Official Review: murdering the macho managers by ben reuben

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sarahmarlowe
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Official Review: murdering the macho managers by ben reuben

Post by sarahmarlowe » 12 Jun 2019, 09:14

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "murdering the macho managers" by ben reuben.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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I was very excited to see an absurdist offering up for review. The book's blurb assured me that if I enjoyed Waiting for Godot and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, I would also enjoy this read. Since Rosencrantz is one of my favorite plays, absurdist or otherwise, I eagerly jumped into Murdering the Macho Managers (the absurd tale of an erstwhile journeyman personnel officer) (sic) by Ben Reuben.

The introduction is engaging. The author introduces himself and the idea of this story, focusing on an audience who has worked under lousy management or has gotten into a rut and lost their lives in the process. Reuben discusses how he has witnessed "absurd scenarios" throughout his time in the workplace, these experiences allowing him to create a story so that readers can understand how genuinely unnatural the workplace can be.

The beginning of the story captured my attention quickly. There are several witty turns of phrase and absurd situations that rang true to the absurdist genre. For instance, characters seem to have little control over their lives, things happen for no reason except to get the audience to consider fate and chance, and irony is so prevalent that it should be a character itself. The narrator and main character of this book is named Stephen Foster. He says he was named after the American songwriter who penned songs like "Oh, Susannah" and "Beautiful Dreamer." That Stephen Foster died at 37 years old with only change in his wallet. Our Foster has started a business, Fosters Imposters, Incorporated, that helps frustrated and downtrodden workers get rid of their macho managers. How? Murder.

Now. What is a macho manager? "Macho managers know who the worst treated employees are in the workplace. He would not help them because he knows his place and according to the macho manager, they clearly already know theirs." page 44. Foster also postulates that macho managers act like cretins, berate employees, and pay as little as possible.

The story follows Foster and other characters as he positions himself through trust and what he sees as luck to set up the demise of a macho manager. One of the more interesting secondary characters is Norris, who runs a sandwich shop and has a fascinating perspective of food. He lives by a mantra similar to "You are what you eat," but more specifically, he believes that what you eat places you into one of 70 categories. There also is Jennie, Foster's friend and near love interest. She dresses like a hippie, possesses a magical presence, and teaches primary school. She is well-read, thoughtful, and intelligent. Foster describes her as being "either a genius or clinically insane." page 117.

Unfortunately, the farther I got into the book, the less absurdist things were, and the more common they became. The author seemed to have a good grasp of the beginning and end of the story. Without giving any spoilers, the end also had some attributes that I would call quite absurdist. However, it seemed as if the middle of the story was just put in as a bridge between two great ideas.

I rate this book 2 out of 4 stars. There were many errors in this book, more than ten in the introduction alone. Most concerned punctuation, but there were also several editing issues. They were quite distracting, so I am taking a star for errors. I am also taking a star for lack of consistent absurdity, which sounds like an oxymoron, but I am referring to the entirety of the storyline. I don't recommend this book unless you are seeking raw, partially absurdist material to edit. Any prospective readers should know there is some suggestive language, profanity, and gore.

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murdering the macho managers
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Post by angiejack456 » 17 Jun 2019, 08:48

I've never read absurdist material. It doesn't sound like this is a good place to start as an intro to the genre. Thanks for your detailed review the explains the book well!

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Post by kandscreeley » 17 Jun 2019, 08:50

I guess I'm not very familiar with absurdist offerings. It doesn't sound like something I'd enjoy even if it was done well. Since this one needs some work, I think I'll avoid it. Thanks for the information, though; it's an interesting offering to be sure.
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Post by kdstrack » 17 Jun 2019, 10:28

You did an excellent job of describing the characters and their development. I appreciate your honest comments on the contrast between the content in the different sections of the book. Great job!

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Post by Bluebird03 » 17 Jun 2019, 14:47

Goodness! What an absurd premise- it does sound like an engaging theory. It's a pity the book had so many errors and its lack of consistency. Thank you for your very honest and informative review!

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Post by Miriam Molina » 17 Jun 2019, 15:12

I'm curious about those 70 types of people based on what they eat. That's, well, absurd! And murdering my boss, who happens to be a macho, would be wickedly appealing. Can we keep up with the body count?

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Post by Brendan Donaghy » 17 Jun 2019, 16:40

Slightly too off beat for me, this one. Too many editorial mistakes also, by the sound of it. Your review is excellent, however. I particularly like the line: 'I am also taking a star for lack of consistent absurdity'. :)

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Post by sarahmarlowe » 17 Jun 2019, 17:56

angiejack456 wrote:
17 Jun 2019, 08:48
I've never read absurdist material. It doesn't sound like this is a good place to start as an intro to the genre. Thanks for your detailed review the explains the book well!
You're right. This isn't a good place to start with absurdist material. The author did have a good idea. It just didn't come together. Thanks for taking the time to comment!
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Post by sarahmarlowe » 17 Jun 2019, 18:00

kandscreeley wrote:
17 Jun 2019, 08:50
I guess I'm not very familiar with absurdist offerings. It doesn't sound like something I'd enjoy even if it was done well. Since this one needs some work, I think I'll avoid it. Thanks for the information, though; it's an interesting offering to be sure.
It does need some work, and I would love to see the author polish it. Thanks for taking the time to comment! :text-thankyouyellow:
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sarahmarlowe
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Post by sarahmarlowe » 17 Jun 2019, 18:02

kdstrack wrote:
17 Jun 2019, 10:28
You did an excellent job of describing the characters and their development. I appreciate your honest comments on the contrast between the content in the different sections of the book. Great job!
Thanks for your kind words and for taking the time to comment! :text-thankyouyellow:
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sarahmarlowe
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Post by sarahmarlowe » 17 Jun 2019, 18:05

Bluebird03 wrote:
17 Jun 2019, 14:47
Goodness! What an absurd premise- it does sound like an engaging theory. It's a pity the book had so many errors and its lack of consistency. Thank you for your very honest and informative review!
It truly is an interesting premise! I would love to see the author polish it. Thanks for taking the time to comment! :text-thankyouyellow:
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Post by sarahmarlowe » 17 Jun 2019, 18:10

Miriam Molina wrote:
17 Jun 2019, 15:12
I'm curious about those 70 types of people based on what they eat. That's, well, absurd! And murdering my boss, who happens to be a macho, would be wickedly appealing. Can we keep up with the body count?
:lol: No, I'm afraid this book has more dead bodies than a Renaissance tragedy. And, If your macho boss goes missing, be sure to come back and delete your post! :muahaha:
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Post by sarahmarlowe » 17 Jun 2019, 18:13

Brendan Donaghy wrote:
17 Jun 2019, 16:40
Slightly too off beat for me, this one. Too many editorial mistakes also, by the sound of it. Your review is excellent, however. I particularly like the line: 'I am also taking a star for lack of consistent absurdity'. :)
:) Well, if you're going to be absurd, go big or go home! Thanks for taking the time to comment! :text-thankyouyellow:
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Post by Meg98 » 19 Jun 2019, 23:12

This is certainly a unique book! It sounds like it started out very promising in the beginning, but did not deliver for you. I think this one is a bit too "out of the box" for me, as well as having far too many editing errors. I will pass for now, but thank you for this honest and well-written review!
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Post by Chrystal Oaks » 19 Aug 2019, 22:28

Good grief! This book is a little too bizarre for me. :shifty: I'm glad you were able to enjoy it enough to provide this stellar review on bizarreness. :-) Thanks!
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