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Personal Days by Ed Park

Personal Days

by Ed Park

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I was hoping for something along the lines of Then We Came to the End or Company. I didn't think this book was as good as either one of those. It takes place at an unnamed company in New York where slowly everyone is getting fired. It had some funny moments, but overall I thought it could have been better. ( )
  i.should.b.reading | Jan 15, 2016 |
A hilarious look at dysfunctional office life in New York. Park's deadpan humor and the dry delivery of the mythical and fantastical in the office makes for a light, entertaining read. I laughed out loud in a bunch of places.

Someone actually went to Hamilton?! No way! [Another thing about Colgate and Hamilton is that Colgate is located in Hamilton, NY, and Hamilton is, well, not, which endlessly confuses Colgate parents who end up in Hamilton several times a year, looking for their Colgate-attending offspring...]

Recommended for those who like book clubs, inter-office mail, staplers, voice-to-text software, conspiracy theories, and Brooklyn.

-->Do you really want to quit? ( )
  bluepigeon | Jul 31, 2015 |
Good try. Doomed to be overshadowed by Ferris' Then We Came to the End, a similar tale of cubicle-and-layoff angst also told in the first person plural that got there a year earlier and adds up to more. Park's novel has more details and more jokes, but even thinner character development. Having worked at an internet ad agency during the economic crunch from 2000-2002 and seen the surreal half-empty workspaces and abandoned floors and disappearing co-workers that Park dramatizes I understand his point about the flatness and inauthenticity of that worklife--but that doesn't mean he couldn't create characters that are genuinely distinguishable and interesting. ( )
  AThurman | Dec 7, 2014 |
I've read this before, and it was better when it was called Then We Came To the End and it was by Joshua Ferris. This version has its funny moments, but the characters are undeveloped and there's very little plot. All comparisons--which are obvious--are in favor of Ferris' work. Sorry, Ed Park. I really wanted to enjoy this... it's one of the few books I haven't bought used in years!
  librarybrandy | Mar 31, 2013 |
This is a fast-moving book that also requires patience. It DOES all come together in part 3 -- not because the first two sections are faulty, but because the reality of one of the characters ends up making a great statement about the world that the other characters drift through in parts 1 & 2. Ed Park has a great sense of control over his narrative, especially considering how easy it would be to jump all over the place infinitely, there is a clear movement from character to character here. Are all the anecdotes elaborate? no -- but I felt like even the little, seemingly innocuous anecdotes ended up contributing to the overall themes and characters.

Not sure everyone would love this or find it funny (I spent time in a company eerily similar, so lots seemed familiar), but I thought this was well done and look forward to his future work! ( )
  evanroskos | Mar 30, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812978579, Paperback)

In an unnamed New York-based company, the employees are getting restless as everything around them unravels. There’s Pru, the former grad student turned spreadsheet drone; Laars, the hysteric whose work anxiety stalks him in his tooth-grinding dreams; and Jack II, who distributes unwanted backrubs–aka “jackrubs”–to his co-workers.

On a Sunday, one of them is called at home. And the Firings begin.
Rich with Orwellian doublespeak, filled with sabotage and romance, this astonishing literary debut is at once a comic delight and a narrative tour de force. It’s a novel for anyone who has ever worked in an office and wondered: “Where does the time go? Where does the life go? And whose banana is in the fridge?”

"Witty and appealing...Anyone who has ever groaned to hear 'impact' used as a verb will cheer as Park skewers the avatars of corporate speak, hellbent on debasing the language....Park has written what one of his characters calls 'a layoff narrative' for our times. As the economy continues its free fall, Park's book may serve as a handy guide for navigating unemployment and uncertainty. Does anyone who isn't a journalist think there can't be two books on the same subject at the same time? We need as many as we can get right now." —The New York Times Book Review

"Never have the minutiae of office life been so lovingly cataloged and collated." —"Three First Novels that Just Might Last," —Time

A "comic and creepy début...Park transforms the banal into the eerie, rendering ominous the familiar request "Does anyone want anything from the outside world?" The New Yorker

"The modern corporate office is to Ed Park's debut novel Personal Days what World War II was to Joseph Heller's Catch-22—a theater of absurdity and injustice so profound as to defy all reason....Park may be in line to fill the shoes left by Kurt Vonnegut and other satirists par excellence."—Samantha Dunn, Los Angeles Times

"In Personal Days Ed Park has crafted a sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, but always adroit novel about office life...Sharp and lovely language." Newsweek

"A warm and winning fiction debut." Publishers Weekly

"I laughed until they put me in a mental hospital. But Personal Days is so much more than satire. Underneath Park's masterly portrait of wasted workaday lives is a pulsating heart, and an odd, buoyant hope." — Gary Shteyngart, author of Absurdistan

"The funniest book I've read about the way we work now." –William Poundstone, author of Fortune's Formula

"Ed Park joins Andy Warhol and Don DeLillo as a master of the deadpan vernacular." —Helen DeWitt, author of The Last Samurai

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:41 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Ever wondered what your boss does all day? Or if there is a higher perhaps an existential significance to Microsoft Word malfunctions? This novel takes a scathingly funny look at a group of office workers who have no idea what the unnamed corporation they work for actually does. Originally published: London: Jonathan Cape, 2008.… (more)

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