4 out of 4 stars
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Nut Screws Washer is an entertaining fictional book, and it is set in the late nineteen-fifties. It is written by Geoff Boxer. The book packs a punch with elements of drama and comedy.
George Bonner looks forward to working behind the plumbing counter at Empire Building Supplies. He hopes to learn and to make a positive contribution. He looks uptight and awkward to the existing employees, but they accept him anyway. His boss secretly views him as spineless. Can George turn this around? He works closely with Alf behind the plumbing counter. Alf helps him settle into his new job. George soon discovers that Empire Building Supplies is full of corruption and management is poor. In short, it's a sinking ship.
The relationships between the characters are well developed. Work relationships and personal relationships are explored. I learned about how ethics can affect a person’s professional advancement. I liked that characters with good ethics were eventually rewarded. I found it interesting that it was the little things that tripped up certain employees. They were held back by things that they did not think mattered, like the attitudes that they showed towards people of other races. The personal relationships had me engrossed. Some of those relationships were especially interesting as they sprouted between the least likely of characters. The relationship between George and Alf is one such example. Alf is dishonest and thrives on bribery. George on the other hand believes in honesty. Despite this difference in their characters, the two get along well, their interactions often left me in stitches.
The book is set in London's East End. It introduces it's readers to the various ethnicities that make up the city's population. We are also presented with the prejudices that these groups face. The author gives us a brief background of some of the characters. In most of these backstories, I was able to gain an understanding of how these biases affect and shape people. A recurring theme was anti-Semitism. Sam Gould was one of my favourite characters. He is one of Empire Building Supplies' directors but is often overlooked because of his Jewish background. His determination to make a lasting mark on the company, despite this prejudice, is inspiring!
There is something for everyone in this book. This is largely due to the well-developed supporting characters. These characters face different situations. Some of them face the aftermath of abuse, others face sexual harassment, and others face discrimination. The author uses his omniscient voice well in presenting these situations. They are written in a realistic way that leads to believable characters. A word of caution, this book is not suitable for younger audiences. Cursing is commonplace in the book, and it has a number of explicit scenes.
This fast-paced read deserves nothing less than a perfect 4 out of 4 stars. As mentioned before, it has well-developed characters who find themselves in an array of sticky situations, and it is relatable. I recommend this book for older audiences.
Nut Screws Washer
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