Read Résumé with Monsters by William Browning Spencer Free Online
Book Title: Résumé with Monsters|
The author of the book: William Browning Spencer
Edition: Dover Publications
Date of issue: February 20th 2014
ISBN 13: 9780486493251
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 669 KB
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Reader ratings: 3.1
Read full description of the books:
If you think your boss is a soulless, inhuman, bunny-blowing pile of ass vomit who’s slowly sucking the joy out of your existence with each intake of breath into their smarmy, callous, troll-like mouth...wait until you hear about the monsters Philip Kenan works for in this bizarre, intelligent, Cthulhu-spiced and frighteningly funny piece of corporate horror/dark comedy/satire.
So the math on this book is pretty simple:
Lovecraft + Wall Street + Philip K. Dick (with a dash of William S. Burroughs) + Office Space (the movie) + the love child of Ben Stiller & Woody Allen =
A mighty nice dose of smart, funny, wildly inventive, mind-warpingly awesome...
For those who want a little more verbiage, here's the plot rundown and some thoughts:
Angsty author, Philip Kenan, works as a word processor for Ralph’s One Day Resumes, where he spends his days preparing copy for resumes, flyers, business cards and the like. Just another in a series of dead-end jobs that Philip can’t seem to hold on to while he works obsessively on his as-yet-unpublished 2000 page manuscript inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft.
Of course, Philip believes that his frequent job loss and daily brushes with disappointment and frustration are the result of a vast inter-dimensional conspiracy orchestrated by the “elder gods” of the Cthulhu Mythos and that his boss and most of his co-workers are really inhuman servants (shaggoths) of these deities. As he sees it, these Old Ones have taken over corporate America and are using advertising, technology and the dreaded Necronomicon to open a portal that will allow, Nyarlathotep, Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth and the whole diabolical gang into our reality.
On the other hand, Philip has a history of mental illness and it’s quite possible that he's simply a delusional “bag-o-nuts” who has allowed his over active imagination to seep out of his writing and contaminate his everyday life. It doesn’t help matters that Philip was encouraged, nay indoctrinated, in his beliefs by his now dead father, Walter Kenan, who blamed all of his own misfortunes on the dastardly machinations of “The System” controlled by these elder gods. The System. The Old Ones, crouched at the beginning of time, malevolent and patient. They thwarted all aspiration, all true and noble yearning…The System was ubiquitous and merciless. Its minions were everywhere, from the President of the United States to the clerk at the hardware store…The Systems creatures were fellow office workers, mysteriously generated regulations, numbers, signs on the walls, one-way streets, radio announcers, movies. These were the puppets of the Dark Gods. The distinguishing feature of a creature of the System was this: It bore Walter Kenan malice and worked diligently to confuse, demoralize and destroy Walter Kenan. Throughout the novel, the reader is forced to confront the question: are Philip's troubles the result of a genuine cosmic conspiracy or is Philip out of his mind and nuttier than an Almond Joy?
That you will have to decide for yourself.
One thing is beyond question, this book was terrific. The dream-like, reality-bending (is it real or not) narrative employed in this novel reminded me of works by Philip K. Dick (e.g., A Scanner Darkly), except that this story has a much lighter, more humorous tone. Spencer’s prose is crisp and highly readable while being peppered with well crafted dialogue and funny bon mots. As a random example, at one point, Philip’s co-worker theorizes to him that maybe God’s a clumsy boy who causes disasters to happen because he’s trying to speak to us: ‘I mean, think about it. What if God just don’t know his own strength, like the cartoon character, what’s his name, Baby Huey? ‘Look out!’ God hollers, and a tidal wave destroys a seaport. ‘Heads up, Merl’ God roars, and a lightning bolt sends old Merl tumbling down a hillside, the soles of his shoes smoking.’ These bizarre theories of why bad things happen to good people provide a number of interesting Hmmm moments, as well as some chuckles.
However, most of the satire is reserved for bludgeoning corporations, corporate executives and the "life sucking" "soul crushing" nature of the corporate work place. This is where Spencer spends most of his time. Individually, these barbs are often subtle and casually delivered, but the cumulative effect is in your face and very biting. In this regard, I found interweaving and fusion of the indescribable namelessness of Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos with the button down, lock-step work of the corporate world to be just magnificent.
Hopefully the above gives you the flavor of the story. However, before I wrap up, I want to mention the one thing I found most intriguing about the work. Throughout the novel, Spencer does a phenomenal job of providing clues and insights into Philip’s unique vision of the world without ever giving the game away. You will go back and forth regarding whether what he sees is real or imaginary. Even at the very end of the novel (which is just wonderful), you will only have an “idea” or an “educated guess” regarding Philip’s mental state.
I think this allows the reader to “write their own ending” so to speak and I thought it was outstanding. The subtle shades of the story allow to look, along with Philip, for deeper meaning.
Overall, this is an engaging, original, off-beat story that doesn’t fit neatly into a particular genre box. However, it’s a well written, well plotted story should keep you entertained throughout.
4.0 stars. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
P.S. A big thank you to my good friend, Richard for recommending this book to me. Richard, as a token of my esteem, I am going to try and track down some 1929 Montgomery Ward & Co. stock certificates to help kick start your scripophily collection.
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Read information about the authorWilliam Browning Spencer is an award-winning American novelist and short story writer living in Austin, Texas. His science fiction and horror stories are often darkly and surreally humorous. His novel Resume With Monsters conflates soul-destroying H. P. Lovecraftian horrors with soul-destroying lousy jobs.
His story "The Death of the Novel" was a 1995 Bram Stoker Award nominee for Best Short Story.
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