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Résumé with Monsters

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  493 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Philip Kenan is battling a series of bad jobs -and the monsters from H.P. Lovecraft's fiction go with him.

Philip's first confrontation with the monsters set in motion a bizarre chain of events that finally sent his girlfriend Amelia packing. Now the battle rages from the dank, cramped sweatshop of Philip's former place of employment, Ralph's One Day Résumés, to the gleamin
Paperback, 469 pages
Published April 1st 1996 by White Wolf Games Studio (first published January 4th 1995)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  493 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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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. Burrough
Bill Kerwin
Mar 30, 2008 rated it liked it

This fantasy by the author of the superb Zod Wallop is sort of a combination of "Office Space" and Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos, with the Morlocks of The Time Machine thrown in just for the fun of it. Amusing and horrifying by turns, it shows us that although creatures from beyond the stars may swallow our souls, so may our mind-numbing, boring jobs.

This is one of my favorite kinds of fantasy, with much in common with Marquez' magic realism. At first, the world seems perfectly normal, but then, li
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cross Woody Allen with H. P. Lovecraft and you begin to get a notion of what "Resume with Monsters" by William Browning Spencer reads like. If you don't like those references, then cross Joe R. Lansdale with Philip K. Dick. In other words Mr. Spencer is one heck of a writer. In fact, this book was the winner of the International Horror Critics Guild Award for Best Novel in 1995.

What the book offers is Philip Kenan our hero and he does not appear to be the most reliable narrator.

This becomes appa
Baal Of
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mustard-greens
I'm not sure where I got the idea that this book was going to be funny, but I went into it with that expectation, and my expectation was wrong. It is darkly humorous, but more in a reflection of all the worst aspects of corporate culture with business speak crammed into motivational pamphlets, stupid dress codes, lectures about company loyalty and working hard, all mixed in with a background of elder gods influencing the background to make everything weirdly off. The story starts with small touc ...more
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
I find the whole star rating system to be arbitrary and silly, but I will add that this is more of a 2 1/2 stars for me, if that matters. It was a solid 3 stars until perhaps the last 1/5, when it really flies off the rails.

I should add that I am a fan of Spencer's short stories, which tend to either be pithy and clever, or sad and poetic. I prefer the latter kind, and this novel certainly is not that. It's well-written, engaging, clever, and has several funny observations, but I had some real p
Aug 17, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Lovecraft Fans
This book has currently had trouble staying on my shelves. I'm now on my second copy of the book, but it's always on someone else's shelf as I lend it out to anyone who has ever read the Call of Cthulhu or any other Loveraft writings.

The office life is hell, but moreso for the story's protagonist than most people. Philip is... sick. Or that's what his past psychiatrists (court appointed) would tell you. He believes that the corporate entities of the world are not headed by men, but my extra-dime
Beth Rosen
Oct 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think that this novel is my life.
Ryan Croke
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In the tradition of other "weird" fiction this is quite the trip. Not as unnerving as I thought it would be but it was engaging. A quick and entertaining read. I will be reading more novels by this author.
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book about the horrors of capitalism and mid-90s Austin, Texas.
James Ellis
May 06, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: lovecraftian, fantasy
Abandoned about 1/3rd of the way through. Didn't like the protagonist. Didn't like the setting. Didn't like the plot. Didn't like the. Discordant. Writing. Style.
Terrance Shaw
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
'Office Space' meets Lovecraft's Cthullu mythos in 1990s Austin, whence all sorts of delightful literary wackiness ensues. This darkly comic novel is a fun, fast-paced read featuring exciting, vivid, gruesome set pieces leavened with nuggets of laugh-out-loud humor. The setting is universally familiar (and cozily specific, too, anyone's who's ever lived in or visited Austin will feel right at home), the characters mostly down-to-earth and highly relatable; everything and everybody perfectly norm ...more
John Rennie
May 06, 2019 rated it liked it
I found this book hard work. It didn't sweep me up as I'd hope for from a book. It's interesting but I can't recommend it.

It's a form of unreliable narrator book. We are never sure if the protagonist, Philip Kenan, is actually seeing what he reports, and as far as we know the (happy) ending could just be inside his head while he rots in a padded cell somewhere. The book is sort of humorous, but it's a very dark humour and you won't find yourself laughing very much.

I'm not sure what Spencer's int
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Spencer gives us commentary about office work in a way that hits the nose on the head. I haven't read a book that tackles the office drone and the office managers in such a way. A Lovecraftian way. It is a bit dated (technology has changed so much), but the idea that monsters are coming through in major corporations and using office workers as drones/slaves etc is kind of brilliant.

