Thursday, January 27, 2011
Reviewers rave about how Ferris captures the ennui and the cynicism that characterize modern office life, and he does. But if you already work in an office where ennui and cynicism are the norm, do you really want to read about it for fun, too? It’s not like their ennui and cynicism are any different from anyone else’s, which is what the critics seemed to like, but which I thought made for dull reading. Occasionally Ferris introduces some level of pathos or action that moves the story to another level, like when Janine feels compelled to mourn her murdered daughter by spending her lunch hour in the plastic ball pit at McDonalds, or when Tom decides to take his tragicomic revenge for being laid off. But these moments are too infrequent to counteract the endless boring debates about who should get the chair of the most recently departed employee. Yes, I realize that the pointlessness is the point. But does all this really add up to one of the best books of 2007?
(Book 2, 2011)