Cover Image: Help Wanted

Help Wanted

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Member Reviews

I just could not get into this one. I don't know if it is because I have no life experience that made it relatable or what, but I could not connect to the characters and it felt like a lot of nothing was happening on page after page... I think I was just the wrong reader for this book.

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A story about people just trying to make a living. It’s relatable if you’ve ever had a job where you are at the bottom of the food chain and a slave to “corporate.” The author does a great job of developing the characters and makes you feel the frustration the employees experience. It’s sadly a perfect look at how terribly workers are treated in the big box stores and the lengths they will go to in order to move ahead and have a shot at something better.

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I really really liked this book. Extraordinary writing about ordinary people doing ordinary things is one of my favorite genres, and this book also perfectly captured the awkward and fraught socioeconomic structure of groups of workers in this type of workplace. I’ve worked in such a similar job environment and this book just got that dynamic spot on. I also don’t usually love it when a book changes character point of view throughout but this was one of the most well done versions of this I’ve read, and was the rare example that made me even prefer this style actually, except I would read a whole book about Nicole if I could. Maybe the ending was a little too figured out and pat, but overall I was a big fan.

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This book is so poorly written that I had to force myself to finish it. Save your money and your time- there are much better books out there!

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A lovely “slice of life” story about workers at a big-box store. When the Movement team finds out their supervisor’s supervisor is leaving, they band together to get their supervisor promoted so they no longer have to deal with her directly…

This was wonderful - the author does an amazing job of portraying each character in a tender and nonjudgmental way. We get multiple points of view, each one offering a compelling glimpse at a team member’s life in and outside of the workplace. Help Wanted is a funny, sad, and honest look at what happens when organizations don’t really care about the people who work for them (and a gentle reminder of how consumers’ preferences for low prices above all else impacts the livelihoods of many people). By the end of the novel I was so deeply invested in the characters and wanting them all to be OK (maybe even Meredith!).

Thank you very much to W. W. Norton and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a copy.

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This book was a little bit slow, but it overall was entertaining and relatable. The characters appealed to me and it seemed like something could actually happen! I recommend it.

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Novels set in the workplace can go in many directions. This one hinges on a competition for promotions including the most-coveted -store manager. The current manager "Big Will" has been transferred to big box store in Connecticut.

The focus of the plot centers around the employees in the "Movement" department. These are the people who start work before sunrise and unload a truck, get the boxes of goods to the correct individuals who stock the shelves.

The current leader, Meredith, hasn't made any friends with the Movement team and most of them dislike her intensely. They hatch a plot to make sure she is promoted to store manager to get her out of their hair.

For me personally, the narrative moved slowly. So many characters were introduced all at once, that I had trouble keeping track of them. But then in the last quarter of the book, things heated up and got very interesting. I wish Waldman had began the book at a place where there was lots of activity and then introduced the band of characters.

I like that the author didn't use a common plot and put some creativity into her writing.

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I can't think of another novel I've read in recent years that explores the working class experience in a way that isn't condescending and is, in fact, joyful. The characters in this book, who all work the night shift at Town Square (clearly Target but not called that), make minimum wage, live at home as adults, and struggle to take care of their kids; when their manager brings them McDonalds one morning, one of them is gleeful at the prospect of a "restaurant meal." Yet the plotting and scheming they do to get ahead in the micro-world of the store is fascinating, and it's also a depressing look at how big-box retail operates. A fantastic book.

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Hey all! This one was stunning. Deeply done characters, unique and intricate plot with a nice climax and everything works great my gosh! A whole hearted recommendation choice and a likely book club choice. Thanks for the arc.

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Heavy on the psychological background to its multiple characters, this wasn’t an unengaging read. Nevertheless, it didn’t amount to a whole novel, rather had the content of a short story, padded out by its extensive cast. It also imploded at the end, flattening into a sequence of brief resumes rather than a conclusion. Perhaps too heavily reliant on its research into big store management?