I liked the book, I just wish I like Lovecraft. Not my favorite, but I appreciate the world of Cthulhu, just never
Meg Golding
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Honestly this is my favorite unexpected book find. I love this story and how the lines between the mundane and the supernatural are blurred to the point where you can't tell what's real. The way the author describes the slow build up of resentments, workplace politics, and the lies we tell ourselves to justify our actions in a true yet fantastical way never fail to grip my brain for days on end when I read this.
Brennan Reynolds
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
A super strange book about a (relatively) boring man who is accosted by lovecraftian monsters at every turn. I found myself going back and forth as to whether the monsters were real or just in his head and I really don't know the answer. A fun, sad, and strange read.
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, fantasy
Wow, that was an interesting, sometimes humorous ride
Shawn Holman
Jun 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: stopped
Did not like. Made it halfway through and just had to bail.
W Keith
i need to get better at finishing my progress reports, lol.
i finished this many months ago, along with the others mentioned.
Weird book, liked Austin connection. It was ok.
Martin Gehrke
Jun 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
So different and refreshing. A lot like PKD in it's protrayal of fracturing reality.
John Landolfe
Sep 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: funny
The best adaptation of Lovecraft I've read (read it multiple times). A great balance of funny and feelings. Out of print! WTF!
Charles Dee Mitchell
May 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Philip Kenan has moved to Austin, Texas, in an effort to win back his estranged girlfriend, Amelia. Since at Micromeg, their previous workplace, he once tied her up and hid her in a mail cart, she is not inclined to get back together. But Philip was saving Amelia and indeed the world from the incursion of The Old Ones – Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth, Dagon, and rest of the slimy crowd from the works of H.P Lovecraft. Unfortunately for Philip, his heroic efforts look remarkably like complete mental breakd ...more
Glen Engel-Cox
Nov 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Darrell Schweitzer's blurb for this book reads, "If Woody Allen had ever written a Cthulhu Mythos novel, it might have come out like this." Pithy, short, moderately funny, interesting, and entirely wrong. Yes, there are Cthulhu references here, and yes, Spencer can write with humor, but this is not "Everything You Always Wanted to Know about the Necrinomicon (But Were Afraid to Ask)." If we must resort to comparing Spencer to other writers, Resume with Monsters owes the most to Philip K. Dick ra ...more
Jul 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
William Browning Spencer is an underappreciated novelist in the vein of Tim Powers, James Blaylock and Jonathan Carroll. He writes stories of men, often writers, beset by terrible supernatural forces. I loved his Zod Wallop and I recently got my hands on a copy of his Resume with Monsters. When I say underappreciated, you should read that also as out of print. The status of his book would certainly vex his main character, Phillip Kenan, who fights through dead end job after dead end job in hopes ...more
Feb 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The first time I read this I was confused and rather disappointed. The book came to me with high praise from people I trust for their opinions, and I thought "Hmm, well maybe it's just one of those things." Then I read it again. Inside the back cover is a reference to a review by Joe Lansdale, where he likened it to a Philip K Dick novel, and this got me into the thing again. I've never read any other books or stories by this writer, so I don't have that as a point of comparison. It is difficult ...more
I love Charles Stross's humorous spy-meets-Cthulhu-meets-bureaucracy novels, and this is like that, only with no espionage and a lot less focus. It's brilliantly written, with a good line on every page and not a single bad sentence I could find. But it does take a while to find its footing, and on my White Wolf Press Edition (486 huge-type pages), it didn't really kick into high gear until 200 pages in. But I can't dismiss it outright, because there's frankly nothing else like it (except Charles ...more
Feb 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't think of any reason not to give this book 5 stars. But then, a book that takes the reader on a darkly humorous trip through a modern world, in which Lovecraft's Old Ones and Elder ones do exist, is right up my alley. But do such terrible creatures really exist, or is our hero simply as mad as Abdul Alhazred? Or, more frightening yet, is it modern workplaces and modern romantic relationships which are, all by themselves, indescribably horrible?

Recommended for those who don't mind the mix
Nov 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Not for everyone, this book is just WEIRD.

The writing is frequently plodding and rambling, but that is in keeping with the mindset of the main character, whom you're never actually certain as to whether he is insane as everyone who cares about him seems to think, or is in fact fighting forces of Lovecraftian* mythos within the drudgery and despair of the time-clock world.

*(it counts as a real word if it successfully conveys meaning to the reader, so deal with it)
Jacob Jones-Goldstein
Oct 22, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Cthulu Mythos fans, people with crap jobs
Shelves: horror
This is an enjoyable take on the Cthulu mythos. I particularly appreciated it the correlation between outer gods, great old ones, and corporate America. It's a funny and entertaining book as long as you don't think too hard about it. Once you really think about it it is pretty dark. None the less, its a lot of fun. Recommended to jaded and crazy people everywhere.
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is rarer than rare. I got rid of my copy while immigrating thinking it would be easy to replace and boy was I wrong.

If you like any of Charles Stross' "Laundry Files" novels or even Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" and "Anansi Boys" novels - you'll love this.

It helps to actually know HPL's work as well.
Oct 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
This was my Halloween scaaaary book for this year. It was a great choice. I've heard about Spencer for a while but this is the first book by him that I've read. It was a good introduction. If you liked _Atrocity Archives_ by Stross you'd most likely enjoy this book as well.
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William 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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