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3.35  ·  Rating details ·  129 ratings  ·  16 reviews
An original and horrific slice of urban terror from one of the masters of the genre... All is not well at SymaxCorp. The work is piled high, people are toiling overnight to meet deadlines, and the supervisors are keeping their beady eyes on everyone. But staff are complaining of feeling sick, and the last health and safety officer disappeared one evening never to be seen a ...more
ebook, 103 pages
Published May 5th 2011 by Telos Publishing Ltd (first published October 6th 2004)
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Average rating 3.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  129 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Dec 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: novella
Mediocre.Thematicaly similiar novel THE STORE by Bentley Little is much better.
Andrea Knott
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think I used to work there

This book is a great commentary on what it's like to work for a giant corporation. You go into a job with high hopes, until you find out what the place is REALLY like. Then, watch out!
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, owned-books
When the Amazon order containing this book turned up, I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed by the contents. Sure, it was everything I’d ordered, including two books by one of my favourite authors, Christopher Fowler. One of these was the cause of my disappointment. Not for the contents, but for the size. I expected something a little more than a slim volume containing fewer pages, albeit bigger ones, than the instruction manual for my PDA. Fowler has released a number of short story coll ...more
Ade Couper
Dec 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It's Christopher Fowler- what rating did you think I would give it...?

I have to say Christopher Fowler's probably the most consistently good writer I read: he's adept at both novels & short stories, & reading this, I find he's a dab hand at the novella too!

Breathe is all about the office building of SymaxCorp: why are staff disappearing? What's causing staff to change? & is there really something in the air...?

A joyous dystopia (yes, I know that's a contradiction in terms), where the
Isabel (kittiwake)
Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
It would be wrong to think of the board members as villains. Nothing is as black and white as that anymore. They’re a group of ordinary, hard-headed businessmen; but their luxurious private world is cocooned, far away from the floors below. They no longer empathise, because they’re dealing now in abstract concepts.

An unqualified health and safety officer teams up with a temp and a couple of her friends to investigate a very sick building and find out what happened to his predecessor, who has dis
Felicia A
Eh. I am only giving this book three stars because it was based on a novel concept (a building designed to be the perfectly controlled environment for peak worker efficiency - i.e., even the air was pumped in, and it had chemicals in it to make the workers be busy little bees).

The story, however, would have worked better as a 1/2 hour Twilight Zone episode. Juvenile writing, poorly developed characters. But a quick beach read....I read it in one afternoon on the beach.
Mika O'Donovan
Aug 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Imaginative horror story about a corporate environment that is unhealthy, today the least. I thought the concept was fun but it needed better execution. Fowler's prose is clunky and his characterization is wobbly. The book tended to veer between being graphic in its descriptions to being sloppily vague. In the end, it came across like a horror television short written by someone not entirely sure of the details of his settings or his characters, but with action that plows on through.
Chrissy Wheeler
This book was okay, I suppose. It's quite short, and the writing leaves something to be desired. It read like a screenplay to me with very little character development. I think it would be better suited as a screenplay, with Simon Pegg starring as Ben. It's silly throughout, but the insane co-workers make it nice and grisly. It's worth a read if you just want a short, strange story to enjoy.
Jun 14, 2012 rated it did not like it
I didn't finish this book. It's the second of his that I've tried, and the second I didn't finish. It reads like a play script, and is crammed full of vile things humans do to each other. But the violence is not only gratuitous, it's unbelievable. I don't think I'll be trying another of Fowler's books.
Aug 04, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved it,extremely entertaining and imaginative as always,although there were a few nonsensical scenarios which were difficult to imagine and what on earth happened to Howard? I love Christopher's humour and sarcasm and one of the descriptions which made me laugh out loud,amongst many was "He has his razor-edged cricket bat slung across his back like some kind of Home Counties bounty hunter".
Jul 31, 2012 rated it it was ok
Book is less than a hundred pages? Still manage to randomly throw sex into it! That pretty much sums up my opinion of this book. Though, there were a few okay parts, overall it seemed like a short story that would be thrown into the back of a Playboy or something.
Apr 15, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately not Christopher Fowler's best work. I liked the premise, it just really needed more details and more character development, it felt slapped together like he had a few spare minutes to knock out a book.
Mikus Leduskrasts
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
A ridiculously absurd story, overfilled with clichés and brimming with below-average quality language. Though this book provided some sad entertainment, primarily due to its pitiful attempts at humour, it is not a read to be recommended to anyone.
I enjoyed it. It was short. It was violent. It was out of control. I rolled my eyes a bit about the guy crawling around cut in half but figured it was all in good fun so what the hell!
Jonathan Jackson
May 25, 2012 rated it liked it
The only reason i gave it an average mark was the ending. Everything else was beautifully written in great detail as expected from him, my own personnal opinion was that the ending was lacking alot
Apr 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Super creepy techno-thriller. Industrial espionage at it's best.
Xavier Leret
rated it did not like it
Mar 29, 2011
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Mar 24, 2018
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Jun 25, 2014
Bill Guy
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Jun 21, 2012
Mr Jason Piper
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Jan 07, 2016
Charles E
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Mar 03, 2019
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Feb 02, 2014
rated it it was ok
Mar 09, 2014
Keith Chawgo
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Jul 24, 2012
Sara Sneed
rated it it was ok
Apr 14, 2017
Rob Johns
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Apr 04, 2013
Jules Fry
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May 13, 2012
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Jan 10, 2018
Precious Ugbo
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Christopher Fowler is an English novelist living in London, his books contain elements of black comedy, anxiety and social satire. As well as novels, he writes short stories, scripts, press articles and reviews.

He lives in King's Cross, on the Battlebridge Basin, and chooses London as the backdrop of many of his stories because any one of the events in its two thousand year history can provide ins
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