Like a Dog (Paperback)
Blue Heron Book Works, 9780692507452, 170pp.
Publication Date: October 27, 2015
List Price: 12.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.
Vincent Francone's "Like a Dog," as in "Work like a dog," is a great read. A working class guy who comes up on the South Side of Chicago and moves north in a quest a better life, Francone takes us on a dazzling tour of minimum wage America over the last couple of decades. He's has done it all; "I've tried telemarketing, copy writing, editing; I managed a courier center, I conducted background checks on potential healthcare employees, and worked in a stock room. . . ." And that's before he goes to university and winds up, like so many other academics today, as a part-time instructor in a string of economically stressed public colleges. Francone's descriptions of boring and soul-destroying work, the places where it's done, and the people who do it are beautifully written, wildl entertaining, deeply poignant, and mysteriously inspiring. This is what it's like to be alive in these times, "Like a Dog" insists, this is the battlefield of everyday life. These are your adversaries: mindless repetitive work, bored and boring co-workers, feckless bosses, plus your own inclination to work as little as possible, spend every penny you earn right away, and escape from bad job to bad job, without ever climbing any ladder that might lead to better paid if equally meaningless work. Best of all, this post-industrial odyssey down mean streets and corridors to mean offices and classrooms, dingy apartments, and dead end bars is full of gritty life. Francone is a gifted story- teller with a great, street smart voice. His protagonists and characters are brilliantly drawn.. And in their bafflement and self-destructive resistance to the work regieme that claims them they press back in an utterly realistic way against our recession-bred equation of employment, almost any employment, with salvation. Studs Terkel would have loved this book--John McClure, Phd.
About the Author
Vincent Francone was born in 1971. A veteran of the legendary Aspidistra Bookshop, he spent years as an autodidact before earning a BA from Roosevelt University, where he now teaches first year composition and the occasional literature class, and an MA from Northwestern University. His work has been published in Rhino, New City, Akashic, and The Oklahoma Review among other journals, and he won first place in the 2009 Illinois Emerging Writers Competition. He lives in Chicago with his wife and his Chihuahua, Haruki.