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The Boss is Dead [Paperback]

By Ron Pullins (Author)
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Item Number 115009  
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Item description for The Boss is Dead by Ron Pullins...

The Boss is Dead is a novella, from the play of the same name, based on the author's experiences managing a fast food restaurant in the Midwest. To some extent it is the author's reflection on work and the nature of work in modern America.

It's here, at last, exposed The whole stinking, fetid, painful, unexpurgated story of life in the fast-food-biz lane; in the grind of the working-for-minimum-wage lane, in the working-for-the-boss-you-hate lane.

Who hasn't had this dream? You think the picture on the cover is the boss? Wrong It's the night grillman who thinks he is free at last, free at last.

When Ron Pullins was first hired into publishing, the national sales manager of the publishing company asked him if he thought selling books was going to be any different from selling hamburgers which he was doing. Because, the manager said, if I thought it was, it wasn't. He was right, although he maybe didn't know it. He hadn't fried any hamburgers.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Focus Publishing/R. Pullins Co.
Pages   128
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.28" Width: 6.88" Height: 0.28"
Weight:   0.34 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 10, 2005
Publisher   Focus Publishing/R. Pullins Co.
ISBN  158510177X  
ISBN13  9781585101771  

Availability  0 units.

More About Ron Pullins

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Ron Pullins is a playwright, writer and publisher living in Newburyport. His work has appeared in several journals. This novella first appeared as a stage play.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The Boss is Dead?

A Shiny Little Gem of a Novel  Apr 23, 2005
"The Boss Is Dead" is a cool little jewel of a novel, packing depth, despair, hope, and poignancy into its brief 124 pages. Protagonist Chris Mann is a would-be poet trapped in a fast-food-restaurant worker's body. He romances the lovely, small-breasted, but surprisingly ambitious Beth while dreaming of his boss' untimely, rather gruesome, demise. All the novel's action takes place over the course of a single day as seemingly insignificant events conspire to change the major characters' lives forever. This slight story creeps up on you page by page, until it suddenly hits you with an overwhelming emotional wallop at the end. Highly recommended.
Hanburger Helper!  Mar 30, 2005
Chris, the night manager of a fast food restaurant, pulls the reader into
his own alienation as he gradually tells us what it is like to work in this
industry: extreme competition among the stores in the neighborhood and the
chain to sell as much unhealthy, grease laden food as they can, cooked and
served by a cadre of teenagers whose anomie is laced with that of the
customers who are hypnotized by the cheap food and lured by a cheap thrill
(someone dressed up as Burger Bear).

Chris, who wants out of the industry as badly as he want to please Keith,
his manager, or Wackoff, the district manager, is somehow unable to please
either. He hangs with the teenager help in vacant parking lots after hours
drinking and having no-nothing conversations. While he struggles with his
own lack of acceptance in the fascist managerial environment, he in turn
meets out the same savage humiliation on young Sorenson, who manages to
keep a smile on his face even when told to crawl under the grill and clean
up every speck of grease on the wall and floor.

As Chris attempts to move up the food chain of management, he uncovers a
company illegality - stealing the used grease and selling it - that he is
sure will have his boss fired and the store (at last) will be his. The
reader is caught in the wonderment of why Chris wants to continue working
at the store, more or less dedicating his life to being manager, and Chris'
obvious loathing for the entire operation. The last few pages give a relief
of fresh air that maybe Chris will do something else with his life -
although the reader will not be able to step into a fast-food restaurant
again without carrying the images Pullins has created - anomie, fascism,
humiliation - all to give us the cheap food we think we need and deserve.
Ode to the Service Industry  Mar 14, 2005
Anyone who has had the misfortune to work in a thankless service industry job will recognize and enjoy the situations and characters - from the half-demented boss to the nearly incomprehensible company policies and politics. Very funny and highly recommended.
Love Among the Burgers  Mar 11, 2005
Chris Mann, underachiever, occasional poet, and night manager of Burger Bear, is a kind of American Everyman. You can almost see Tom Hanks in the role. At one time or another, most of us have had that job slinging hash, driving delivery trucks, or bagging groceries. For that matter, is management really more than a pay-raise for the same humiliation and meaninglessness just farther up the food chain?

The Boss is Dead packs a lot of ideas into a 124-page novella. It gets us to look at the many ways we compromise ourselves, how easily we succumb to petty hatreds, how readily we will oppress as we complain about our oppression. While Pullins recreates that familiar rogues gallery of temporary coworkers and creepy managers who insist upon taking the ridiculous seriously, he also makes us look at how willingly we will plot the downfall of others and how much self-loathing we will endure for the comfort of even the most miserable employment.

Pullins avoids the convenient "post-modern" dodge of easy irony or affecting that anomie that flattens so much contemporary fiction. The Boss is Dead walks a tightrope between the brutal and vacant realism of Camus and the farcical absurdities of Kafka and Becket. Yet America, being what it is, supports the conceit. It's alternately funny and close to the bone. If Ron Pullins first novel has a few flaws, it definitely takes risks and sets its sights on the truth.
Want fries with that?  Jan 24, 2005
Chris Mann is a loser. He's the night manager at the Burger Bear on High Hawk Road. His biggest ambition is one day to become the day-shift manager, but he's barely competent and not a company man. With this admittedly unpromising premise, Pullins has crafted a tight little psychological study. The action spans one day, within which nothing much happens, but everything changes for Chris. The writing is crisp, and by the end we even have some sympathy for this anti-hero.

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