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The Beautiful Bureaucrat (2015)

af Helen Phillips

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
3694754,715 (3.2)17
Becoming increasingly uneasy about suspicious activities at a new job she felt lucky to land, Josephine makes a terrible realization and is forced to confront dangerous and powerful elements in order to protect her loved ones.
  1. 10
    Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters af Mark Dunn (4leschats)
    4leschats: Similar aspects of word play demonstrate how the abstract nature of language creates, alters, and describes our concrete experiences.
  2. 00
    There's No Such Thing as an Easy Job af Kikuko Tsumura (wandering_star)
    wandering_star: offbeat takes on the nature of work
  3. 00
    Metropole af Ferenc Karinthy (wandering_star)
    wandering_star: A similar tone - someone trapped in a surreal world.
  4. 00
    Delicious Foods af James Hannaham (sparemethecensor)
  5. 00
    Slottet af Franz Kafka (4leschats)
    4leschats: Both deal with the surreality and dehumanization of bureaucracy which arbitrarily decides life and death
Indlæser...

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» Se også 17 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 47 (næste | vis alle)
What Lurks Behind Reality

If you are a cube dweller facing a computer every day entering data, like what may appear to be only random strings of numbers, letters, and symbols, governed by bosses who strike you as bland and colorless substitutes for human beings, who may wish for a more meaningful work life, perhaps more meaningful life in general, wondering if you are missing something, something that only a few people see--well then, not only will you enjoy Helen Phillips's new novel, you will probably also identify with her half-fleshed out character Josephine Newbury.

Josephine, married and childless, after considerable time unemployed, finally lands a job with a mysterious company called A/Z, a sort of Alpha/Omega concern (there you pretty much have it). At A/Z, she works in the Z department entering just a small bit of data into the files of people, the files containing pages dense with numbers, letters, and symbols. At night, she shares meager meals with her husband David, makes love, and frets. They move frequently, always encountering problems, always landing in a dank place. In their early thirties, they would like to have a child, but they can't seem to. If working in a giant gray block isn't enough, Josephine lives in a world that's often bland and out of kilter.

She does have something to fret about, when her husband begins disappearing for long stretches, which at times frightens her, at others enrages her, until finally she comes to understand why. Along with this, she also comes to comprehend what she's doing, along with maybe thousands of others, as she taps her keyboard.

Phillips writes the novel, at least at the outset, as a thriller set in a sort of Twilight Zone world, a fantasy with enough reality mixed in to make the whole thing feel bizarre but uncomfortably familiar. Unfortunately, the characters and landscape may be too sketchy for some and the ending too enigmatic for those seeking a resolution for their time invested. On the other hand, Phillips does intrigue your imagination enough to have you mulling over the structure of life, which, given the data entry sheets, you might conjure as a vast and indifferent mathematical construct.

An interesting effort that will not be for every one but satisfying for those who enjoy fantasy. ( )
  write-review | Nov 4, 2021 |
What Lurks Behind Reality

If you are a cube dweller facing a computer every day entering data, like what may appear to be only random strings of numbers, letters, and symbols, governed by bosses who strike you as bland and colorless substitutes for human beings, who may wish for a more meaningful work life, perhaps more meaningful life in general, wondering if you are missing something, something that only a few people see--well then, not only will you enjoy Helen Phillips's new novel, you will probably also identify with her half-fleshed out character Josephine Newbury.

Josephine, married and childless, after considerable time unemployed, finally lands a job with a mysterious company called A/Z, a sort of Alpha/Omega concern (there you pretty much have it). At A/Z, she works in the Z department entering just a small bit of data into the files of people, the files containing pages dense with numbers, letters, and symbols. At night, she shares meager meals with her husband David, makes love, and frets. They move frequently, always encountering problems, always landing in a dank place. In their early thirties, they would like to have a child, but they can't seem to. If working in a giant gray block isn't enough, Josephine lives in a world that's often bland and out of kilter.

She does have something to fret about, when her husband begins disappearing for long stretches, which at times frightens her, at others enrages her, until finally she comes to understand why. Along with this, she also comes to comprehend what she's doing, along with maybe thousands of others, as she taps her keyboard.

Phillips writes the novel, at least at the outset, as a thriller set in a sort of Twilight Zone world, a fantasy with enough reality mixed in to make the whole thing feel bizarre but uncomfortably familiar. Unfortunately, the characters and landscape may be too sketchy for some and the ending too enigmatic for those seeking a resolution for their time invested. On the other hand, Phillips does intrigue your imagination enough to have you mulling over the structure of life, which, given the data entry sheets, you might conjure as a vast and indifferent mathematical construct.

An interesting effort that will not be for every one but satisfying for those who enjoy fantasy. ( )
  write-review | Nov 4, 2021 |
So much more could've been done with this great idea.

I did like Trishiffany though. LOL

A nice quick read for your Readathon stacks. ( )
  Jinjer | Jul 19, 2021 |
3.5 stars ( )
  snakes6 | Aug 25, 2020 |
I was so in it with this book until the last third. I love Helen Phillips' voice and the way she crafts her sentences. I was engrossed in the story and was trying to figure out what was going on...and it fell a little flat once the root of the story was revealed. There was a point at which I had little clues as to what was happening and then it jumped the gap to explaining exactly what was happening, and I didn't love that transition. Even with a sort of disappointing end, I do like the writing style and will give Phillips another shot. ( )
  bookishtexpat | May 21, 2020 |
Viser 1-5 af 47 (næste | vis alle)
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Becoming increasingly uneasy about suspicious activities at a new job she felt lucky to land, Josephine makes a terrible realization and is forced to confront dangerous and powerful elements in order to protect her loved ones.

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