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7 ½ Cents

Richard Bissell

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New superintendent, Sid Sorokin, arrives at the Sleep Tite Pajama Factor in Junction City, Iowa, to find himself knee deep in complaints about fans in the pants section, boiling over boilers, nutty letters demanding responses, uncooperative sewing machines, and disgruntled employees who are about to strike for a 7 ½ cent raise. In the midst of trying to cope with it all, one of the leaders of the strike movement, Babe Williams, catches Sid's eye and an amorous romance unfolds. If you grew up in the Mid-West (and even if you didn't) you'll enjoy the small town talk and folkways and your attention will be, ah, sewed up, from the get go.

Bissell's wisecracking dialogue and dry wit turned 7 1/2 Cents into an instant success. It was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection in 1953 and was later adapted by Richard Bissell and George Abbott for the Broadway musical success The Pajama Game. The original production won a Tony for Best Musical in 1955 and another Tony in 2006 for Best Revival of a Musical.

The book is where it all started, however, and it doesn't disappoint.

7 ½ Cents - cover

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