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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
On the face of it this is just life behind the scenes at a supermarket but it is actually very much more than this. After 20 years as a priest Simon Parke decided the life is not for him. But is life as a supermarket worker any better? Incidents involving staff and customers are related with humour and insight. Even trivial happenings tell us something about life in general. The biggest insight I got from this book is that life is what you make it - if you're miserable - like Winston - then your life will be miserable.

Having worked in a supermarket myself I found this book fascinating and very true to life. Drawing a moral from each story might seem a little pious but Simon Parke's writing style and his self deprecating humour lifts it onto another plain entirely. I loved the supermarket workers themselves - Winston, Sapphy, Faith, Caspar and the managers Pinochio - because he never tells the truth, Kong - because he looks like the film character. All have their own hopes and fears and outside interests. Together the staff are from the four corners of the world and many different religions but in the main they work together reasonably harmoniously.

This is an interesting little book and easy to read and it may just make you see your life differently. I enjoyed it.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 8 August 2010
This is a superb book. Simon Parke felt compelled, after 20 years, to give up his job of Parish Priest, but found the only place willing to take him on was a supermarket on their shopfloor. From this unpromising and potentially gloomy starting point, Parke manages to craft a book that is full of insight, humour, wisdom, and poignancy. It has a wonderful lightness of touch, very funny lines and observations, and utterly convincing character portraits as we become acquainted with his colleagues and regular customers. It's a very revealing insight into the workings of our major supermarkets - his trip to the gleaming headquarters to represent a colleague in a tribunal particularly harrowing in its contrast with the working environment of those facing the customers on the front line. It's deceptively simply written, completely without pretension, yet in gently reminding us of the consumer age in which we live, extremely salutory. Thoroughly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 7 March 2013
This book is great for delivering pearls of wisdom amongst entertaining anecdotes. I have actually already started reading it again!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A funny book to read, esp. for those who have worked in a supermarket, how very true the things that go on in the opening hours.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 10 October 2009
Most types of men and women wander down the aisles. Some come to buy and some serve, often reluctantly. They come with other matters on their minds, some tragic, some merely mundane, some only interested in the profit motive. But all are important to them. Most of the people we meet are introduced sympathetically;just a few confirm our fears about supermarkets. As a penetrating insight into life in a supermarket this could not be bettered. The seemingly endless shelves stacked with all life's wants take on a new meaningViola Magnifico F1 Hybrid
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on 17 February 2015
Looks good - will read first before review - bis I've seen are funny
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on 24 October 2014
This book was readable, even gentle amusing in parts
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on 7 January 2015
Very good book
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3 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 14 September 2009
excellent reading enjoyed it very much. Still waiting for delivery of mary berrys complete cook book
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