Zack Post, associate editor at American magazine IT, is an expert at getting the best out of office life. He knows the New Boy is there to fax and fetch coffee, whip-rounds for leaving presents are there to raid for lunch, secrets should be gossiped about at every opportunity, and work can be avoided by striding around looking important. Zack ...
Zack Post, associate editor at American magazine IT, is an expert at getting the best out of office life. He knows the New Boy is there to fax and fetch coffee, whip-rounds for leaving presents are there to raid for lunch, secrets should be gossiped about at every opportunity, and work can be avoided by striding around looking important. Zack craves the comma that comes with promotion to 'Editor, Features', which in turn leads towards the hyphen of the beautiful Leslie Usher-Soames. The arrival of scheming sycophant Mark Ranklin, however, threatens to punctuate his career prospects with a full stop. As professional jealousy spills over into personal hatred, just how far will Zack go in order to outsmart his rival? A dazzling, winningly cynical comedy, SLAB RAT will touch a nerve with anyone who has ever dipped a toe into the shark-infested waters of office politics.
Publishers Weekly, 1999-11-29 A satirical look at the glitzy world of New York magazine publishing by a young insider, Heller's debut novel charts the progress of Zachary (Zack) Post, an overqualified underachiever with a fraudulent past. Zack is at the low end of It magazine's corporate ladder, and he is desperate to move up. Both Zack and his "friend" Willie (read: least likely to take Zack's job) are beside themselves with the arrival and meteoric ascent of New Boy Mark Larkin, a contemptible brat who cannot even work a fax machine. Larkin's inexplicable promotions set Zack and Willie scheming to sabotage him. But Zack embarks upon a series of progressively ridiculous assignments, which, unbeknownst to him, are being orchestrated by Larkin to keep him away from the office as the new star consolidates power. He thinks that Zack has too many "friends" on staff, such as the New Girl intern, Ivy Kooper (daughter of the magazine's lead counsel), and Zack's strategic marriage interest, rich Brit Leslie Usher-Soames. And Zeke's still pining away for his lost lust Marjorie Millet (the sexpot art director whom he used to shtup in Stairway B and who is now alternately shtupping both Ivy's father and, of course, Mark Larkin). Meanwhile, masochist extraordinaire Willie stops sleeping, begins talking to the walls and buys a gun, swearing to do Larkin in. Ever the rat scheming in his concrete-and-glass slab, Zack plays all the angles he can, forging alliances with powerful enemies and alienating his unsuccessful friends as he tries to get Larkin's job. Like the 1994 film Swimming with Sharks, the novel cutely depicts the full-contact politics, false loyalties and colossal waste of the Great American Office. Heller's Machiavellian comedy is a reasonably entertaining (if unoriginal) first attempt, with special appeal for publishing types. (Feb.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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