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eBook Personal Days download

by Ed Park

eBook Personal Days download ISBN: 0224082418
Author: Ed Park
Publisher: Jonathan Cape (May 1, 2008)
Language: English
Pages: 256
ePub: 1440 kb
Fb2: 1530 kb
Rating: 4.9
Other formats: txt lrf mobi azw
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Contemporary

Personal Days is both funny and clever - it can be enjoyed for its hilarious and familiar observations of contemporary office life absurdities and appreciated for Ed Park's witty writing style. It's the perfect literary companion to Dilbert, The Office, and Office Space.

Personal Days is both funny and clever - it can be enjoyed for its hilarious and familiar observations of contemporary office life absurdities and appreciated for Ed Park's witty writing style. The characters are sharply portrayed with satirical affection - reading the book was like starting a new job and meeting a new set of coworkers who could become one's friends or nemeses

Against the advisement of George, Maxine will sometimes compliment us on our hair or other aspects of our scruffy appearance.

Against the advisement of George, Maxine will sometimes compliment us on our hair or other aspects of our scruffy appearance. The next day, or even later the same day, she’ll send an all-caps e-mail asking why a certain form is not on her desk. This will prompt a peppy reply, one barely stifling a howl of fear: Hey Maxine!

A warm and winning fiction debut.

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A warm and winning fiction debut. 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.

When he comes back, the blues of his irises have intensified fivefold. Today he tells Jonah that he can see through things-clothes, metal, wood, brick of focus. He has no control over the clarity or power. Sometimes he can see people’s inner organs. It is as much a curse as a gift. Since when has he been totally insane? asks Jonah. Still, we make ourselves scarce when Henry walks by, scatter from his line of sight as fast as possible.

In his first novel, Ed Park ponders the anxious culture of the modern workplace. Much is likely to be made of the similarities between Personal Days and Then We Came to the End, Joshua Ferris’s 2007 National Book Award finalist. Both are set in offices convulsed with layoffs. Both are comic ensemble pieces, and both employ the first-person plural (Ferris throughout, Park in his opening section). But considering the ubiquity of the work experience in American lives, and the thousands upon thousands of novels published annually, perhaps the question shouldn’t be why there are two work-related novels right now but why there aren’t many more.

In 'Personal Days' Ed Park has crafted a sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, but always adroit novel about .

In 'Personal Days' Ed Park has crafted a sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, but always adroit novel about office life. The book is ornately divided into three sections, with three vantage points, their titles taken from what are familiar computer prompts and commands to modern office workers: "Can't Undo," "Replace All," "Revert to Saved. In "Can't Undo" the voice is that of the communal "we" of the young pool of overqualified, undermotivated office workers-Pru, Lizzie, Jonah, Laars, "Crease"-who are floating through their mid-20s in a low-grade depression regarding their prospects.

In Personal Days Ed Park has crafted a sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, but always adroit novel . But Personal Days is so much more than satire

In Personal Days Ed Park has crafted a sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, but always adroit novel about office life. A warm and winning fiction debut. The funniest book I've read about the way we work no. –William Poundstone,.

From the Irish enclave of South Buffalo and a Niagara Street bar to a costly house in Nottingham Terrace and a once-grand Gothic structure in Elmwood Village, Buffalo's past and present come to life in the offbeat, disturbing, and sometimes darkly comical tales by authors who really know their city.

'The Office' meets Don DeLillo in this hilarious debut novel by the founding editor of The Believer.
Comments: (7)
Slowly writer
It's an anomaly when the TV show "The Office" thrives in British and American versions in popular culture, and "9-to-5" survives as a song and a musical, how infrequently we have successful stories that continue the tradition of "Bartleby the Scrivener" as testimonies to soul-crushing clerical jobs. The novel unfolds in three parts: first, told in the first person plural, short vignettes introduce you to the characters and their personalities. This proves the liveliest part, full of snarky humor that Park renders precisely: "We are moderately proud of our youthful haircuts and overpriced rectangular eyeglasses but that's about it." (7)

It's nervously casual, but the menace lingers underneath the banter, gossip, and machinations. The decade may promise casual office wear and work circles, but hierarchies and capitalism still rule. Here's one sub-section in its entirety: "'The lottery.' We all play the lottery. We buy our tickets individually because we don't want to have to divvy up all that loot in case the numbers come up right." (24)

