First Job (Paperback)
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The classic coming-of-age memoir from the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Oregon Trail, about a special time in every young adult’s life—the first “real” job out of college.
Ask Rinker Buck about his first job, and you’ll get the enchanting and engaging account that not only captures the experience of being a “twenty-two-year-old with the maxed-out brain,” but also evokes a special time and place: the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts in the early 1970s. As a recent grad, Buck was determined to find his voice as a writer and every moment felt like a new world opening wide. His memoir First Job is, on its most basic level, the story of Buck’s years as a cub reporter at The Berkshire Eagle, a great country newspaper in its glory years. But on a deeper level, it is a story that serves as a paradigm for everyone’s first job.
Buck’s tale introduces the mentors who guided him through a raw and anxious time, lovers who exposed him to new levels of intimacy, and adventures that could only have happened to a young man who didn’t know any better. From Buck’s impromptu job interview with the Eagle’s venerable and eccentric publisher, Pete Miller—who quizzed him on Civil War history—to his picaresque adventures on the front lines of the sexual revolution, to his exhilarating hikes along the purple-black Berkshire peaks with Roger Linscott, he reconstructs a magical time in his life, a time when nothing seemed impossible or out of reach.
The first job experience and its meaning may be vastly underrated and misunderstood, but Buck shows that it is as timely and important as any other life passage. First jobs are our baptism into the real world, our immersion in to the real “stuff” of life. Everyone has a first job, and with rare storytelling power and emotions laid bare, Rinker Buck brings back just how it felt.
About the Author
Rinker Buck began his career in journalism at the Berkshire Eagle and was a longtime staff writer for the Hartford Courant. He has written for Vanity Fair, New York, Life, and many other publications, and his work has won PEN New England Award, the Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Writing Award, and the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award. He is the author of The Oregon Trail as well as the acclaimed memoirs Flight of Passage and First Job. He lives in northwest Connecticut.
"A raw and revealing look into talented, life-affirming people not afraid to break the rules." —Buffalo News
"A remarkable book. It's a historically useful and wonderfully entertaining take on a small but important chapter in American journalism." —Berkshire Eagle
"An uproarious and rollicking memoir." —Albany Times-Union
"Buck's most meaningful contribution to memoir writing is his almost exquisite description of his long friendship with...Roger Linscott." —The Boston Globe
"You don't have to be a journalist to love "First Job." —Connecticut Post
"A charming and funny tale of unfettered and randy youth, of sexual adventure, small-town bars, and the great outdoors." —Columbia Journalism Review
"Imagine a cross between Mark Twain and Hunter S. Thompson writing a book about becoming a newspaper reporter in the 1970s and you have Rinker Buck's First Job. . . . Buck has done the impossible here: he's written a thoroughly entertaining, extremely funny, embarrassingly honest true story. . . . Best of all, with pitch-perfect prose and comic timing, Rinker Buck reminds us of that brief moment in all of our lives when almost everything seemed interesting, and almost anything seemed possible." —Laura Zigman, author of Animal Husbandry and Her
"Of all the notable memoirs published in the past few years, remarkably few have had anything notable to say about the one experience that not only occupies most of our days but defines us: work. Now comes Rinker Buck's absorbing First Job to fill that gap. Frequently hilarious and never less than compelling, this spirited narrative captures the pitch of a moment (the mid '70s), the rhythms of work (at at legendary small-town paper), and the full-body rush that accompanies the discovery of one's vocation." —Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and The Botany of Desire
"Buck is a virtuoso storyteller in a very American vein." —Philip Lopate
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