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Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls

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3.90  ·  Rating details ·  2,106 ratings  ·  326 reviews
In this darkly hilarious debut collection, misfit women and girls in every strata of society are investigated through various ill-fated jobs. One is the main course of dinner, another the porn star contracted to copulate in space for a reality TV show. They become futuristic ant farms, get knocked up by the star high school quarterback and have secret abortions, use ...more
Paperback, 188 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Starcherone Books
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karen
May 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hey-shorty

i am so glad i read Tampa before reading this one. because while this was good, i think that the stories are better individually than as a collection. there are only a couple that were standouts to my particular tastes, although i am finding that flipping through them now, a week later, to refresh the old memory, i am nodding and thinking, "oh, yeah, that one was pretty cool," whereas reading them in one gulp, i kept scratching my head over why this book was such the darling of the goodreaders a
...more
Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
Dec 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Throughout the last two or three years I've been transitioning away from a steady diet of things like science, philosophy, history, and politics and into a swift and roaring stream of fiction. (For the time being I'll opt to bypass all yawn-inducing, eye-shuttering, public self-analysis about why and how this has been occuring and just accept these turning tides for what they are. 'Cause, ya know, life happens, man, and sometimes you just gotta enjoy the ride, dude. Bro. Kimosabe.) During this ...more
s.penkevich
We all have jobs, and most of us would prefer better ones. If you don’t fall into this category, then I applaud you, but it is so easy to fall into dislike for anything that pries open sleep deprived eyes morning after morning and dumps you into bed exhausted to dream of all the living you would rather have been doing during your waking hours. Some of us, the lucky ones, get to pick our jobs, and sometimes we are pulled into the ones life deals us. Alissa Nutting’s wildly imaginative Unclean ...more
Jenn(ifer)
Aw man! See! This is why I don't tend to re-read books! Unless it's one of those books that was pretty much written to be re-read (Ulysses, Gravity's Rainbow, Infinite Jest), it's probably better that I bask in the rosy glow of my first impressions. When I first read this collection of nutty short stories (sorry, had to), I was head over heels! It was love at first read!

Don't get me wrong, I still "really liked" it the second time around, but I no longer think of it as AMAZING. Sniff. I don't
...more
Paul Bryant
Jul 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Before we go any further I should say that after swinging wildly from delight to huffiness to outright mockery and then on to feelings of intense gloopiness towards Alissa Nutting, I ended up liking her and her fashionably bonkers stories more than just a little bit. There were a lot of ups and downs. We may as well get the downs out of the way first.

Some of these stories are extremely silly. I know they cruise on the edge of zany surreal absurdist lahdidah, and that’s okay. But some of them
...more
Paquita Maria Sanchez
And with that, Alissa Nutting went from being the lady who wrote the other first-person pedophile novel to someone I would so very have far too many drinks with. It's not that I didn't appreciate Tampa, but the wider range of voices here, including the occasionally relatable one, was a pretty welcome relief for me, having not been a teenager-doer since I was a teenaged do-y. It's a word. Seriously, everybody knows 99% of humans over the age of 2 and under the age of approx. 20 are assholes, and ...more
Raeleen Lemay
*4.5/5*

This was such a good collection! I can definitely understand why some people would dislike it, as the writing style is very strange and the stories are surreal, but I enjoyed them all immensely. Each individual story was so different from the rest, and from anything I've ever read before, but they mostly had a similar theme throughout; loneliness. It was fascinating to see all of these different women experience all of these bizarre and horrible things, but deep down they all just want to
...more
jess
Jun 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, ladyish, 2012
I wanted to read this book for so long that I can't remember the original reason i wanted to read it but finally the stars aligned and I did. It's a collection of short stories about women with various "unclean jobs," including deliverywoman, porn star, cat owner, gardener, knife thrower, zookeeper, alcoholic, etc.
Alissa Nutting plays with how gender works, along with the messy violence, gross bodily functions, and the uglier sides of desire and lust. I am certain this author identifies as a
...more
Roxane
Dec 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was so wonderful, very imaginative. I loved the surreal quality of many of the stories, how they were almost absurd but not quite. It was also very a cohesive as a collection, worked finely as a whole. More on the Giant this week.
Tony
Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
I, too, have an unclean job; as in “It’s a dirty job but somebody has to do it.” But that’s not what Alissa Nutting means. And it’s not what I mean either. This wonderfully imaginative work is not about employment. Instead, it’s about the many chambers of the human heart.

I am boiling inside a kettle with five other people. Check.

I’m expected to have anal sex with the winning contestant on the moon. Check.

I took a baby panda home from the zoo. Check.

"You are embarrassing yourself on a national
...more
Sabra Embury
Jan 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I went to a Rumpus reading held in Chinatown this week, and nothing against Rumpus, but I felt like I had better things to do than sit through five people reading what seemed to be journal entries aloud; stories about lost love or strange lust read in the tone of Victorian sentimentality, at an event as modern as free porn on the internet.

As I sat in a corner, playing games on my phone, I thought about aliens and talking wildebeests, and how anything out of the ordinary would add life to the
...more
Kris
I have a feeling that bizarro just isn't my genre. Many of my friends have loved this collection (I read it based on many recommendations from them), but it was just too off-the-wall without enough development or substance in the stories for me to be able to enter into their spirit. I don't think it's fair of me to write a full review, since my sense is that Nutting is writing very effectively -- just within a genre that doesn't resonate with me.

Many thanks to Netgalley for providing me with an
...more
Sonja Arlow
THIS is what happens when you don’t read the book description in detail before delving in…. My word it was like walking through a fever dream inside a tumble dryer.

