The Retail is a comedic everyman satire of the depersonalizing big-box retail grind.
Aspiring writer Penn Reynard has just joined the ranks of America’s fifteen million retail workers: fresh out of college with an English degree, he can’t find a job anywhere except at the local big-box hardware store. Working returns, Penn experiences firsthand the often comical absurdity, chaos, and shenanigans of the retail world. At least he has a new romance with a coworker going for him—if he doesn’t screw it up. The constant pressures of dealing with hostile customers, oblivious coworkers, and overbearing management begin to take their toll on him, though, and as his desired career path threatens to fall out of reach, Penn struggles to break free of retail’s clutches.
Have you ever worked retail, hated retail, or hated your life because of retail? This book feels your pain.
The Retail has been placed on Awesome Indies' list of quality independent fiction.
Praise for The Retail:
"Danker-Dake incorporates humor, emotion, and social commentary into his debut novel, which reads like the script for a smart comedy film . . . Here's to a sequel." --Publishers Weekly
"I love it, I love it, I love it . . . Rare is the occasion when you read a book that thoroughly delights you . . . Danker-Dake is a dialogue genius. He keeps a hilarious running dialogue practically the entire book." --Carol Piner, The Kindle Book Review
"Danker-Dake needs to get out of Tulsa and start writing sitcoms in Hollywood. His hilarious new book, The Retail, could easily be a hit TV series. The characters are really quirky, yet everyone knows someone just like these guys. The dialogue is razor-sharp and enormously entertaining." --Jami Fullerton, Peggy Welch Chair in Integrated Marketing Communications, Oklahoma State University
Danker-Dake incorporates humor, emotion, and social commentary into his debut novel, which reads like the script for a smart comedy film. Self-deprecating narrator Penn Reynard is a young, aspiring writer making ends meet by working behind the returns desk at the House Station, a fictional big-box store in Leetown, Mo., modeled after Home Depot and Lowe's. He's also a virgin, saving himself for marriage. In the Paint department, he meets Chloe van Caneghem, a sweet girl with like-minded morals, and their evolving relationship is at the heart of this dialogue-rich story. The couple's sidekick is service-desk commander Angry Pete a shrill-voiced young man whose mind and mouth are constantly moving. Danker-Dake's blunt and brief portrayals of clueless customers add to the book's charm, as do the outrageous names he assigns to characters: Promilla, Kord, Osric, Thoth, and Fielding. At times, the book satirizes the retail world, portraying high-level personnel at the House Station as despicable automatons who refuse to acknowledge the toll employees pay for working for a soulless corporation. With many scenes occurring inside the store, in a booth at the local IHOP, or at Penn's apartment, the plot doesn't take many significant turns. That readers won't care speaks volumes about Danker-Dake's ability to propel a character-driven narrative. Here's to a sequel. (BookLife)