Sunday, January 17, 2010

Overqualified by Joey Comeau

Dear Reader,
I am thrilled to have the opportunity to tell you about this book.
Okay, I can't really keep that up for an entire post.

Joey is looking for a job. He has lots of ideas of things that he'd be good at, so he writes to the company, telling them exactly why they should hire him. As he writes, he ends up sharing much more than his life than just his qualifications. He talks about his brother, his girlfriend, his relationship with his parents and grandparents, his self-identity, and his Metis status, among many other things.

The other day I had two separate conversations with people at work: one was about people who are so stressed or unable to process their life that they unload on (virtual) strangers, and one about how well you get to know the people you work with, just by anecdotal stories. This book takes those two conversations and plays with them. I knew more about Joey ("Joey?" I don't know how autobiographical this work is, or if it's a writer named Joey Comeau writing about a character named Joey) after eighty-some pages than a character in a book three times the size.

I started this book by being amused by it. There was something funny about the ballsy-ness of this guy, writing companies up, putting it all out there. Then, suddenly, it wasn't funny anymore. It was sad, desperate, a cry for something: attention? help? understanding? a future? All of those things? I wanted to reach out to Joey, at the same time very aware that he's a person that I might just be walking by every day.

This is an 'adult' book, but I think it might be accessible for teens looking for something a little offbeat, something a little different, or something under a hundred pages long.

Find it at Amazon.

Read it with:
A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder by James De Mille
The Emily Valentine Poems by Zoe Whittall
PostSecret by Frank Warren

I got this book: from my library.

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