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Burnt Popcorn and Cheap Perfume

by:
Thomas C. Archer (Author)

ISBN: 0-7414-4261-2 ©2007
Price: $15.95
Book Size: 5.5'' x 8.5'' , 271 pages
Category/Subject: FICTION / Psychological

Sexual Addiction. Too much alcohol. Revenge. Witnessing someone having a nervous breakdown can be great fun…

Abstract:
Sandwiched between obnoxious coworkers who reek of burnt popcorn and cheap perfume, Michael O’Donnell is a short step away from a total meltdown. Recently promoted in a career that is destroying him, Michael escapes the stress of his nightmarish world by embarking on a self-destructive journey through Philadelphia’s sexual underground.

Darkly comic, extremely raw, and unexpectedly poignant, Burnt Popcorn and Cheap Perfume chronicles one man’s quest to escape a career that is driving him insane along with a growing addiction and a thirst for vengeance against the father who brutally betrayed him.

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Customer Reviews

  raw and evocative! , 11/26/2007
Reviewer: Shari
I am not much of a reader. If a book doesn't grab me on the first page, it just plain doesn't get read! Mr. Archer's book was a 'grabber!' The raw and evocative telling of Michael O'Donnell's story...his painful childhood and difficult journey into the world of 'adult responsibility and career' proved to be a GREAT read. I zipped through it in just a couple of days and found myself laughing out loud at Mr. Archer's use of language of ANY TYPE - and yes, even profanity!, to ensure the purest expression of his protagonist's thoughts. I recommend this book highly!

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  , 11/26/2007
Reviewer: Marilyn Solomon
While this deals with serious and dark subjects, the writer is in control, so in the end humor prevails. Mostly everyone can identify with being in a job which makes them unhappy and the elation when one leaves it. It was a fast moving plot and held my attention.

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  Raw and Captivating , 12/02/2007
Reviewer: LadyMorrigan
I had been anticipating reading this book for weeks just from the excerpts I had been able to read before I ordered the book. Once I received it I read it all in one day! I could not put it down. Tom Archer tells the story of a Michael O' Donnell who is a man who seems to be suffering from life, but in reality it is a story of him learning how to live. This story is told in a raw and uncut fashion and is full of honesty and truly reflects the things people want to say but don't have the guts to. Anyone from anywhere could relate to this story in some way or another. There is tragedy, sadness, humor, anger, and happiness. I highly recommend picking this book up, be careful though, you may not be able to put it down either.

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  Dark and Fun , 12/07/2007
Reviewer: David Nelson
Two sittings and I had finished the book. It is gripping from the first page and difficult to put down. The subject matter is dark, but Archer always lets you see that underlying humor that makes it so readable. You suffer with him, root for him, and laugh in spite of it all. The office characters are wonderful, especially the dreadful Terri.

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  Outrageously Addictive , 01/21/2008
Reviewer: Mary
This is a highly addictive book. Pleasantly raw and real. A real pleasure to read. I found myself laughing out loud at times. Then relating to his struggles and anger. This is a quick read and digs deep into the gambit of human emotion. Archer does a splendid job of navigating the reader through the main character’s strength and weaknesses. The internal dialog is outrageous. Michael O’Donnell suffering is truly for the reader’s enjoyment. This is a must read for anyone who’s ever hated their job, drank too much, lost a loved on and hated their father. Somehow I felt better after hearing Michael’s story.

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  over the top , 02/01/2008
Reviewer: M. Hawthorne
Entertaining and thought provoking book...easy to identify with. The work place can be soo difficult...because we all have co-workers that drive us nuts..... and each of us is jockeying for our perceived place in life. Our main character is living his self-made purgatory...can his be worse than anyone else's? Give yourself a treat and share his frustration, determination, vulnerability, hopes..... and his sexuality. A very good read .

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  Everyone who hates their job and works in an office will love this book , 02/01/2008
Reviewer: Kelly Jameson
Annoying, loud-talking co-workers who wear cheap perfume and burn popcorn every day at 2 pm, so that everyone can smell it. Thomas Archer spins a realistic, laugh outloud tale with a sarcastic humor and wit reminiscent of Charles Bukowski. He wrenches your gut with vivid and hilarious descriptions of constipation caused by his hate for his job. His character, Mike, is talking to his date and potential girlfriend to be when he puts it all so succinctly: "I hesitate and then laugh a little. I am shocked that I can laugh about my problems. 'Well, I can't even go to the bathroom.' 'What?' Caroline laughs, but her eyes tell me that she is not laughing maliciously. 'I'm serious. I can't even sh*t. I have chronic constipation.'" But don't let Archer's hilarious, swearing main character fool you because Mike will also wrench your heart when he confronts his no-good, pathetic loser of a father who never acknowledged his existence and basically threw him away soon after he was born. Everyone who works in an office with popcorn-burning, coffee-drinking, cheap-perfume-wearing pyschos and everyone who hates their job, who might view their office cubicle as a veal-fattening pen, must read this book. Bukowski would be proud. Kelly Jameson (also writes as Ann Kelly) www.DeadOnNovel.com

