Synopses & Reviews
Overqualified's cover letters are like a slap in the face, but the slap is hilarious, and you can't stop laughing, and as soon as it's over you want to tell all your friends about the slap. You know the kind? Ryan North, Dinosaur Comics "Joey Comeau's Overqualified is Judy Blumes Are You There God? Its Me, Margaret as chewed up and spit out by J. G. Ballard. . . . A book whose melancholy is leavened by a surprising hilarity.” Paul Di Filippo, author of The Steampunk Trilogy and Cosmocopia Cover letters are all the same. They're useless. You write the same lies over and over again, listing the store-bought parts of yourself that you respect the least. God knows how they tell anyone apart, but this is how it's done. And then one day a car comes out of nowhere, and suddenly everything changes and you don't know if he'll ever wake up. You get out of bed in the morning, and when you sit down to write another paint-by-numbers cover letter, something entirely different comes out. You start threatening instead of begging. You tell impolite jokes. You talk about your childhood and your sexual fantasies. You sign your real name and you put yourself honestly into letter after letter and there is no way you are ever going to get this job. Not with a letter like this. And you send it anyway.
"Each letter rapidly digresses into something more akin to a diary entry than a professional missive. There is speculation as to humanity's future, reminiscences from the narrator's childhood, confessions of vulnerability and of sexual desire, all punctuated by vitriolic humour and unsettling instances of violence. There is much frustration in these lettersborn of capitalism's absurdities and of personal calamitiesbut there is also humor, compassion, and joy." Quill & Quire
Told entirely through job application letters, this starkly humorous story follows Joey as he halfheartedly looks for a job. With his younger brother Adrian in the hospital after being hit by a drunk driver, Joey cant seem to muster up the energy or focus to properly market his prior work experience. While writing cover letter after cover letter, using all of the right marketing buzzwords, something in Joey snapsthe letters become less about gaining employment and more about emotional release. Anecdotes about his childhood, his hopes and fears, his girlfriend, and his family's response to Adrians hospitalization fill the space meant for education, references, and applicable skills.
About the Author
"There have been spoof letter-writing books in the past, like The Lazlo Letters
by Don Novello (a.k.a. Father Guido Sarducci) and several that followed. While [this] protagonist in is just as unhinged as his predecessors, he's significantly less giddy. A real story unfolds in these pages, about a departed brother and the sibling left behind. It's sad and fragmented and, in places, funny. This slender epistolary novel is charming." Los Angeles Times
Jacket Copy online
"Unlike anything you've ever read. Each of Joey Comeau’s letters comments, sometimes subtley, sometimes not, on the emptiness of the system . . . while it simultaneously reveals the humor, beauty, and pain that is all else in life." About.com
"A sometimes-hilarious, sometimes-crushingly sad romp through a man’s swelling nihilism and disenchantment. MonstersAndCritics.com"A collection of wry, clever and demoniacal job-application letters, teeming with knife-edged malice and stomach-tearing hilarity . . . Successfully deludes the fear of the faceless corporate entity by empowering the faceless applicant." Globe and Mail"Joey Comeau's collection of real cover letters, Overqualified, is pretty much sui generis. Not to mention sweetly written, bitter and bitterly funny . . . One of the season's most remarkable books." Macleans.ca"Overqualified's cover letters are like a slap in the face, but the slap is hilarious, and you can't stop laughing, and as soon as it's over you want to tell all your friends about the slap. You know the kind?" Ryan North, Dinosaur Comics
"Joey Comeau's Overqualified is Judy Blume's Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret as chewed up and spit out by J. G. Ballard. . . . A book whose melancholy is leavened by a surprising hilarity." Paul Di Filippo, author, The Steampunk Triology and Cosmocopia
"Joey Comeau has made the unreadable not just readable, but beguiling in its digressions and personal revelations." Eye Magazine