Friday, July 16, 2010

Six great novels on work

James P. Othmer is a former creative director at advertising giant Young & Rubicam, and the author of the novels Holy Water and The Futurist.

He named six great business novels for The Daily Beast. One title on the list:
Revolutionary Road
by Richard Yates

Though much of Yates’ painfully realistic classic is set in the leafy suburbs, every twist of its whiskey, adultery, and smoke-laden plot revolves around the professional ups and downs of Frank Wheeler. Wheeler is a tragic corporate hack who believes a better life for him and wife April is just around the next paycheck, yet he has neither the drive or courage to pursue it. The set piece in which Yates describes the way Wheeler avoids responsibility by strategically moving paper to various desktop inboxes throughout the office is disturbing and true and analogous of the way in which he shirks the larger responsibilities of his life. Compared to Frank and April Wheeler, Don and Betty Draper are a couple of lightweights.
Read about the other books on the list.

Revolutionary Road also appears on Laura Dave's list of books that improve on re-reading and Tad Friend's seven best fiction books about WASPs.

Visit James P. Othmer's website.

--Marshal Zeringue