I had two important takeaways from this meaningful book: don't talk about shopping and otherwise pricey pastimes like going to a restaurant or to see a movie with the working poor, and the reason why the affluent have zero experience with the working poor is because they're shielded in homogenous communities where even the summer jobs of scooping ice cream and waitressing are less and less prevalent. To suppose that there are secret economies that enable the working poor to relate to the affluent in certain ways is total ignorance. In this way, this book ripped the hood off what I thought I knew. Empathy is important but the affluent will never actually understand.
I did not find this audio book enjoyable. The narrator did a great job but her tone was raspy exasperation and to me just felt negative. I wasn't hooked on listening. I found myself listening because I knew the book was important, and I wanted to gain a new understand of socioeconomics.
the storyline of this book basically boils down to the fact that if you have a problem with authority and would rather not ask engaging questions to managers and do things to get ahead at your job then you will always be stuck making minimum wage. there was a lot of complaining about her/others circumstances rather than taking action and looking to better themselves. Barbara Walters was not stuck with these low paying jobs and for the most part never looked to get a higher paying job during her experiment. I saw so many fallacies with her experiment that I really had a hard time getting through this book which was required reading for my class. she never truly comes out and says it in this book but it's basically all about how the minimum wage needs to be raised to better peoples living conditions. the problem with this theory is that this would cause many small businesses to go out of business and actually worstens the gap between the haves and have not.
As far as being required reading for a history class goes, this book was surprisingly bearable. And while I understand that doesn't sound promising, I assure you I say that with the best intention. I am not a fan of non-fiction. I find it boring and tedious. However, Barbara's book recounts such relatable tales about short-term friends, overbearing managers, and bouts of exhaustion, that you find yourself listening along without complaint. An overall decent book.
The book is terrific, but the recording (not the performance) defective. The playback begins duplexing after chapter 2 and continues through the next 4 hours or so. Disappointing. The reader is very good.
I wish Audible would provide a better product. I continually have to go back and try to find my place to listen. Audible apparently disables the ability to burn a book to even one disk so I can listen to it. The iPod just doesn't do well on audiobooks (probably unless you buy them from Apple). It is impossible to get a book burned to CD so I can listen to it and it never plays right on the iPod.
I have wanted to read this book for years. I was disappointed in the story, although her description of the co-workers plight is excellent. Too much the author's story, not enough of the co-workers who have to live the life, not just play at it. A good try, but I was disappointed in it. I think my main disappointment is it could been so much more than it was.
This book did try to explore an interesting concept. But the end results was annoying and contrived. The author over-dramatizes the smallest issue, drawing it out into several minutes, making me think "lady, just get over yourself". She obviously had a point she wanted to prove, a cause she wanted to lead, but just tried to hard. In the end, the book had the opposite effect - complete lack of credibility.
It will confirm what you already know. The lower to middle class worker has it very difficult. No kidding? We couldn?t tell. Like ?Bait and Switch, this book will offer you nothing but depression. There is nothing in this book to suggest or offer some hope and comfort for the middle class worker. If you read this book or listen to the audioCD, know what you are getting into.
Nickel and Dimed / B002V1BOFQ
I cannot praise highly enough "Nickel and Dimed"; it's one of those few books that I honestly think pretty much *everyone* should read. It's depressing and heartbreaking to see, first-hand through the on-the-ground journalism of Barbara Ehrenreich just how hard it is to get by in America as a member of the working poor, even with the numerous starting advantages that she began with.
The audiobook maintains the same high quality of this book by providing perfect narration. Maybe I'm unusual in this respect, but the ultimate goal for me as a reader is to hear what the author intended -- the humorous inflections, the wry disappointments, the sarcastic quips -- as though the author were reading hir own work to the reader. Cristine McMurdo-Wallis nails this novel perfectly, to the point where it's almost difficult to remember that this isn't the author we're listening to. For me, that's pretty much the Holy Grail of narration.
If you enjoyed reading "Nickel and Dimed", I can pretty much guarantee you'll like this unabridged audiobook version of the same. And if you haven't read the book before, I think you'll still get a lot out of this audiobook, and I recommend it highly.
~ Ana Mardoll