Most of the short stories seemed overly explicit for the pure purpose of shocking and disgusting the reader, even though I got the underlying messages and symbolism within most of them.

It almost felt as if I was reading assignments from a creative writing class. Now I didn’t hate every single story and two stands out that were quite
...more
Amanda
Jul 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Nutting is an author that can't be compared to others. I never know where her brain is going to go. The weird, wonderful, and utterly unique stories that come out of her mind make me wonder what she's been smoking. That being said, I'm not a fan of short stories. I much prefer her novels Tampa and Made for Love. This book is not recommended for those disturbed by dubious consent and other sexual acts.
Ethel Rohan
Dec 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Alissa Nutting's, Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls, is unlike any other story collection I've ever read. The first story, Dinner, moved me in a profound way. It was awful and brilliant and possibly life-changing. Because of this story, because of the other stories like it in this collection--bold, surreal, deeply compassionate, and highly imaginative--I might just write differently. I might just live differently.

Stories like "Dinner," "She-Man," and "Gardener" made me feel very human, very
...more
Scott Rhee
All of the short stories in Alissa Nutting’s 2010 anthology “Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls” are, quite literally, about unclean jobs for women and girls. More to the point, they are about the various roles---given, chosen, or forced---that exist for women in contemporary society, many of them degrading, most of them dehumanizing. Despite the seriousness of the subtext, Nutting’s stories are also, at times, hilarious, profound, and beautiful.

My first encounter with Nutting was a novel called “
...more
Jenny
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
I had remembered the title of this as "Uncommon Jobs for Women and Girls" which is of course wrong. In many senses. The women who stuck out for me in these stories were often prostitutes or sex workers, which is hardly an uncommon job for a woman. It is, however, perhaps an unclean job.

What Nutting excels at is the quirky premise. The odd situations and scenarios she describes in these stories never fail to grab you, because you keep wondering "how did you think of this bizarre thing." The
...more
Liza Fireman
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
Oh, so boring. I expected something completely different, and ended up being very bored and not interested in any of the stories.

It's a collection of short stories about women with various unclean jobs. And it seems that the author mostly tried to shock the readers. Men and women fell into cliches, and the characters were not memorable or developed.

That's not what I would want to call feminist, it's more like what old fashion feminism was considered. I prefer the enlightened modern one. We
...more
Jack Waters
Jun 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
When a writer tempts fate with stories containing surreal, magical realism, it's an ambition fraught with risk and gamble. Like pulling in a fish of unexpected size, the writer must subtly tug you in to the shore, which takes patience on one end and a fight on the other. The unknown world provided cannot merely be described - it must be felt, seen.

The lay reader doesn't want to believe characters are being boiled alive. They won’t believe the devil has the time or desire to date. And why do we
...more
Anita Dalton
It’s not so surprising that I adored this collection – I raved about Nutting’s look at a female sexual predator and had high expectations for this book. This collection is less concentrated in terms of content and style than Tampa and the varied nature of this collection shows Nutting’s skill as a teller of many types of stories. She handles mundane yet self-aware neuroticism like an updated Tama Janowitz (whose seminal summation of ’80s New York, Slaves of New York, I will be discussing here ...more
Tom Willard
Jul 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: american-lit

I largely enjoyed this collection of oddities. Nutting has a fabulous imagination which explores strange angles & surreal mise-en-scene, of which I will not describe as progressing through the arcane permutations is much of the fun. Although, at times, certain stories have a flat tone, use tiresome metaphors and provide cutesy details for seemingly no reason but to provide cutesy details. This is the kind of pitfall I imagine comes from the creative writing programs, even though I did not go
...more
Shh
Aug 17, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe I'm missing the point but I thought this book was pretty lame. There were a few interesting bits (like climbing into Satan's bloody belly pouch and accidentally pissing inside him while on a date together) and some of the language was beautiful but not nearly enough to outweigh the all around drivel. Sure it was strange, and I really like strange, but it was also vapid. These stories have nothing to offer except for their outlandishness. I applaud the creativity it takes to produce such ...more
David
Jan 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love this book, absolutely love. The stories are just so strange, yet so approachable. Nutting has a perfect bead on how the most surreal moments can be the most revealing about real lives. Compassionate, fun, and moving. I loved each one.
Coleman
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a Goodreads reviewer. I doubt you'd find anyone who would call this a job, let alone call it "unclean," and as I am not a woman or a girl, I shouldn't be able to identify so well with a book titled Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls. And yet, it is the best book I've read in 2018.

A Goodreads reviewer should always use hyperbole when discussing books. That's the only way to get readers, and if no one is reading my Goodreads review, then why am I a Goodreads reviewer? I need that validation. I
...more
Carla
Jun 02, 2015 rated it liked it
The most bizarre book of short stories I have ever read! All stories of women, told in a blunt and honest, mostly sexualized way that either take place in strange and/or unusual places, or situations. They are not uplifting stories, some disturbing, some humourous. Very creative, it's not for the faint of heart. Some stories are in fact slightly grotesque.
Rachel León
Delightfully odd and quirky. Nutting is one of a kind.
clare
Sep 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
I actually didn't finish this book.
Big Al
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories, 2018
Wildly inventive short stories filled with quirky humour and loveable losers :)
Mindy Rose
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
fucking weird as hell short stories THAT I ACTUALLY LOVED! WE HAVE A WINNER LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! 5/5.
Barbara
Messed up short stories- really enjoyed some of them.
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wow, why is this £50 on amazon? 1 2 Jun 08, 2017 02:05AM  

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