Monday, November 9, 2009

Personal Days, by Ed Park

3 stars

I'm devoting November to books that take place primarily in offices. First up: Personal Days, by Ed Park.

Richard Russo, who is one of my very favorite authors, recommended this book in some interview or other, so of course I was determined to love it. Which serves as a reminder that taste is a strange and subjective thing.

This book is divided into three parts - the first is the blog I would like to claim authorship of if I worked in soulless corporate America (which thankfully I do not). The second is slightly more story-driven, with longer entries, for lack of a better word. This section features a Byzantine outline formula that I was completely unable to fathom (perhaps because I am wholly unfamiliar with office-place organizational practices). The last section is a rambling stream-of-consciousness email from one character to another.

The changes in narrative style are, I think, where I got lost. Google reveals that most reviewers of this book loved it, and pretty much everyone but me thinks it is a kind of fable of the lay-off era. I found the all-is-revealed final chapter incredibly far-fetched. I suppose this is common in fables, but for me didn't really work in this otherwise just-like-your-job-but-worse chronicle.

No comments:

Post a Comment