About halfway through “Not Working,” DW Gibson’s painful, wrenching collection of interviews with Americans that have lost their jobs in the wake of the ongoing recession, the voices of the subjects all start to run together. The effect is disorienting: you realize you’ve been reading for about 200 pages, and you can’t tell which story is which, who lost which job, which part of the country has been the most ravaged, which industries have been stripped bare and left for dead and what, for the love of God, what is anyone supposed to do about it.

The stories are familiar and wide-ranging: executives, teachers, journalists, factory workers all speak with eloquence about the various ways in which they were let go. No doubt you know plenty of people who’ve had their livelihoods so abruptly evaporate, perhaps you yourself have suffered a similar fate – and yet, presented with such an onslaught of tragedy, it becomes hard for you, the reader, to process everything. The author, Gibson, presents you with no expert analysis, no comment, no stupid jokes to lighten the mood: at first glance, you don’t even really get a sense of who these people are so much as who they were before they lost it all.

Read the full review in the Daily News

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