Saturday, August 29, 2015

Book Review: Dear Committee Members

Finally, a novel that puts the "pissed" back into "epistolary."
Jason Fitger is a beleaguered professor of creative writing and literature at Payne University, a small and not very distinguished liberal arts college in the midwest. His department is facing draconian cuts and squalid quarters, while one floor above them the Economics Department is getting lavishly remodeled offices. His once-promising writing career is in the doldrums, as is his romantic life, in part as the result of his unwise use of his private affairs for his novels. His star (he thinks) student can't catch a break with his brilliant (he thinks) work Accountant in a Bordello, based on Melville's Bartleby.

In short, his life is a tale of woe, and the vehicle this droll and inventive novel uses to tell that tale is a series of hilarious letters of recommendation that Fitger is endlessly called upon by his students and colleagues to produce, each one of which is a small masterpiece of high dudgeon, low spirits, and passive-aggressive strategies. We recommend Dear Committee Members to you in the strongest possible terms.

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My Review:

This book is full of humor and snark that any working person can relate to. Even if you're a call center employee and not a professor, you know the feeling. Reading this, i felt like I had found one of my own-one of my true family-in that place where you don't necessarily dislike your job, but let's face it: the glamour is gone. I fully appreciated the expertly executed dry wit and (for lack of a more entertaining term in my generation) low-key sass. This book will make an excellent book for just about anyone. My precocious sister, my middle aged mother, my retired the words of the big O, "Everybody gets one!"

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