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Odd Jobs

3.54  ·  Rating Details ·  788 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
"A pure hit of uncut suspense. Ben Lieberman is one to watch.” – Harlan Coben

"Odd Jobs is a tightly-wound, well written mystery that I read in one sitting." – James Patterson

"Odd Jobs is an exciting and enjoyable read. I would love to get the main character, Kevin Davenport as a project manager on my show." – Donald J. Trump

Hauling cow carcasses through a freezing warehous
Paperback, 292 pages
Published September 10th 2013 by Thomas & Mercer (first published December 2nd 2010)
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Nov 11, 2013 Audrey rated it really liked it
Odd Jobs is the type of suspense novel that keeps you turning the pages. There are dealings with the mafia, gory murders, drug dealing, bookies and the like. The protagonist Kevin is occasionally annoying but for the most part likable as he navigates a crime-ridden path of vengeance. This book requires a sick sense of humor. Fortunately, I can appreciate a protagonist with a dubious moral compass and an over-the-top plot with disturbing twists and seamy situations. Odd Jobs is not what you would ...more
Aug 27, 2011 Grady rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pow! Up Pops Ben Lieberman!

Read even the first few pages of this debut novel by New York writer Ben Lieberman and then try to believe that this is his first novel! ODD JOBS is a quirky, entertaining, at times edge of the seat novel that is most impressive in the quality of writing that Lieberman demonstrates. He is always in the moment of the story, has created enough of a history for each of his carefully drawn characters that benefit the credibility of each of them when the asides happen, and
Jul 17, 2013 Dale rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Starts Out Strong But Changes As The Book Goes Along

Odd Jobs is the story of Kevin Davenport, a financially struggling college student who is working any job he can to pay for college. This summer he is working at Kosher World Meat Factory - it's a nasty job but it pays very well and it will only last a few weeks, right?

Kevin has to struggle because his family life was shattered years ago when his little sister and his father, a prosecutor, were ran over in a hit and run accident that was neve
Jul 04, 2011 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kevin Davenport works at Kosher World. Kevin is definitely the new guy. With the status of “new guy”, Kevin is tested. Kevin has a knack for fighting. He is good at it. When Kevin beats up one of the big guys, Kevin earns respect. With this new respect comes an invitation into the dirty world of crime. We are not talking petty crime but mobster style crime. Will Kevin be in over his head?

All I have to say is that I am glad I am not in Kevin’s shoes. Working at Kosher World would not only be cons
Matthew Gardiner
Feb 14, 2014 Matthew Gardiner rated it did not like it
I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

the first 124 pages were pretty good and then the novel took a drastic turn. it became a completely different book of boredom. instead of the boxing, meat packing plant, and the mob, it became nothing except conversations about betting. and when he isn't betting he's macking on some chick. and later on he talks to her about betting. the main character instantly switches to someone that you're not rooting for anymore. he's supposed to be
May 12, 2012 Joan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well, this is not my proudest hour in literary terms, but I finished reading Odd Jobs on my kindle. It was cheap, and I have never been able to pass up a bargain. There was little or no redeeming quality in this tale of self-serving violence and disregard for law and order. I don't usually mind an unusual tale with different and quirky characters, but I found the entire plot-line far-fetched and the characters unbelievable. I stayed around for the entire train wreck - from the first faint sound ...more
William Van
Don't expect to find a morsel of Truth, Beauty or Goodness in this book. A good subtitle would be "Wholesale Meat Packing, Bookmaking, Drug Dealing and Murder for Dummies.". I would guess there was a long delay as the author tried to come up with an ending after painting himself into a remote corner. The solution was preposterous, but self-serving. His "Hero (???)" will return for sequels. The only good I got out of it was the reminder that I liked beef tongue sandwiches on rye. I went to the ...more
judith a. catanesye
Page turner

Not your average story, plenty of twists and turns. Good read, hard to put down. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Julie Smith (Knitting and Sundries)
This review first appeared on my blog:

Kevin Davenport is a typical college student, working his way through college at various odd jobs. His current job at the Kosher World Meat Factory is carrying beef carcasses. It's a good union job, with good pay, and he has Jimmy Balducci, a friend's father, to thank for it.

