life are observed with deadly and witty accuracy, and the device of keeping the Temp herself anonymous until nearly the end of the book was a neat enactment of her overlooked and unrecognised role at work.
And best of all, I found that I really cared about the characters in their quirky, flawed humanity - and was holding my breath with anxious anticipation right up to the final paragraph.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Dec 2001
Format: Paperback
I read this book while I was a temp in Washington DC and there are some aspects of the wild wacky world of temping that transcends national borders i.e. it pays poorly, "regular" employees are weird about your presence and friends with "real" jobs are constantly giving you crap about it (like money will fall out of the sky to cover your bills if you stop!)
Mackesy tells it all hilariously, intertwining little two-page "snippets" of office life that everyone will recognize in between the chapters of the Temp's life with her friends.
In EveryTemp fashion, you don't even find out her name till almost the end -- because people don't bother to learn it! True to life till the end. You will love this book no matter what you do for a living!
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