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The Cracker Factory

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  277 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Meet Cassie Barrett. Typical housewife of the 1960’s…three children, a husband she isn’t sure she loves, a lover she is sure she doesn’t, a psychiatrist she wants to murder, a major drinking problem, and one of the fastest, funniest, wise-cracking mouths of the time.
Published (first published January 1st 1977)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 606)
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Underneath the dated rants, the thinly veiled misogyny, casual racism, and unbelievable treatment of mental health patients.. this was a rather decent book. Twenty-eight year old Cassie, during her second stay on her local hospital's mental health ward, is finally coming to terms with the fact that she is an alcoholic. In the beginning, we see Cassie as an immature, self-absorbed, depressed and passive aggressive woman. At one point she is discussing her disillusion with her marriage with her ps ...more
Nov 22, 2009 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this in a used paperback book store in Guilford, CT about 5 years ago and never got around to it, for whatever reason. Absolutely hilarious!! It's rare that a book makes me laugh out loud, even ones that are rated as such. The subject matter may not be everyone's cup of tea - an alcoholic locked up in a looney bin - but I found it one of the funniest things I've ever read. I also loved the writing style of the author.
Sep 02, 2008 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think it was 7th or 8th grade, 8th probably, that I read this book after finding it in a box in my mother's basement. It sounded funny from the dust jacket, and I picked it up and figured, well, since I'm reading it, I might as well use it for an outside-reading assignment currently underway in English class. I'd love to know what my teacher thought about me after reading my journal. It'd probably explain a lot.

The plot is simple enough to grasp; a woman, Cassie, is an alcoholic, and between
Oct 29, 2011 Sonia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the funniest/serious book I have ever read. It deals with serious subject matter, an alcoholic wife in a suburban Cleveland home, but the alcoholic herself is witty and her psychiatrist nick names her "The Fastest Mouth in Cleveland". Natalie Wood bought the screen rights to this book and made a TV movie here in Cleveland. Read this - it's a page turner.
Written in the late 1970s, this book about an alcoholic housewife's stay in a sanitarium ("The Cracker Factory" of the title) is very dated. First of all, everyone smokes. Patients, doctors, everybody! I was a little concerned about the hospital giving possibly suicidal patients matches, but beyond that, I couldn't get past how awful that hospital must have smelled! And then there was the "you're like OJ Simpson" reference, which at the time meant graceful and efficient.

Still, I enjoyed the book
Mar 21, 2015 Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melissa Lee-tammeus
A dear friend told me years ago to read this book - that I would really like it. I ordered in from Amazon for $1.00 - it was written in 1977. It took me a few years to actually pull it off the shelf and I am so glad I finally did. Although it is from the 70's, the subject stands the test of time. A mother on the brink of destruction finds herself in a psychiatric ward - the whole story is her growth in the unit, and how she comes to terms with her alcoholism and the "craziness" of being in the w ...more
Mar 23, 2015 SusanCope rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an old favorite about a wife and mother in Cleveland, Ohio who struggles with a drinking problem. The dialogue is very witty and interesting, despite the tough material. I suspect a happy ending, as struggling heroine comes to some major epiphanies in regard to the people in her life.
Apr 19, 2014 Fay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this silly laugh out loud book in 1977. Just discovered there was a second book. Can't be as funny but added it to my to read books. Worth a try!
Jul 14, 2014 Kaethe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I've almost no memory of this book, except that I enjoyed it. I've always been drawn to stories of people with mental health issues, and I'm quite fond of asylums in fiction.
Aug 07, 2011 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Loved, loved, loved this book! It was so perfect for a rainy day on the ocean in Truro. I couldn't put it down. I don't know anything about the author, she must have addiction and psychiatric issues to write so knowingly of the experiences Cassie goes through. I am so glad to have found this book through friends here on goodreads. There were some revelations Cassie had, that made me say, "oh yeah, I know what that's like".
Jan 02, 2012 Keegan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I purchased this book while walking past the Ogunquit Library along the Marginal Way, last summer. The library was having a book sale and I picked up this very weathered looking book for a dollar or two. I have finally settled into reading it and I have laughed out loud countless times in just the first few chapters. Looking forward to the rest :)
Mar 23, 2013 Nicole rated it it was ok
Upon reading about the author, I learned that The Cracker Factory is somewhat based on Joyce Rebeta-Burditt's life. While I commend her for her bravery in sharing that difficult story, there were just several patches throughout the novel where I was a little disinterested and wanted to skip ahead. Very sharp dialogue from the protagonist Cassie.
Aug 01, 2011 Ronnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This started off to be rather funny, then it turned serious. A look at alcoholics that were institutionalized for their drinking. One woman's take on how her view of her own life pushed her into a bottle, and how she pulled herself out of it. It was a good read, but it a long one (very small type and lots of pages! lol).
Laurie Stoll
Oct 15, 2013 Laurie Stoll rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The Cracker Factory is what the character's call a mental health ward. The stab at humor fall's quite short. After about 100 pages I skipped to the back of the book and read the last few pages. This is something I never do but felt like I didn't miss much by doing this.
Apr 16, 2011 Kyrie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, psychiatry
I really like this book, but I don't usually recommend it. The main character's quirks appeal to me, but I'm not sure anyone else would like this tale of madness and alcoholism and how she gets through it. It also reads a bit like an ad for AA.
Jul 29, 2009 Angela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fan's of One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest
Recommended to Angela by: I happened across reviews of the books & was intrigued to read i
Shelves: novel
I thought this was a very entertaining read. Laugh at loud mixed with more serious parts. If you've read & liked One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest I highly recommend giving this book a try!
Jeff Trueman
Jul 17, 2009 Jeff Trueman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my! What a wonderful read! I've read it several times and each time it moves me, entertains me, touches me, teaches me. Lots of fun. Lots of pathos. Lots of wisdom. I love it!
Mar 08, 2009 Mandy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although I have many "best book I have ever read" this one is definitely right at the top. Since 1999, I have read it four times and am considering reading it again.
A young woman struggles with alcoholism. Cassie Barrett's wry wit and common sense will keep you laughing in the face of incredibly difficult subject matter.
Melissa Swander
Mar 04, 2013 Melissa Swander rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am so happy I picked this up to read! If it wasn't for the daily chores of life I wouldn't have put it down! One of my favorites, for sure!
Nov 15, 2015 Crystal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
will be one of my most memorable reads. i laughed out loud throughout and also felt a bit connected to the main character. wonderful!
Paula Mchale
Dec 30, 2012 Paula Mchale rated it really liked it
If you liked "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden" or any of those other "Woman finally just loses it" books, you'll like this one, too.
Tia Raina
Not particularly well written, but the story of the 'going-crazy' housewife tends to pull at your heartstrings.
May 09, 2011 Helena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
One of my favorite all time books. I had always hoped thatthis author would write a whole lot more books then she did.
Julie Boggie
Jan 20, 2015 Julie Boggie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read this book several times over the years, I'm not sure why, but it's a comfort read for me.
Jan 23, 2009 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been soooooo long since I've read this. I do remember that it was a good read.
Donna Glaser
Apr 05, 2011 Donna Glaser rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book, and have re-read it over the years.
Courtney Mccracken
Courtney Mccracken marked it as to-read
May 18, 2016
Jacinta marked it as to-read
May 12, 2016
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