Joshua Ferris' fittingly titled "And Then We Came to the End" preceded "Personal Days," but this latter novel probably has a better title, which in the closing section warps pleasingly into Joycean style, suiting the confined, pressured, and fading sensibilities of one of a dwindling cadre of office workers in Manhattan. It's a cruel world despite the chatty tone, enriched by Park's mercilessly deadpan excerpts from such so-improbable-they-could-be-real corporate reading as "Yes I Drank the Kool-Aid-- And Went Back for Seconds," "'Three Easy Rules for Impressing the Powers That Be (and Maybe Becoming One Yourself) (A Simpleton's [TM] Guide), by Douglas Salgado and Uri Boris," or "'The Pegasus Plan: How To Get the Job You Want, the Respect You Deserve, and the Employees You Need to Succeed for Life' by D.M.S. Shrapnel, with an introduction by Whittles Langley, CEO of Ptarmigan Group."

As with much of "Bartleby," the city's streets outside earn less attention from Park's dead-on narrators than the cubicles and hallways within a building graced by a gargoyle on its facade. The boom.com long over, the remaining employees await their termination by unseen Californians on a speakerphone; their bosses hover about; the tension pervades the corridors and their psyches. The setting reminds me of the documentary film "Startup.com" about a similar dot.com enterprise's boom and bust. "It wasn't always like this. Before the Firings, a large team worked here, and traces of their residence can still be found. We knew some of them, though not well. We don't really recognize the scattering of remaining employees, who sit hunched with their backs toward us as if awaiting the death blow. Supposedly there are more survivors on the fifth floor, but not too many. These are people whose tasks never intersect with ours, people we never even need to e-mail." (45)

[...]
Shalinrad
...(hope!) that it would be an amusing tale of modern life in the office. And it was just that as I was reading Part I of the book. Amusing and interesting enough to hold my interest while not exactly certain who was who among the collected characters whose story was being related by means of the first-person plural point-of-view, an interesting narrative sleight of hand by the author. But when I kept hitting various laugh-out-loud parts I realized I was onto something else.

Part II is rendered by means of a classification system somewhat along the lines of a legal code or contract which I found to be fascinating in its own way, although some readers probably won't care for it. Whatever. The story flows along with or without it. The high point of Part II consists of a piece of found literature--a handwritten notebook containing observations, aphorisms, and other pearls of wisdom gleaned from the collected texts of a number of high priests and practitioners of the business arts. One bombastic absurdity is piled upon another.

Part III of the novel consists of a single Joycean sentence written by one of the principal characters (the period key on his laptop is broken) while trapped in an elevator. This section clarifies and illumines much of what came before. The story then continues to build to a quite surprising climax.

Personal Days is the first novel I've read in quite some time, or ever, that when I was finished I immediately turned back to the first page and began re-reading. It was even more enjoyable the second time through.

Beyond the laughs and the literary pyrotechnics, Park has woven a serious theme into Personal Days with the use of the leitmotif phrase "Where does the time go? Where does the life go?" When someone in the office declares "I can't believe it's almost November!" the person has to be told it already is November and there is in fact only one more week until December. When someone else observes that the current winter isn't so bad compared to last year, it takes his colleagues a moment to realize he's referring to the temperature. Besides, "how many people really remembered what last year's winter was like?" Cold, wet, windy, snow followed by slush. "Winter is winter." And two winters ago? Only the dimmest of collective memories. "Where does the time go? Where does the life go?"

People lose their jobs and are never heard from again in a manner similar to the the dying TB patients of the Berghorf Sanitorium in Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain who stop showing up for dinner. But Ed Park is not the lugubrious Teutonic. He is a student of Charles Portis about whom he wrote a fine essay for "The Believer" magazine. His close observations, precise language, and deadpan wit pay homage to the master.
Tori Texer
Stunningly well written workplace tragicomedy. If white-collar neoliberalism had a story, this is it.
Delaath
The book is so funny, the conceit delights and haunts. The book is playful in form while remaining heartfelt. I'll be rereading it soon.
Uriel
This book was absolutely hilarious and kept me going page-by-page until the end. The characters were great, memorable, and the little inside jokes that developed through the book were endearing.

For anyone who liked "e" or is currently watching The Office or loves Office Space, or into british humour in general, I think you'll really dig this short comedic masterpiece.
Samugor
Bought for school.