Bill's Reviews > Personal Days

Personal Days by Ed Park
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's review
Jul 30, 2008

really liked it

This is a fairly quick read, and actually quite amusing. It's about a group of workers in an unnamed office in NYC. The basic plot concerns the ongoing rash of firings that have been going on. Several former workmates are already past-tense when the story opens. There is also a lot of discussion about how boring/annoying their jobs are, and what an idiot their boss ("the Sprout") is. I kept thinking of Michael from The Office throughout. I won't spoil the explanation of the nickname. Nicknames are also a big item in this story.

This clever novel is divided into 3 sections, each related in a different manner. The first section is a bunch of mostly short, random comments about different people and events, past and present. We get to know the characters. Section 2 is set up like an outline, complete with Roman numerals and upper- and lower- case letters, but the outline items are often long narrative passages instead of the usual short points you would see in an outline. We also meet an important new character in this section. The third and final section was definitely my favorite part. It contains a great big twist that I did not see coming, and ties up the story quite nicely.

This story is so filled with office humor, focusing on both the nuttiness of the workers and the hilarious and annoying glitches one encounters when working with computers and software, I would recommend it to anyone who works in an office. Lots of jokes at Microsoft's expense as well, which I definitely appreciate!
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