INHUMAN RESOURCES by Pierre Lemaitre


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Stuck in crummy jobs four years after having been laid off as an HR manager at a costume jewelry store, Alain Delambre will do anything to improve his lot—including shamelessly exploiting his wife and grown daughters.

Thoughts of his dire job situation "put me in the mood for terrorism," says the increasingly unhinged 57-year-old Parisian, who bids adieu to his latest menial gig by head-butting his boss. His hopes are lifted when BLC, a global consulting firm to which he has applied for the position of HR assistant, names him a candidate. Delambre is so desperate that he's willing to take part in BLC's "role play exercise," in which Arab actors playing armed commandos seize top executives of the oil company Exxyal, a BLC client, for the purpose of assessing their behavior under "violent and sustained stress." Everything that could go wrong does, especially after Delambre, who learns he is only a token candidate for the HR job, starts shooting off a Beretta he's bought for the occasion. In prison, portraying himself as a victim of the systemic mistreatment of unemployed seniors, he writes a splashy newspaper article that leads to a book deal. The book's title, I Just Wanted a Job, perfectly captures Lemaitre's ability to find hilarity in the most despicable of characters.

Lemaitre (Three Days and a Life, 2017, etc.) takes his sardonic skills to new heights with this dark, loopy thriller, which portrays the modern workplace as the last place a displaced soul would ever want to be.

Pub Date: Nov. 6th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-63506-081-2
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: MacLehose Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2018


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