John Luiz's Reviews > Office Girl

Office Girl by Joe Meno
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Aug 14, 2012

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Read from August 10 to 14, 2012

The few times I read the opening pages of the Hairstyles of the Damned in bookstores, I could never get into. It seemed to cutey, too determinedly hipster. The Great Perhaps I absolutely loved -- an ambitious storyline, with grown-up, fully developed characters. Office Girl feels like a step back, to me. It's very vignette about two quirky twentysomethings working low-level office jobs while they pursue their artists -- the girl's being to start a new art movement that defies all conventions about what great art should be and which basically means do public acts of pransterism; the young man, a sound engineer, constantly records every type of noise he hears in their city of Chicago, as he hopes to create a simulation of the sounds of the city. After failed romances (and his case a failed marriage), they meet fall in love and make either short-term happy. Not much happens and the scope of the novel and the character development, perhaps intentionally, feels so small in scale. If the author comes back to his The Great Perhaps form in future novels, I'll come back, but if he sticks with this style, I'll take a pass. I know Hairstyles has become a cult favorite, but it's just not my cup of tea.
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