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Hired

Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain
Narrated by: Alister Austin
Length: 7 hrs and 8 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Economics
4 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Summary

From the Orwellian reach of an Amazon warehouse to the time trials of a council care worker and the grim reality behind the glossy Uber app, Hired is a clear-eyed analysis of a divided nation and a riveting dispatch from the very front line of low-wage Britain. 

We all define ourselves by our profession. But what if our job was demeaning, poorly paid, and tedious? Cracking open Britain's divisions, journalist James Bloodworth spends six months living and working across Britain, taking on the country's most gruelling jobs. 

He lives on the meagre proceeds and discovers the anxieties and hopes of those he encounters, including working-class British, young students striving to make ends meet and Eastern European immigrants. 

From the Staffordshire Amazon warehouse to the taxicabs of Uber, Bloodworth narrates how traditional working-class communities have been decimated by the move to soulless service jobs with no security, advancement or satisfaction. This is a gripping examination of Brexit Britain, a divided nation which needs to understand the true reality of how other people live and work before it can heal.

©2019 James Bloodworth (P)2019 W. F. Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"A very discomforting book, no matter what your politics might be...very good." (Sunday Times)

"Potent, disturbing and revelatory." (Evening Standard)

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Destruction of the civil state

A revealing and depressing journey through the world of the low paid. The never ending search for a 'bargain' and the drive by corporations to maximise profits, aided by a complicit government, is stripping away hard fought for workers rights. Shall certainly limit what I buy from Amazon. Does not give you much hope for the future.

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A Wigan Pier for the 21st Century

On the whole I found this an engaging and interesting book.

As with Orwell, the author sets out on a quest to find out more about the people who take these sorts of jobs on and also the lives they lead, places they live and conditions they live under.

Subject wise I found it interesting and in some cases eye opening, but I really did feel it was let down by the narration.

The reader just sounded totally uninterested and put little feeling or passion into relaying the story. When narrating quotes, it was so monotone it became hard to listen to as he tried to recite the quotes of an South Wales miners sounding more like an ersatz William Hague!


Done with a new voice over, I would recommend this book.

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A disturbing and engrossing must-read

An eye opening and thought provoking piece by James Bloodworth. An important topic tackled with a fantastic voice.

I disagree strongly with the other review about the narrator. I thought they did an excellent job. It's a carefully, thoughtfully balanced read. Personally, I don't want this type of non-fiction layered in emotion, accents and affectations. I want it prejudice-free so that the authors words speak for themselves. If you want your words covered in secondary bias then read the daily mail...

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fascinating, but narration not great

this is a fascinating look into the working practices of some of the biggest employers in the country. I have to say though, the narrator is very flat, and it listens like a very long news item. He also cannot read out dialogue and sounds a bit like when you text a landline.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful