Ever wondered what your boss does all day?Or if there is a higher - perhaps an existential - significance to Microsoft Word malfunctions? This astonishing debut is a scathingly funny look at a group of office workers who have no idea what the unnamed corporation they work for actually does.When it looks like the company may be taken over, fear of ...
Ever wondered what your boss does all day?Or if there is a higher - perhaps an existential - significance to Microsoft Word malfunctions? This astonishing debut is a scathingly funny look at a group of office workers who have no idea what the unnamed corporation they work for actually does.When it looks like the company may be taken over, fear of redundancy unleashes a deliciously Kafkaesque plot full of the tedium and mistrust of corporate life and the backstabbing bitchiness of our survival-of-the-fittest instincts. We meet Pru, the ex-grad student-turned-spreadsheet drone; Laars, the hysteric whose work anxiety follows him into his tooth-grinding dreams; and Jonah, the secret striver who must pick his allegiance. Assailed from all sides, Park's idiosyncratic cast of characters battle paranoia, boredom and the complexities of the lunch break as each struggles to figure out who among them is trying to bring the company down - and why. Rich with Orwellian doublespeak, filled with sabotage and romance and capturing the relentless monotony and paranoia of office life with uncanny precision, Personal Days is a novel for anyone who's ever worked in an office and wondered, 'Where does the time go? Where does life go? And whose banana is in the fridge?'
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Publishers Weekly, 2008-03-17 Park's warm and winning fiction debut is narrated by a collective "we" of youngish Manhattan office grunts who watch in helpless horror as their company keeps shrinking, taking their private world of in-jokes and nicknames along with it. The business itself remains opaque, but who eats lunch with whom, which of the two nearby Starbucks is the "good Starbucks," and whose desk knickknacks have the richest iconography become abundantly clear. What starts out feeling like a cutesy set of riffs evolves into such a deft, familiar intimacy that when the next round of layoffs begins in earnest, the reader is just as disconcerted as the characters. As office survivors Lizzie, Jonah, Pru, Crease, Lars and Jason II try to figure out who's next to get the axe, mysterious clues point to a conspiracy that may involve one or more of the survivors. By the time answers arrive, Park--former Voice Literary Supplement editor, a founding editor of the Believer and the creator of the e-zine the New York Ghost--has built the tension masterfully. Echoing elements from Ferris's debut smash, Then We Came to the End, Park may have written the first cubicle cozy. (May) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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