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Reviewed by Gail Sosinsky Wickman for Readers' Favorite
Real Advice For The Unemployed by Samuel Murphy is a look at unemployment in America through the eyes of an unemployed American. As a woman currently in the job market, I chose to review this book expecting to garner a few pieces of advice. I got what I expected. Murphy discusses how to approach your bank about your loans, the availability of websites full of advice about resumes, and the imperative nature of continued personal hygiene. What makes Real Advice for the Unemployed special, however, are the things I didn't expect. Samuel Murphy made me laugh. Out loud. Many times. He writes in a distinct, personality-filled voice that is so reader-focused it is like he is talking right to me. His voice holds the authority of one who has been there, so I don't feel looked down on.
As much fun as the voice is, however, it serves a deeper purpose. In the middle of his comments about the dangerous allure of internet porn or the decision whether to pour a drink of whiskey or just take the bottle with you, Murphy touches on some of the most difficult emotions that unemployed Americans, particularly unemployed men, feel. In one section he explains that an unemployed man becomes a thief -- not the kind who knocks over the local convenience store, but the kind who hits his wife's wallet when she's in the shower. Then he talks about the need to sit down and have that face-to-face conversation where he's honest about his needs. Not easy, but good advice. He addresses the fear head-on, the irrationality, the embarrassment, the diminishing self-respect. And we can take it because he is NOT some motivational speaker with the Power Point aphorisms, he's the guy standing next to us in the unemployment office.
If you want good advice in a real-guy voice (with a delightful and surprising number of literary and movie references), I highly recommend Real Advice for the Unemployed by Samuel Murphy. If nothing else, you will put the book down knowing you are not alone.