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Lightning Rods

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Lightning Rods Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The long-awaited second novel by the author of “arguably the most exciting debut novel of the decade: The Last Samurai.” (Sam Anderson, New York).“All I want is to be a success. That’s all I ask.” Joe fails to sell a single set of the Encyclopedia Britannica in six months. Then fails to sell a single Electrolux and must eat 126 pieces of homemade pie, served up by his would-be customers who feel sorry for him. Holed up in his trailer, Joe finds an outlet for his frustrations in a series of ingenious sexual fantasies, and at last strikes gold. His brainstorm, Lightning Rods, Inc., will take Joe to the very top — and to the very heart of corporate insanity — with an outrageous solution to the spectre of sexual harassment in the modern office.

An uproarious, hard-boiled modern fable of corporate life, sex, and race in America, Helen DeWitt’s Lightning Rods brims with the satiric energy of Nathanael West and the philosophic import of an Aristophanic comedy of ideas. Her wild yarn is second cousin to the spirit of Mel Brooks and the hilarious reality-blurring of Being John Malkovich. Dewitt continues to take the novel into new realms of storytelling — as the timeliness of Lightning Rods crosses over into timelessness.

Review:

"A vacuum-cleaner salesman hits on a tasteless business plan to allow working men a sexual release at the office in this perversely surreal second novel by Dewitt (The Last Samurai). Joe doesn't have what it takes to sell Electrolux in Eureka, Fla., but inspiration strikes in the form of a sexual fantasy involving bottomless women viewed through a hole in a wall. Since Joe believes that human nature can't be contained, even in an office, he establishes a startup that offers to establish a monetized glory hole in any office, wherein a secretarial pool of 'lightning rods' have anonymous sex through the wall of an office's disabled bathroom. Lightning rods are carefully selected, well paid, protected from discovery and abuse; their services offer a useful 'release for any pent-up physical needs,' boost performance, and suppress absenteeism, and allow Joe to sidestep issues of sexual harassment. Joe secures several top-drawer morally expedient and aspirational 'gals' like Lucille, later a successful litigation lawyer, and future Supreme Court Justice Renee, and finds his innovative employment agency taking off in a big way. Dewitt's parody of the corporate model is so resolutely poker-faced and mirthless that it simply feels deadly." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

After failing to succeed as a salesman, Joe finally finds a product he can sell and refuses to fail regardless of the obstacles in his way.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780811219525
Publisher:
New Directions
Subject:
main_subject
Author:
DeWitt, Helen
Subject:
all_subjects
Subject:
Fiction : Literary
Publication Date:
October 2011
Binding:
eBooks
Language:
English

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Satire

Lightning Rods
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details pages New Directions - English 9780811219525 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A vacuum-cleaner salesman hits on a tasteless business plan to allow working men a sexual release at the office in this perversely surreal second novel by Dewitt (The Last Samurai). Joe doesn't have what it takes to sell Electrolux in Eureka, Fla., but inspiration strikes in the form of a sexual fantasy involving bottomless women viewed through a hole in a wall. Since Joe believes that human nature can't be contained, even in an office, he establishes a startup that offers to establish a monetized glory hole in any office, wherein a secretarial pool of 'lightning rods' have anonymous sex through the wall of an office's disabled bathroom. Lightning rods are carefully selected, well paid, protected from discovery and abuse; their services offer a useful 'release for any pent-up physical needs,' boost performance, and suppress absenteeism, and allow Joe to sidestep issues of sexual harassment. Joe secures several top-drawer morally expedient and aspirational 'gals' like Lucille, later a successful litigation lawyer, and future Supreme Court Justice Renee, and finds his innovative employment agency taking off in a big way. Dewitt's parody of the corporate model is so resolutely poker-faced and mirthless that it simply feels deadly." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , After failing to succeed as a salesman, Joe finally finds a product he can sell and refuses to fail regardless of the obstacles in his way.
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