Kevin's father was a prosecutor in the D.A.'s office, and when Kevin was 11 years old, he was a witness to the death of both his father and his l
Sep 08, 2011 LORI CASWELL rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kevin Davenport has worked a variety of Odd Jobs throughout his life to put himself through college. His dad and little sister were killed by a hit and run driver when he was just ten years old. His mother was never the same and Kevin became the man of the house. After he finished middle school he won a scholarship to a private high school and became friends with a very important young man. This relationship changed his life forever. Or did it really change the day his dad and little sister ...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
Aug 30, 2011 Jennifer (JC-S) rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jennifer (JC-S) by:
Shelves: review-books
‘It’s amazing how many places I can’t fit in.’

Kevin Davenport is a student, funding his college studies by working various odd jobs. His current job is at the Kosher World Meat Factory - unloading sides of beef in the morning, and carrying racks of hotdogs in the afternoon. It’s a good union job, with good pay and Kevin can thank Jimmy Balducci (the father of a friend) for it.

It doesn’t take Kevin long to work out that the Kosher World Meat Factory is controlled by a crime syndicate. When Kevin
Jun 15, 2011 Vivian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Kevin Davenport seems to be your typical college student, willing to take odd jobs to get money for college. But Kevin is anything but typical. During a summer job at a meat processing plant he learns that his "boss" was behind his father and younger sister's deaths many years ago. So Kevin does what any self-respecting person seeking revenge does, he goes back to college, becomes a drug-dealer and bookie with the intention of bringing down the mafia boss responsible for his father and sister's ...more
William Bentrim
Sep 11, 2011 William Bentrim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Odd Jobs by Ben Lieberman

Kevin Davenport is the main character in this story Kevin has had enormous tragedy in his life. The story is a coming-of-age in the seamier side of life.

Kevin was a likable character in spite of his many faults. I think because of the characterization and the language he truly represented a guy his age dealing with some pretty major problems. I think this seems represented in the factory where he was being hazed by the guys were true to life. Any college kid that has wor
Jan 29, 2012 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Odd Jobs is the debut novel by author Ben Lieberman, a mystery novel that had me turning the pages, unable to put it down. The plot was well-written and engaging, the action perfectly well-paced. In my opinion, it's the characters that drive the story. Enough of a history is created for them, without overwhelming the story with too much distracting back story. Kevin Davenport is the real push to the story, a character that is easily believable. His life hasn't been easy and the trials and ...more
Oct 12, 2013 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
Revenge is an act of passion; vengeance of justice. Injuries are revenged; crimes are avenged. - Samuel Johnson

Kevin Davenport is an unlikely protagonist in this tale of revenge. He does anything (and everything) to get back at the people responsible for the hit-and-run death of his D.A. father and his little sister.

The scenes in the meatpacking plant were over-the-top, nauseating, or darkly comedic.

The Tongue Room in all its glory, mobsters, dealing drugs, bookmaking, shades of "Fight Club," ro
Jul 11, 2014 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Man, what a long journey. Kevin Davenport was a typical suburban kid with a normal family, until a random accident threw his life into turmoil. So he works odd jobs to put himself through college, and when the story picks up, he's working in a kosher meat factory.

Except the meat factory isn't what it seems, and Kevin gets deeper and deeper into all kinds of crazy things: fighting for money, running a bookmaking operation, dealing drugs and plotting revenge. And things get even crazier from there
Jun 02, 2012 Greg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kevin watches his father and sister die in a hit and run accident when he is young. He works odd jobs to pay for college and care for his ailing mom. One job brings him in contact with the crime underworld, where he discovers his father was actually killed for knowing too much. He becomes more involved with the crime world to plot revenge on his father's killer.

This is an interesting story with some colorful characters and situations. I found some of it a bit slow and predictable but the action
Oct 17, 2013 Bryan rated it liked it
I consider this an "airplane book", meaning grab a copy in the airport, read it on a long flight, maybe leave it on the seat when I leave. It certainly kept me turning the pages, if only to see how ludicrous the next chapter would be. It seems to have left the door open at the end to turn this into a series. Perhaps instead of cramming all of the events of this book into an unbelievable timeframe, it would have been better served to spread it over a series (I almost think graphic novel/comic may ...more
Mar 07, 2015 Farhan rated it it was ok
The premise was promising: a lovable, funny, down-on-luck college student who lost his father and little sister years ago in a hit-and-run case takes up a job in New York's meatpacking district. He discovers that the owner of the factory is a shady character who orchestrated the hit on his father who was an honest District Attorney. Our guy decides to avenge the deaths and sells his soul to raise funds for the mission.