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A wise and kind-hearted study of human folly and the interplay of power and emotions in a retail workplace—and also a quietly searing indictment of late stage capitalism. I loved the characters and the writing was so well observed and precise. Another brilliant book by Adelle Waldman!

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I don't know if I have the words to do this book justice, so I'll start with a little anecdote...

I recently recommended a book to a colleague of mine. (It's not important what the book was.) He read half of it, returned it to me, and said, "This is the best possible example of a book about ordinary people doing ordinary things, but I hate books about ordinary people doing ordinary things. Why would I want to read about someone just like me?"

This was the moment that I realized my absolute favorite genre of book is "Ordinary People Doing Ordinary Things." I love when an author is able to capture the human experience in a way that feels deeply relatable and authentic. And Help Wanted is one of the best examples of this type of book that I have ever read.

In the same breath, I don't know how to recommend this book to anyone. What a challenge it is to explain that a fictional book about a logistics team for a Target-like superstore is one of my favorite books I've read this year (possibly ever). So far, when I've tried to do just that, the typical response is, "Ugh, what? That sounds so boring." But I think that's the beauty of it. Because life can be so mundane, so frustrating, so hard. And this book shows that amidst all that mundanity exist these tremendously complicated human beings with their specific hopes and dreams and individual histories and identities. I was rooting for so many of them, knowing that by rooting for one, I was simultaneously betting against the others.

By the last 50 pages of the book, I was intentionally slowing down my reading so I could savor the experience. I wasn't ready to be done with these characters. I found it tremendously comforting to read about their days, about their fictional lives. I am truly looking forward to reading Waldman's debut novel soon, as well as anything she may publish in the future.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and W. W. Norton for the e-ARC of this book. I have every intention of purchasing a physical copy when it is released next year.

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Funny, I had just been wondering when Adelle Waldman would write a follow-up to her 2013 smash book THE LOVE AFFAIRS OF NATHANIEL P. and then boom, I see HELP WANTED on NetGalley! Instead of a pitch-perfect take down of modern dating and relationships like her debut novel. in HELP WANTED, we get an inside look at the employee drama of a big box store (I'm guessing it's a pretty thinly disguised Target).

The book is about class, equality, and employee management. It's not what I expected from Waldman, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. A must-read if you've ever shopped at the Target, and even more so if you've worked at one. Not too much of a plot, but great character development and a look into a side of retail we don't often get to see. The blurb says it's darkly comic, but I honestly didn't see much of that. A pretty straightforward novel.

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Well written with quirky, realistic, and well formed characters. I may have connected more with this story had I worked in retail or a big box store. A smart read.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/150778765

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I’ve been waiting years for Adelle Waldman’s follow-up to The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P, and this did not disappoint. While it’s quite different in structure and theme, the writing style is so distinct and familiar and I was so happy to have it back in my life. Each character is so well drawn and specific that I was never disappointed in a perspective switch, which I think that be a risk in a multi-POV novel like this. It’s funny but never mean, and I never felt like it was anything but empathetic toward its characters, even if they made poor choices or behaved badly. Highly recommended for any fellow fans of Waldman or the TV show Superstore!

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My mother has worked in an environment like the one detailed in Help Wanted for the past 30 years of her life. When I was a teen -- in the summer between years of college -- I came on board and worked in the warehouse. I barely lasted those 3 precarious months. The environment was brutal, the personalities clashing, with capitalism weighing heavy on each and every employee.

Adelle Waldman expertly depicts working the early morning shift (read: start time of 4am) at a big box store, and all of the conflicting personalities, experiences, and expectations inherent within. This book was jaw dropping, frustrating, and screech-worthy -- I absolutely lapped it up.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to have read this delicious work, but leave it so confounded by the pervasive and cyclical nature of capitalism. Thank you to both the publisher and Waldman for their hard work on making this book a reality.

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