Read Wanted: Elevator Man by Joseph G. Peterson Online

wanted-elevator-man

Balladeer of the city’s broken and forgotten men, Joseph G. Peterson looks for inspiration in urban side streets and alleys, where crooked schemes are hatched, where lives end violently, and where pretty much everyone is up to no good. Depicting the lives of people who have woefully lost their way in the world—criminals and victims, the unemployed and unemployable, the negBalladeer of the city’s broken and forgotten men, Joseph G. Peterson looks for inspiration in urban side streets and alleys, where crooked schemes are hatched, where lives end violently, and where pretty much everyone is up to no good. Depicting the lives of people who have woefully lost their way in the world—criminals and victims, the unemployed and unemployable, the neglected and the indigent, the lonely and the alone—Peterson nonetheless brings a poet’s touch to his work, which is redolent with allegory, allusion, and Nabokovian wordplay. His last novel, Beautiful Piece, garnered praise from across the literary spectrum. Enter Wanted: Elevator Man, his powerful and ambitious new novel and the story of Eliot Barnes Jr., a man at the end of his proverbial rope.Haunted by the larger-than-life shadow of his father, a scientist who may have helped develop the atomic bomb, twenty-nine-year-old Eliot Barnes, Jr., is an apple that’s fallen far from the tree. Saddled with a useless degree in literature, caged in a rundown apartment he can’t afford, and embittered by his failure to live up to the future’s promise, Barnes, who dreams of a corner office—an aerie roost high above the city, working with the higher-ups—begrudgingly accepts a job as an elevator man in a downtown Chicago skyscraper. Thus begins a profound but comedic meditation on failure in this life, how one comes to terms with not achieving one’s dreams, the nature and origin of such dreams, and, fittingly, the meaning of the American dream itself.As unflinching as Nelson Algren and as romantic as Saul Bellow, Peterson’s novel boasts wildly surreal plot twists and a lethal wit that frequently erupts into full-on hilarity. Wanted: Elevator Man is the perfect tale for learning to cope with diminished expectations in these dark and desperate times....

Title : Wanted: Elevator Man
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780875806778
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 178 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Wanted: Elevator Man Reviews

  • Richard Derus
    2018-12-08 16:27

    Rating: 3.5* of fiveMy latest review, WANTED: ELEVATOR MAN by Joseph G. Peterson, is live today at Entropy Magazine. Thanks, Switchgrass Books of Northern Illinois University Press, for sending me the review copy!

  • Lori
    2018-11-20 20:36

    review to come

  • Ben
    2018-11-18 22:06

    A commentary certainly on those left behind by an economy, and a body politic, that no longer exists to serve the little, or is it common, man, or woman, assuming it ever did.More - http://www.changeyourlifethiswill.com...

  • Steve Karas
    2018-11-12 20:31

    I really enjoyed Joseph Peterson’s Wanted: Elevator Man, an allegorical/absurdist novel in which, Barnes, a major institution-graduate turned waiter settles for an elevator job in a big city high rise with the hope that he’ll land a corner office gig after impressing the suits. Elevator Man is, foremost, a meditation on mortality (which I’m always a sucker for), the quest for Barnes to understand and come to terms with his father’s life and death, and make meaning of his own existence. Barnes is weighed down by the belief that his father was a “highly brilliant” scientist who died after traveling to Hiroshima to study the effects of nuclear radiation on the survivors, and that there’s little chance anything he does with his life can ever compare. Peterson writes: “[Barnes]…felt that his pedigree was such that he could never—and should never, for that matter—settle for the crumbs. To do so was to fail.” A near-death experience for Barnes during the kinda-sorta-rescue of a woman stuck in the elevator seems to shake him from his stupor and propel him out of his father’s shadow. Barnes muses to his cat: “My first day on the job, and I almost died. Yes, I almost died. And it wasn’t nearly so bad as I thought.” Peterson raises some interesting questions for me. Does self-preservation keep us from truly living? Does it prevent us from being able to fully give love? If we don’t sacrifice our own well-being for others, can we ever really feel good about ourselves? Can we ever feel pride? To me, a secondary theme in this book is the power of language. Its power to sway our emotions this way or that. Barnes initially decides to take the elevator job after being inspired by self-help pamphlets. “Admit you’re a loser.” “Think downward!” And not only the power of words, but punctuation too (“My advice to you, if you ever write advice…use the exclamation point! Use it liberally!”)! Peterson also touches on the power of the words we use to ourselves, the self-defeating things people say on repeat that become truth. After his first day on the job, Barnes thinks, “…I’m burdened with vain hopes. Where the hell did I get these hopes anyway? And why does my life have to be pestered with them? …But you certainly don’t have what it takes to fulfill your hopes. You don’t have what it takes to cut the mustard in the real world.” Peterson writes tight, clean prose. And the book is so well-edited and nicely bound. Thumbs up all around.

  • Matthew Borgh
    2018-11-28 21:34

    It was okay. Kind of a random plot. A quick read though.

  • Logan
    2018-11-30 00:20

    WANTED: ELEVATOR MAN is an absurdist comedy centered around Eliot Barnes, a hapless, unemployed layabout that can only dream of one day getting in with those elusive "higher-ups" of the business world. The style of this short novel is that of classic storytelling, which creates a nostalgic and warm feeling fitting of Eliot's tale of how working for the Elevator Commission changes his life. The style is reminiscent of Vonnegut, and Eliot's character is a kind of mish-mash of T.S. Eliot's Prufrock, Melville's Bartleby, and the Everyman. Anyway, it all makes for a quick and engaging read filled with ridiculous and funny things such as women with "mouse-taupe" eyes and phones built as sturdy as "Eisenhower tanks". Good times. There's also Eliot's boss, Coneybeare, a hard-drinking purveyor of advice and observations such as "I know the dirty little secret... writers are writers because they don't know what else to do with themselves... show me a writer and I'll show you somebody who doesn't know what the hell they want out of life..."Yep.

  • University of Chicago Magazine
    2018-12-03 20:30

    Joseph G. Peterson, AB’88AuthorBalladeer of the city’s broken and forgotten men, Joseph G. Peterson looks for inspiration in urban side streets and alleys, where crooked schemes are hatched, where lives end violently, and where pretty much everyone is up to no good. Depicting the lives of people who have woefully lost their way in the world—criminals and victims, the unemployed and unemployable, the neglected and the indigent, the lonely and the alone—Peterson nonetheless brings a poet’s touch to his work, which is redolent with allegory, allusion, and Nabokovian wordplay. His last novel, Beautiful Piece, garnered praise from across the literary spectrum. Enter Wanted: Elevator Man, his powerful and ambitious new novel and the story of Eliot Barnes Jr., a man at the end of his proverbial rope.

  • Kathy
    2018-12-06 20:09

    This book reminded me of Colson Whitehead's The Intuitionist in some ways. Love the surreal story of Barnes and his journey as an elevator man in Chicago among the "shirts and skirts." The strongest scenes are set in his workplace-- some of the flashbacks and back story detract from the bigger themes that Barnes' meditations on success and strange elevator adventures bring up.

  • Becky Diamond
    2018-11-24 19:21

    Peterson's prose leaps off the page, immediately capturing the reader and drawing them into Barnes' dreamlike world. Interesting character backstories combine with insight into this modern everyman who faces the dual dilemma "who am I really?" and "who do I want to be?"