The first third of the book was engaging but then the story got mired in the
Aug 18, 2013 Oma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was could tell it was written by a new author ( but still better than I could do!). Interesting plot but seem to be never ending. Similar reviews mentioned switch in plot when main character started into his criminal phase. It was hard to sympathize with "done and out " character when he was a bookie and selling drugs. After explaining himself to his "girlfriend" it did get better but I never really wanted to finish it. I did but had to force myself ...not as bad as the novels I ...more
Brea Brown
Jun 04, 2012 Brea Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my usual read, but every once in a while I need to read a "manly" book with some blood, guts, and violence. This fit the bill and then some. It was entertaining, although some of the descriptions of the gambling, bookie, and pot-dealing businesses got a little tedious, and I caught myself skimming. However, I compulsively continued reading. I couldn't wait to see how Kevin was going to get himself out of his next jam. Most of the time, I was surprised and impressed. Sometimes I was dismayed. ...more
Amber Adamchuk
Dec 21, 2011 Amber Adamchuk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recommended
If you like suspense, action, love loss, gambling, the mob, good guys lossing and winning, twist and turns..well then this is the book for you.

There are times you love the main character and times you want to smack him upside the head. But you defiantly want to follow him through his madrid of jobs to find out if he gets what he wants/needs in the end. You will watch him grow in character as well.

Wont bore you, keeps you guessing, and turning those pages.

Thank you Ben for the chance to read you
Mar 21, 2015 Fons rated it really liked it
I picked this up on Amazon for a couple of bucks and the feeling it could be a fun little novel. What I didn't see coming was the Beat the Reaper vibe, which was a very pleasant surprise!

Action-packed with a decent flair of humour, it reads like a Tarantino flick and thrives in being a B-movie done well. If I ever had to pair a book with a beer, this is the bloke-read for the summer.

4 stars, beefy, meaty, smashing!
Stephen Barry
Sep 20, 2013 Stephen Barry rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this book. I started reading this just before midnight and had planned on only reading the first chapter to make a start before bed. Next thing I know I had to get up for college and had been awake all night. It was very easy to get "lost" in and I think this had a lot to do with the dialogue which has a unique feeling of authenticity to it very rarely seen in a book. It's the little interactions between the characters which gives a very authentic feel.
Nov 04, 2013 Jodi rated it really liked it
I see that the reviews already posted range widely in what people thought of this book, but I liked it! The characters were well done and realistic. It was gritty and dark, but I was cheering for Kevin's successful revenge. Kevin was represented in the right tone for his age, and he is strong and focused on destroying the bad guys who had turned his world upside down. Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review in a Goodreads giveaway.
Mar 04, 2016 Tulay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great suspense

First few chapters were hard for vegetarians like me to read. But I'm glad I read it all. Kevin lost his father and sister, just ten years old and trying to take care of his mother. Working many odd jobs, dead end job at the meat packing company. After learning why his father was killed all he thinks revenge. Many innocent and some not so innocent people killed. Keep reading you'll feel good about the ending, maybe...
Debbie Guthrie-hull
This was a quick book that held my interest from the very beginning. Although not the best book I've ever read and a little on the predictable side - I thought the story was intriguing. I finished in 2 days. The character was captivating and some of the things he and his friends did were hilarious. I would recommend the book to anyone who likes a quick quirky mystery. I enjoyed it. I'd try another book by this author.
Joe Ruffino
I'm only about halfway through so I may change my review when finished. Yet, so far I cannot connect at all with the main character. It seems the author wants to build the character as an "against all odds" sort of person who's had to endure many struggles in his youth, while at the same time being completely full of himself. For me it does not fit.
Alex Hughes
Sep 05, 2014 Alex Hughes rated it liked it
Great story, strong character I rooted for, interesting set up and ending. More than a bit too violent / cruel for me in places, over my personal line not once but several times. But I kept reading and rooting for the narrator the whole time, and the ending was highly satisfying. I deducted more than a star for the violence/cruelty.
Jan 11, 2014 Emily rated it did not like it
Uuuuggghhhh! Started out decently, but I just could not seem to bring myself to care at all about the main character, which made all the events of the book pointless. Interesting concept and not badly written as a whole, but the main character, the keystone of it all, was absolutely flat. If you're not compelled to get to the end, because you really don't care what happens, the book is worthless.
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“every time you think you can have a normal life, something will stir up your past. So either you put a fucking bullet in your skull or figure out a way to make your remaining life mean something.” 0 likes
“In this world you can’t just look at yesterday and today—you need to see tomorrow. Keep your head up and soak in the whole picture.” 0 likes
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