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  Phenominal! , 08/07/2008
Reviewer: Kelli Fields
I loved it! Modern day Philadelphia is the setting, and “Burnt Popcorn, Cheap Perfume” gives a whole new meaning to the slogan, ‘City of Brotherly Love.’ Thomas C. Archer takes you for a ride on an emotional roller coaster like no other, and I walked away wanting more. His main character is Michael O’Donnell. Mike, as his friends call him, is young, handsome… and extremely unhappy. He’s stuck in a dead end job, surrounded by people he cannot stand, and he’s desperate for someone to love. But he’s also haunted. Haunted every second, of every minute, of every day, by a gnawing desire to see punished, the father who deserted him so long ago. While going through the repetitive motions of every day life, Mike goes on a search for personal fulfillment, and, as a result, discovers nothing but the art of self destruction. I laughed with Mike. I cried with Mike. And more times than not, I even got angry, right along with Mike. His pain became my pain as well. Mr. Archer is definitely someone to watch out for. His writing style is dark. It’s humorous, and it is shocking. Basically, his style of writing is deliciously, “Real.” “Burnt Popcorn, Cheap Perfume,” is a must read, an addictive page turner!

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  A visceral, take-no-prisoners tale of a man in crisis , 12/23/2008
Reviewer: Joe Menta
Sometimes you want a smoky, flavorful glass of fine Cabernet, and sometimes you want a bracing shot of 80-proof liquid fire that burns its way into your gut and slaps you awake from your day-to-day routine. "Burnt Popcorn and Cheap Perfume" is the literary equivalent of the latter. Laced with profanity, out-of-control sex, visceral unhappiness, and cutting hostility, you should definitely look elsewhere if you simply must have that fine Cabernet. But if this memorable novel is the kind of burning liquor consumed via quickly-downed shots when you're out with your buddies, it nevertheless comes from a bottle stored on the upper shelf. Yeah, it burns, but it's a fine burn, a good burn. Protagonist Michael O'Donnell's profanity-laced anger and hostility at the world around him is part of a larger, richer characterization and history that, as the story progresses, elegantly reveal why Michael acts the way he does, and why he has some very specific demons following on his heels. Like the best books and movies, "Burnt Popcorn and Cheap Perfume" is both believable and crazy-out-there surprising. It's the former because Mr. Archer's Michael O'Donnell character is in many ways a normal young man who explores all the things normal young men want to explore, or at least show interest about. It's the latter because Michael takes those explorations to the stratosphere and beyond, as greater and greater distraction is needed from the pain in his life. I'll say this, you won't soon forget Michael's escalation of experience, as he moves from mostly-harmless hedonism to out-of-control near madness. And what's an edgy novel without some controversy? Without revealing too much, let me just say that you'll get that controversy in the closing chapters, when Michael finally exorcises his demons and makes his first steps toward peace not via civilized therapeutic sessions but through a beachfront confrontation right out of a Martin Scorcese movie. Sting once said in one of his songs, "Nothing comes from violence and nothing ever could." Mr. Archer's novel begs to differ. This is the kind of book that often generates comments like "not for every taste" or "if you can get past the cursing and the violence, it's really worth reading". I'll add my own comment to the hypothetical squeamish reader we're worrying about here: Grow up-- it's a hard, rough world out there, and it won't kill you to occasionally read a tough story that capably communicates that world and the troubles of the lonely, haunted people in it. Myself, I was better for it.

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  Blisteringly honest , 03/31/2009
Reviewer: Richard Ross
If you have ever worked in an office, sat in a cubicle, or had to put up with annoyingly invasive co-workers, you must read this book. The insanity and claustrophobia of being stuck in a job you hate, working for people you hate, and unwillingly sitting far too close to co-workers you hate, is lovingly documented in this wickedly funny and quite vicious novel. Let's be honest - we've all been there and had the same feelings. When you finish the book, you'll be anxiously awaiting an announcement that it's being turned into a film, and praying for a director and cast who can successfully put the black humor and angst up on the big screen.

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  You cant put it down...and wont want to! , 04/06/2009
Reviewer: Duerkweiser
Michael O'Donnell is one angry and miserable motherf*cker. He works a job that he completely despises, surrounded by obese and ridiculous co-workers that intensely irritate him, living a life that appears to be going absolutely nowhere, and tormented by memories and feelings of rage and hatred for a father who walked out on him when he was young. Burnt Popcorn and Cheap Perfume is a rollercoaster ride through the down-spiraling life of a man who outwardly appears to have everything going for him, but is plagued by demons that he feeds with excessive alcohol, strange and promiscuous sex, exibitionism, violence, and vengeance. From the very first sentence: "Fuck my life!", Thomas Archer's book furiously grabs you by the balls and pulls you in... in to a dark world of a tormented man. You'll laugh... You'll cry... You'll become enraged... You'll possibly even drink excessive amounts of alcohol right along with the main character (I did anyway). But overall, you will witness the transformation of Michael O'Donnell from a man with nothing to lose, to a man who finally sees a light at the end of his dark and twisted tunnel. Burnt Popcorn and Cheap Perfume is gripping, addicting, twisted, powerful, sad, and inspiring. A fantastic read! Thomas Archer is here and he's not going anywhere for a long f*cking time.

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