Personal Days

First, admire the website.

Then, read Personal Days. I went to Ed Park’s reading at Powell’s last night, and read the book in one sitting after I got home. When you start it, it feels like office humor — especially clever and funny office humor, but office humor — but there’s already more going on. The point of view, for instance — it’s the only book I know besides The Jane Austen Book Club to use a collective voice for part of the narrative — but also what’s happening in the office. The novel goes somewhere surprising, and the way Park does it reminds me a little of the way John Marks evokes the news office going to hell in Fangland, although — I don’t think this counts as a spoiler — Dracula doesn’t make an appearance.

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  • Mim
    June 19, 2008 at 11:56 am

    I was thinking I already read this but then realized what I read was another book about office life written in the collective 1st person: And then We Came to the End, by Joshua Ferris (which was a great read). Now I feel like this Ed Park guy is serving leftovers… Too bad for him his book apparently came out after another great novel that sounds like a clone in its description. Had you heard of the Ferris book, Sara?

  • Sara
    June 19, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    No, I’d never heard of the Ferris title. (BTW, apparently collective narrators are more common than I thought — the NYT review reminds me that I’d forgotten its use in The Virgin Suicides, too…)

    But I think there’s room for any number of books involving alienated office workers. And Ed Park’s is really well-written.

  • Sara Ryan
    October 6, 2008 at 9:42 am

    […] to see. And in an uncanny coincidence, Mr. Rushkoff was also giving kudos to Ed Park’s Personal Days, which I bought and very much enjoyed after seeing him read at Powell’s earlier this […]