Sunday, May 08, 2011
For The Love Of Literature
Here's a synopsis. Or three.
"Nail Clippings And Other Scrapbooks"
William would like to own a dog, but is unsure which breed to buy. He also wants to meet women. Loitering in parks waiting for female passers-by with canines he feels is beneath his dignity, so he gets a job as a mobile dog-groomer. Visiting the houses of those sufficiently well-heeled to afford his services, he encounters gay pride, narcissism and nymphomania. And, that's only the dogs.
"Fire Me. I Dare You"
If you work in an establishment where the chairman's door is always open, fresh coffee is always available and the secretaries all have pleasingly full bosoms, you have my permission to wind a piece of electrical flex around your smug, self-satisfied neck, firmly attach it to the air-conditioner and leap from a tall building. On the other hand, if the place is managed by the guy who does the photocopying, there's a concrete ceiling for promoted posts and you have a constant nagging headache, this book is for you. Learn how to subvert meetings with subtle but effective points of order, bury unpopular people in mindless, labyrinthine paperwork and get your immediate superior to resign on the grounds of ill-health.
"The Rock Star Librarian"
Janet is fifty-four and technically a virgin. She spends her days in the reference section of the public library, cataloguing building permits, hence is myopic with a secularised eschatology of progress. Catching the same bus every day, she encounters Hans, an exchange student half her age from Dusseldorf with whom she strikes up an unlikely eight minute conversation every morning. Hans is plausible and darkly good-looking, introduces her to the ELO and Ecstasy, via an evening at a string quartet concert. This so dislocates her personality that she takes to wearing ripped Prada jeans and develops a taste for Sambuca on the rocks. Her consequent moral decline is a powerful political statement about the perils of French lingerie and the validity of libraries in the age of Google.
Oh, where shall I start? Perhaps I might be able to weave all three themes together somehow.