Book Review: The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips

Josephine and her husband, Joseph, have recently moved into a metropolitan area. Joseph has been working for about a month now, but Josephine hasn’t had much luck.

As we meet her, she’s interviewing for a low level position in a large organization. Her interviewer asks her strange and personal questions about her life. She cannot tell what her interviewer looks like, cannot even tell if they are a man or a woman. All Josephine sees is a large pair of glasses; the smell on the other hand, gives this character the moniker of Person with Bad Breath. Her awkward interview turns into an awkward offer and she rushes home to tell Joseph the good news.

She didn’t have to make it all the way home before she saw Joseph… on the futon… on the sidewalk…along with all of their possessions. Joseph and Josephine spend the rest of the book hopping from sublet to sublet. Josephine starts her new job, shortly after Joseph becomes more distant…

Ok, I’m doing an awful job explaining this book. Yes, the plot is simple, but it’s the writing that’s amazing. Phillip's writing is what would you expect of George Orwell. It was near-impossible to put down this book, I devoured it in two days. The author does such an amazing job of explain the soul-sucking business world that we deal with, that it’s haunting and uncomfortable.

This is a must-read.

Favorite Quote:

“A toast. To bureaucrats with boring office jobs. May we never discuss them at home.”

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