Saturday, June 28, 2008

"A layoff narrative for our times"

From Mark Sarvas's review of Personal Days in today's New York Times Book Review:
There’s a dark undercurrent to all the whimsy, a Beckettian dread as co-worker after co-worker is blasted out of the desolate landscape....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....

[I]n the last section — a bravura e-mail soliloquy reminiscent of Molly Bloom — Park uses the first person, and the intensely personal section floods this black-and-white newsreel with vivid color. In a single, fluid release of emotion and truth, the mysteries of the layoffs are solved and a measure of humanity is reclaimed. It is a heartfelt antidote to the comic bleakness of the first two sections.

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.
Photo: Chester Higgins Jr.

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