Sunday, October 23, 2011
Book twenty five: Fear and Trembling by Amelie Nothomb
As she tries to make her way in the corporation, Amelie makes mistake after mistake. But only because the demands of Japanese corporate culture are so impossible to navigate. Soon, she's upset just about everyone including a tyrannical boss and her female Japanese supervisor. The result? She's assigned to evermore menial and degrading office tasks.
The book's horrific tales of corporate cruelty are tempered with brilliant bits of humor. The story provides lots of interesting insight into why it's hard for foreigners to feel completely welcome in Japan, even when the entire country is so polite to outsiders. Sometimes the madcap antics of the book cross the line into absurdity, and not always in a good way. But Nothomb's crisp writing help make this super-short story a decent read.