Is there a more horrible occupational combination of thankless and stressful than working in fast food? Probably not. For the protagonist of Lindsay Crook’s Manic, life at Bill’s Burger Barn is one endless flow of disrespectful customers, sleazy bosses, and revolting working conditions. It’s enough to drive anyone mad. But maybe, if her personal life weren’t also in shambles, she could hold herself together past Wednesday. That’s a big maybe, though.
It’s going to be a long week, but she’s going to make it everyone else’s problem if she has her way. One can hardly blame her when the universe seems to set things up just right.
Crook is making poverty and impulse control issues sexy again.
Wait, were those things ever sexy in the first place?
I’m sure they were.
I’m going to let it ride. Crook is bringing sexy back in a big way!
Lindsay Crook fills these few pages with plenty of violence, biological warfare in the form of toxic food treatment, and even more violence. There’s more than that, though. At the core, this is a story that showcases how unutterably awful life can be for women because, as much a caricature as Manic might be, it’s probably not far off from the average week for altogether too many women. The world might be a better place if those women finally had enough, just like this protagonist did. Of course, it would be a better place if people just behaved better in the first place, but that might be asking a bit too much. Crook also manages to capture the stress and hopelessness that goes hand-in-hand with poverty-level existence and working demeaning, demoralizing jobs, only to barely make ends meet.
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