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Confessions from a Dark Wood

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  37 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Ken, the publisher, here. I don't often laugh, cry, and spit food on my computer screen simultaneously, but this book made that happen. You'll meet Nick, a hapless pawn in the world of global capital brand management consulting. And his girlfriend Sadie Parish, the first domestic suicide bomber. And his boss, emperor of bullshit, Pontius J. LaBar. And PJ's dreaded oranguta ...more
Paperback, First edition , 204 pages
Published October 10th 2012 by Sator Press
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Michael Seidlinger
Oct 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
We are all probably in desperate need of a wake-up call if we are to believe that Eric Raymond's novel, Confessions from a Dark Wood, is a work of fiction.

The global economy is a post-idea economy.

Long gone are the days of disparate marketplaces functioning concurrently. The world IS our marketplace. Commercialism is bordering now on religion. Overabundance requires studios, agencies, and firms, like LaBar Partners Limited, to define items in a sprawling marketplace of the indefinab
Sabra Embury
Oct 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Originally published at the L Magazine

Does anyone use Blackberries anymore? According to the New York Times, they’re “black sheep” nowadays, but two years ago they were ubiquitous—in large part because they were given to corporate employees as part of the company plan. Raymond’s debut novel concerns that time—and the feeling of being welcomed into a corporate structure that’s fundamentally flawed. Nick Bray (not to be confused with DeLillo’s Nick Shay) starts out as a copywriter at Purv, a web
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: recommended
If you've ever worked in marketing, advertising, branding, or consulting, this book is the cathartic read you've been looking for. Satire or documentary? It's hard to say.
Ken Baumann
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much I published it.
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Welcome to the corporate world of BS. A hilarious but oddly disturbing/satisfying work of 'fiction.'
Matt Debenham
Nov 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a very special new book, and a keenly original authorial voice. It's funny on every page, and it will kill you with insight on every other page. I used to work for a small-time version of Pontius J. LaBar -- they populate the Marketing and PR industries the way drug addicts populate America's restaurant kitchens -- and I can tell you Eric Raymond gets this guy exactly right. The overpromising to clients, the disregard for boundaries both personal and professional, the sick drive that inf ...more
Jan 31, 2013 added it
Shelves: fiction
"We stumbled through the bright light of the Tantamount lobby and into the elevator. I could feel that we were accelerating upward and at the same time hurling towards an event, the way that an evening passes a point and begins to take you with it, to sweep you in it's inevitable undertow. Though the apartment was dark, the ambient light of the elevated city revealed the contours and surfaces in a starlight-like haftone."
Dec 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read2012
Terrific stuff -- bleak comedy that does an impressive turn at the end to become something ultimately very moving. Highly recommended.
Gabe Durham
Apr 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Nick Bray, the narrator of Eric Raymond's debut novel Confessions from a Dark Wood, is a modern Nick Carraway—up for banter, full of observations, yet destined to disappear when in the presence of a bigger personality. Upon the death of his father and the loss of his crappy job, Nick goes to work for a soulless capital brand management company helmed by Pontius J. LaBar, a dwarfish grotesque with a certain talent for intellectually bullying prospective clients into submission.

Ryan Bradford
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Pretty awesome debut novel. Definitely some tonal inconsistencies tat can be jarring and some ideas that are introduced aren't as developed as they could be -- the protag's dead father seems to appear for comic relief rather than any other purpose.

Still, it's ambitious and funny and dark. A little bit like Palauhniuk without the pseudo-philosophic self importance. Really wasn't looking for another wink-wink commentary on corporate minutiae, but the writing quality is just great.

Ned Randolph
May 06, 2013 rated it liked it
There was a lot to like here. He writing is energetic, the story is fun. Not much interior reckoning by the narrator as to his decision making or his failed relationship with his dead father. But the specter's periodic appearances are nice asides to the plot. The description of the bullshit global consulting firm culminates pretty hilariously, finally. But all the deep reflections on the prosaic placeless scenery that we all know and hate anyway like airport security and skymall magazines, I cou ...more
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