Sunday, June 27, 2010

e squared: a novel, by Matt Beaumont

Oh, sequels.

First, the things I really like about this follow-up to the hilarious e: Rather than telling the story purely through email messages, Matt Beaumont has added blog posts and IM messages to the mix in this second novel of ad-agency as microcosm. His take on post-modern office excesses are hilarious, featuring an extreme-sports crazed partner, a staff hairdresser, and decor that includes an isolation tank. Again, the author manages to distill the personalities of his characters merely through their electronic communications, both personal and professional. Which is still an amazing feat.

What kept me from enjoying this book as much as its predecessor is its over-the-top-and-then-some plot lines. I started rolling my eyes about a third of the way in, which impacted my ability to care much about the outcome. I did, however, read it pretty avidly right to the end; silly entertainment is one of the things I appreciate in literature. Read it if you're up for a farce and don't really care how far your suspension of disbelief is stretched.

Where I heard about this book
: I sought it out after reading e, which I loved.

What I thought of this book: Pretty good. 3 1/2 stars.

What this book is about: It's a satire of modern life, set in a London ad agency. It features several of the characters from the previous book, but adds a lot of great new ones.

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