We Need Diverse Ya Sale

Wednesday, May 12th, 2004


Kings of Infinite Space: A Novel

by James Hynes

Life at Work

A review by Adrienne Miller

Paul Trilby's life couldn't really get any more pathetic. Once an on-the-rise academic (he was a finalist for a Guggenheim! he keeps reminding everybody, he was a Fulbright runner-up!) he is now a lowly office temp worker for the Texas Department of General Services (the horrid TxDoGS), a luckless driver of a "farting" Colt, and a dater of a mailroom worker who seems to prefer the Norton Anthology to him. To add insult to injury, Paul is being haunted by the ghost of his ex-wife's dead cat. And for good reason: He murdered the cat, Charlotte, although his memory is "deliberately vague about the reasons for his murderous rage at the cat, but he did remember that he was responsible for her death by drowning in his bathtub." Charlotte's ghost does bad things to Paul's pitiful, loserish apartment (which "reeked relentlessly of cat pee"). Then she moves onto his office, where she causes much bigger trouble. Eventually Paul finds himself doing business with zombies. This macabre, funny, and very twisted satire of office life displays James Hynes (the author of Publish and Perish) as a wonderfully eccentric and entirely original writer.

Click here to subscribeSubscribe to Esquire and Save 75%

Get 12 fantastic issues of Esquire magazine for only $8. The best culture, entertainment, style, financial advice, women and more delivered right to your door every month ? at an incredible 81% savings off the newsstand price! What could be better... or easier?

Click here to subscribe now!

  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.