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Slab Rat

3.27  ·  Rating Details ·  170 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Zachary Arlen Post, an associate editor at IT magazine, has his eye on a promotion. His mind, however, is more engaged in figuring out which of the two attractive women in the office he should pursue -- the sweet, earnest Ivy, or Leslie, a classy, English ice queen with a hyphenated last name. When Mark, an eager young man, joins the staff, Zack knows that he has met his n ...more
Hardcover, 332 pages
Published 2000 by Scribner Book Company
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Manik Sukoco
Dec 24, 2015 Manik Sukoco rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You must think magazines are fun. Hell, you’re reading one right now. But a new salvo from the inside blares that it ain’t no picnic. Ted Heller’s thinly veiled Slab Rat paints a portrait of the magazine world with venom: Protagonist Zack Post — an underling at a fairly vain glossy called It — must run a gauntlet of callow backstabbers to bust out of his cream - colored cubicle. Even though Ted Heller’s prose doesn’t do his wit justice, his bile is perfectly, depressingly corrosive. If this soun ...more
Aug 29, 2007 Mark rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Fun, but not substantial. A cotton candy book on dysfunctional office life.
Nov 16, 2012 Rob rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Slab Rat comes dripping with praise from various highbrow publications, including one cover quote comparing it favourably to Heller's father's most famous work, Catch 22. This is unfair on him (who can compete with a cultural landmark like that?) and even more unfair on the reader, as expectations can only be dashed.

And dashed they are, but not necessarily because it's a bad book. On the contrary, it's well-written, pacy and readable. But it's throwaway fluff, and derivative to boot. Billed as s
Jul 14, 2008 Erin rated it did not like it
The only reason I finished this book was because it gives me hope as a writer - if something like this can be published, there's hope for me!

In the story (an office drama in a New York City magazine), the protagonist gives an honest, scathing review of a book. His nemesis, who also hated it, gives it a glowing, academic review, calling for it to win lots of fancy prizes. The book does. The protagonist decides that's because all the other reviewers just followed suit, copying and pasting from hi
Jul 14, 2012 Esmeralda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys satire
After reading [i]Pocket Kings[/i] I wanted more Ted Heller. I found out that he is the son of Joseph Heller, who wrote [i]Catch 22[/i]. He seems to have inherited his father's gifts of satire and black comedy.

This book deals with the magazine publishing business, but the office politics he describes exist everywhere. The main character, Zachary Post, has gotten his job with a fictitious resume. He wants to advance to the position of Senior Editor and to marry a well connected but frigid British
Steven Pilling
Sep 13, 2012 Steven Pilling rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book is funny,it creates a world of back biting and populates it with a cast of morally bankrupt characters.

Heller has a beautifully clipped style, he sets a very pace and manages to keep it up, revelation follows revelation and the world gets blacker and blacker.

It does has echoes of other writers Coupland for one, but is original enough for that not to be an issue.

This book is clever, slightly sassy (whatever that means) and well plotted which for literary fiction is a nice change. You
Aug 12, 2011 Nadia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: office-horrors
This was so "not my thing". It was interesting enough in "that's how it can be in real life" light, but idk. I'm not in the least inspired by all these descriptions of main hero's different positions between girls' legs etc. Though some thoughts concerning corpsewalking and sraightforward manipulation have been excluded from the book. I guess all that could be delivered better. Main theme of it is very Dr.House-ish -- "Everybody lies".
They seem somehow similar, but i liked The Pathology of Lies
Jun 12, 2015 Cindy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I like the story line. Make your best friend kill your enemy.

I found the writing style too difficult to really get along with the book. There were FAR to many references to old and obscure movie stars (and things/concepts), that a younger person like myself constantly needed to google.

I wanted to give up after 70 pages. I did smile at maybe 2 points. I was shocked once.

It was not a good book. No.
Terri Garrett
This wasn't a bad book...and was entertaining....but, I have a hard time with books where none of the characters are likeable. Especially the main character who wants his boss dead...but, manipulates his best friend into doing it for him. I don't even understand why he wants the life he's desperate to have. It's just a unpleasant life.

If this is how magazine life is in reality, it is completely unappealing.

Nov 26, 2012 Tracy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Snarky. Satirical. Biting, Brilliant. A must read for anyone who encounters jealousies-petty and not so petty-in the workplace or among colleagues and friends. Like THE OFFICE on crack! If one doubts whether or not talent is inherited, look no further than Mr. Heller. He seems to validate his late father's legacy of saucy story telling with every turn of the phrase, quip, and mind expanding paragraph. At his son's unique approach and style, he would, I believe, smile with wry bemusement.
Rachel Weingarten
Jan 09, 2008 Rachel Weingarten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't even imagine the tremendous pressure of being the famous offspring of a famous author, but Ted Heller has a wicked and black sense of humor in the workplace. While a lot didn't work for me, it really was a book that stuck with me after the fact. If you're looking for a fairly good take on the magazine industry you just might enjoy this book.
Mar 18, 2008 carrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My sister lent this book to me (it's a personally signed copy and everything!). It's zippy and funny and is familiar enough that I believe all of these characters could exist (I've met people in magazines who are like many of these characters) but also unbelievable enough (enter: satire) that Heller can get away with some things.
This book really does feel like a kinder, gentler version of American Psycho. It's mostly shallow people overreacting to office slights and minor infractions, and generally treating each other terribly. That said, it is wonderfully entertaining.
Sep 16, 2012 Erin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Dark comedy. It was okay but halfway through I thought I might just stop reading it. I perservered and finished it. Clever writing but I never warmed to the main character and didn't feel the sense of wanting him to succeed.
Oct 22, 2014 Jennifer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Terrible book, in my opinion. I almost never want to read another book by this author. The audio book reader's voice was irritating. A bad experience in both arenas.
May 30, 2008 Kurt rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Eh? This cubicle based romantic comu-drama could be left or not. I say again, eh?
Thomas Cannon
Feb 20, 2013 Thomas Cannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very funny book. Like his father, his protagonists are flawed.
Feb 21, 2010 Alex added it
Slab Rat : A Novel by Ted Heller (2000)
Jan 05, 2009 Jon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this wayyyy more than I should have.
Sue Nami
Jul 19, 2010 Sue Nami rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I devoured this book--twice! Heller has real attitude.
Oct 15, 2008 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Random book I picked up in the library. Turned out to be hillarious.
Rich Pliskin
Fun book. Some funny bits and well-written. Kind of a small setting, though, and well-trod terrain.
Jun 20, 2007 Donald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my all-time favorite novels. Satire on the world of New York magazine publishing. Ted Heller is the son of Joseph Heller (Catch-22).
Apr 22, 2011 Jeanne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A novel of corporate ladder-climbing. Some very not-nice people in the book made it difficult to enjoy.
Carol Kallista
Carol Kallista rated it it was amazing
Apr 20, 2013
Jack rated it liked it
Jan 17, 2015
Rain rated it it was ok
Jun 02, 2014
Michelle rated it really liked it
Nov 30, 2007
Judd rated it it was amazing
Apr 13, 2015
Suzanne rated it it was ok
May 23, 2009
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Hello, Reader.

I am the author of three—no, make that FOUR—novels. They are, in order of appearance: Slab Rat, Funnymen, Pocket Kings, and West of Babylon.

Slab Rat was a dark novel about office politics in the magazine business and how one man (the book's narrator) would sink to any level to succeed. The Washington Post named it one of the year's 10 best books.

Funnymen was a slightly less dark, fic
More about Ted Heller...

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