Occupational Hazards (Paperback)
Simon & Schuster, 9781416562917, 247pp.
Publication Date: July 8, 2008
Debut novelist Jonathan Segura has all the right instincts when it comes to plotting a relentless and tightly packed story. Darkly funny at times, and even wryly emotional, Occupational Hazards is a sharply observant, suspenseful read from a new and worthy writing talent.
Praise For Occupational Hazards…
"Bernard Cockburn, a beat reporter in his early 30s for the Omaha Weekly News-Telegraph, pounds the fearsome streets of Omaha, Neb., in Segura's crisp, raunchily amusing debut...With an emphasis on the protagonist's angst, Cockburn is the sort of dysfunctional dude-immature, posturing, hapless-that will keep readers intrigued and should appeal especially to fans of Chuck Palahniuk and Arthur Nersesian." --Publishers Weekly
"Twenty-something Bernard Cockburn is a dead-end guy in a dead-end job: a drug-fuddled, rather lazy burnout who works as a crime reporter for a weekly newspaper. Yet in the way of noir heroes, he has a doggedness that could be either a sneaky integrity or just another kind of self-destructiveness. [Segura] handles the hard-boiled conventions with unusual resourcefulness....Best of all, this hero stays stubbornly anti; there's no magical late-book reformation....smart, fast-paced, cleverly plotted and with a gritty and persuasive city setting -- an auspicious debut." --Kirkus Reviews
"[A] savagely funny first novel...The beauty of [Occupational Hazards] is Segura's ability to walk a line between the comedy and the horror of Burn's story. He's a true louse and a world-class cynic, but he's a better man than the corrupt officials and vice lords he's out to nail. Plus he's one hell of a funny narrator. For long stretches, the plot fades into the background and we simply enjoy (if we are so inclined) Burn's portrayal of his deplorable life and the toxic world he inhabits." --Washington Post