Sunday, July 10, 2011

Review: Malled by Caitlin Kelly

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover; 1 edition (April 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781591843801
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591843801

Product Description


One woman's midcareer misadventures in the absurd world of American retail.

After losing her job as a journalist and the security of a good salary, Caitlin Kelly was hard up for cash. When she saw that The North Face-an upscale outdoor clothing company-was hiring at her local mall, she went for an interview almost on a whim.

Suddenly she found herself, middle-aged and mid-career, thrown headfirst into the bizarre alternate reality of the American mall: a world of low-wage workers selling overpriced goods to well-to-do customers. At first, Kelly found her part-time job fun and reaffirming, a way to maintain her sanity and sense of self-worth. But she describes how the unexpected physical pressures, the unreasonable dictates of a remote corporate bureaucracy, and the dead-end career path eventually took their toll. As she struggled through more than two years at the mall, despite surgeries, customer abuse, and corporate inanity, Kelly gained a deeper understanding of the plight of the retail worker.

In the tradition of Nickel and Dimed, Malled challenges our assumptions about the world of retail, documenting one woman's struggle to find meaningful work in a broken system. 

About the Author


Caitlin Kelly has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Seventeen, Town & Country, Glamour, New York, and Sports Illustrated, among others. She was a reporter and feature writer for the New York Daily News, the Globe and Mail, and the Montreal Gazette. She also blogs for and

My Review

I was really looking forward to reading this book but I'm afraid that I found it to be lacking.  I worked in retail when I was young and while it was very low paying I did really enjoy it.  I found this book to be completely self centered and really not very interesting.  It does explain some of the workings of the retail industry but with a very negative tone.

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