His main problem is that he's found a job he likes: ovenman at the pizza place. "All I can think about is the simple job of mopping floors, of Ajaxing the sinks, of scraping burnt-to-a-crisp ronis [aka pepperoni] off the back of the oven brick." This creates a dilemma. He is so good that he finds himself promoted to night manager, where he is actually responsible for things.
Where he actually has to fire people. Where he has the combination to the safe.
Jeff Parker has done a wonderful job re-creating this world, with all its unique language, only some of which I pretend to understand, and its very own distinct code of conduct. And, perhaps best of all, he has done a great job making us care about When Thinfinger and his particular choices. At the end of the book, we are almost ready to celebrate with the Ovenman, even though we have to get up and go to work tomorrow.
Jeff Parker reads from Ovenman at the Neutral Zone on Monday, October 8.
[Review published October 2007]