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The Art of Asking Your Boss for a Raise by…

The Art of Asking Your Boss for a Raise

by Georges Perec

Other authors: Bernard Magné (Afterword)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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200685,658 (3.8)10



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Showing 5 of 5
The word genius is grossly overused. Georges Perec was a genius.

I could launch into an essay describing this book and its subject matter but it would just be a weak and inaccurate reflection of the truly staggering effect achieved here by Perec. This is unlike any book I've ever read, and I love it even more for that reason.

You will all just have to read it and then we can swap knowing nods, in that annoying way that lovers of genuinely clever literature do. ( )
  MartynChuzz | Feb 22, 2016 |
Unlike anything I've ever read. The true title is the art and craft of approaching your head of department to submit a request for a raise. Although the book's cover says something different, this is listed in all its long-winded glory on the title page.

Weird little book. No punctuation. No capitalization. I would recommend stealing away to a comfy, quiet spot to take in this book-length sentence. Let the narrator's anxiety wash all over you. Is the boss in? Is your coworker in a good mood? What the hell is a T60? Will the office need to be quarantined to prevent an outbreak of measles!? But more importantly, how many times can I approach my boss and fail to get this raise?

It's a challenge to find a suitable place to pause and set the book down. I don't really think there is one. Trying to jump back in, even a few minutes later, is disorienting. Perec dances circles around me. Here is his experiment. A short book, presenting a problem, and working it out as if a computer were thinking things through. ( )
  diovival | Oct 14, 2013 |
A funny little book recommended by Darryl (kidzdoc) in which Perec set out to write an "unreadable" circuitous text which is free of punctuation and based on a flow chart that describes the almost insurmountable challenge that an employee faces when attempting to ask for a raise from his superior. Perec attempts to present every possibility demonstrated in the flow chart: You go to see your boss, Mr. X in his office. Is he there? No. You stop by the PA, Miss Y's desk for a chat. Is she in a good mood? No. Too bad, you walk around the office for a while and try again. Is Mr. X There this time? No. You try Miss Y again: is she in a good mood now? Yes. Good, you chat with her for a bit until Mr. X arrives. Does he invite you into his office? No. He tells you to come back later. Only later, he might be felled by an attack of measles, and you'll have to attempt the circuit one more time when he's recovered. This time trying to overcome the possibility of your boss suffering from food poisoning, sending you to another irrelevant department, or maybe not one but two of Mr. X's daughters having caught the measles, with risk of contamination, and so on. The book is only 100 pages long, and what makes it amusing is the repetition of the same actions over and over again, into which Perec introduces tiny variations for great comic effect. I liked it a lot, though I made the mistake of putting it down about halfway through and when I picked it up again on a different day and in a different mood, I must say I couldn't help but ask myself why I was even bothering. Recommended if you're into experimental and quirky. If you're curious, the interactive flow chart is right here: http://www.theartofaskingyourbossforaraise.com ( )
2 vote Smiler69 | Jun 29, 2011 |
In 1968 members of a French company that made supercomputers for industry were eager to learn if their computers could be used to create works of art. A Parisian computer expert wrote a flowchart for an employee of a large corporation to use to obtain a raise, which was given to the supercomputing company, who proposed the challenge to Georges Perec (one wonders if the company knew what it was getting into when Perec was chosen to write this book!).

The book consists of a one sentence monologue by a hapless employee of a large company, whose life and most of his work career seems to focus on obtaining a meager raise from his boss, Mr X. In his quest, which smacks of Kafka mixed with Don Quixote, our hero must navigate dangerous cafeteria food, the fickle moods of Mr X and Miss Y, recurrent outbreaks of measles, the all too frequent weekends that disrupt his plans, and, most importantly, his own incompetence and bad luck. This was a very entertaining, witty and quick read, which made for a perfect book to read on a short flight.

Anyone who wishes to get a taste of the book is encouraged to check out a flowchart based on it, at http://www.theartofaskingyourbossforaraise.com. ( )
2 vote kidzdoc | May 6, 2011 |
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Georges Perecprimary authorall editionscalculated
Magné, BernardAfterwordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bellos, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hofstede, RokusTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Introduction: Forty years ago there was no Windows, Web, or email;  there were no laptops and the Mac Classic had not been invented.
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Recounts an employee's attempt to ask for a salary increase.

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