I need a summary of Rivethead by Ben Hamper.

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Rivethead: Tales from the Assembly Line is generally a thought-provoking and humorous memoir of Hamper’s experiences in ordinary life and as a worker at a GM Motors assembly line. Hamper was not the first in his ancestry to work in the automobile industry, as most members of his extended...

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Rivethead: Tales from the Assembly Line is generally a thought-provoking and humorous memoir of Hamper’s experiences in ordinary life and as a worker at a GM Motors assembly line. Hamper was not the first in his ancestry to work in the automobile industry, as most members of his extended family, including his father and grandfather, had all worked there. From the start, however, Hamper did not like the idea of working in the assembly line. His ambition was to start off as an ambulance driver and finalize his career as a disc jockey. Unfortunately, due to his unpleasant educational record and a lack of support from his family, he was forced to reluctantly sign up for a job at the GM assembly line, where his role was to squeeze rivets (this explains the book’s title). Hamper’s habits at the workplace were pretty much similar to those of his father, including his unwillingness to work hard and his alcoholism. As a result of uneasiness and layoffs, Hamper decided to try out a career in writing, which seemingly had a therapeutic impact on him, as he eventually quit his job in the assembly line.

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Rivethead by Ben Hamper tells the story of the author’s escapades when he was working at General Motors. The author worked at the GM assembly plant in Flint, Michigan. Two of his family's previous generations had worked for the same company. Therefore, Hamper did not take pride in his job. He had the dream of becoming a disc jockey, but to make ends meet, he had to work at the GM plant.

The author reveals that the pay was not good, and, therefore, he spent most of it on alcohol and music records. The job was boring and repetitive. To make the environment livelier, Hamper and his colleagues went on many escapades while at work. The book has a lot of humor. For instance, Hamper tells the story of a time he wore a cat costume and walked around the factory.

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Rivethead: Tales From the Assembly Line by Ben Hamper is a nonfiction memoir of Hamper's life. Hamper was born in 1956 in Flint, Michigan to a blue collar family that worked for General Motors. He followed family tradition in working on the GM assembly line as he gradually established himself as a radio personality and journalist. 

Rivethead is written in a style associated with "New Journalism" or "Gonzo Journalism", in which the persona of the writer, usually a cynical and rebellious one, is an inherent part of the story. Hamper takes on a persona similar to that of Hunter Thompson, portraying himself as a high school rebel and slacker who quickly learned to obtain a regular paycheck at GM on the assembly line while putting in minimal effort and even hanging out at bars while his partner did his work for him. 

In the book, Flint is described as almost a company town, with most families working for automotive factories for generations. Hamper states:

Right from the outset, when the call went out for shoprats, my ancestors responded in almost Pavlovian obedience.

Hamper's own family, however, was unusual in that his father had problems with alcohol, which led to his mother needing to work two jobs. Hamper himself was a rebellious teen who seemed to have inherited his father's substance abuse issues, and barely graduated high school. He married his pregnant girlfriend, but his alcohol and drug abuse led to a inability to hold a regular job and eventually the marriage broke up. 

The bulk of the narrative covers Hamper's years holding down a job on the GM assembly line as he continued to abuse drugs and alcohol and a description of the life and characters surrounding the factory. As many of the GM manufacturing plants were closed in the 1980s, Flint endured an economic recession and developed a high crime rate. Hamper, due to layoffs, moved into a career as a writer, in which he chronicled both factory life and the effects of the decline in manufacturing on Flint. 

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