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.
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