Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Jess Walter's 5 favorite novels about job loss

Jess Walter is the author of five novels—including The Financial Lives of the Poets, which was just released in paperback, and The Zero, a 2006 National Book Award finalist—and one nonfiction book.

At the Daily Beast, he named five great novels about people losing their jobs. One title on the list:
The Ax
by Donald E. Westlake

After 25 years with the same paper company, Burke Devore lost his job following a merger. Two years later, he’s still looking for work and on the verge of desperation when the perfect position opens in New York. But 52-year-old middle managers aren’t especially sought-after, and so, in this dark and comic revenge fantasy, Devore decides to murder the other potential job candidates. Westlake’s straightedge humor keeps the unlikely plot running and a healthy dose of the mystery genre’s requisite plot twists and surprises keep the pages turning; the result is kind of like The Office meets Dexter. Westlake, the prolific author who died in 2008, wrote crisp, unassuming prose and reveals a CEO’s knack for streamlined efficiency himself by combining his protagonist and antagonist into a single position.
Read about the other novels on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue