Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Fiction Tuesday - Office Girl

This has to be one of my favorite books this past year!

BOOK DESCRIPTION: No one dies in Office Girl. Nobody talks about the international political situation. There is no mention of any economic collapse. Nothing takes place during a World War.

Instead, this novel is about young people doing interesting things in the final moments of the last century. Odile is a lovely twenty-three-year-old art-school dropout, a minor vandal, and a hopeless dreamer. Jack is a twenty-five-year-old shirker who's most happy capturing the endless noises of the city on his out-of-date tape recorder. Together they decide to start their own art movement in defiance of a contemporary culture made dull by both the tedious and the obvious. Set in February 1999—just before the end of one world and the beginning of another—Office Girl is the story of two people caught between the uncertainty of their futures and the all-too-brief moments of modern life.

Joe Meno's latest novel also features black-and-white illustrations by renowned artist Cody Hudson and photographs by visionary photographer Todd Baxter!

everything joe meno writes sounds like a belle and sebastian lyric.-B

And so he stares for an hour or so at all her notes, at the poorly sketched drawings for an art movement that has now come to an end, and realizes how there are all these moments, moments like just this one, there are all these moments, and how everyone lives their lives in these short, all-too-short moments. There are all these moments and what’s so interesting, what makes them beautiful, is the fact that none of them last.
Joe Meno
Ksenia Solo would make the perfect Odile! “And this is what makes her so mad as she’s riding home from work that night. The realization that, after all, she knows she is nothing special, not to anyone but herself, and does that even count?
Joe Meno in Office Girl

“Best 100 Books of 2012”
--Kirkus Reviews

HIPSTER HIPSTER HIPSTER but so heart-breakingly good.-grumbleberries

Kit Harrington as Jack. Someone earthy, yet wonders if he'll ever find his way in life, only to find that he really is a people person after all.

"In this geeky-elegant novel, Meno transforms wintery Chicago into a wondrous crystallization of countless dreams and tragedies, while telling the stories of two derailed young artists, two wounded souls, in cinematic vignettes that range from lushly atmospheric visions to crack-shot volleys of poignant and funny dialogue."
--Kansas City Star

Odile hates people and yet she's the best big sister. It takes a while in the story for Jack to meet Odile, but I love Meno's character study of Odile. 

Office Girl is a love story on bikes. It’s about the aimlessness of late twenty-somethings living in the Twin Cities (or was it Chicago?) trying to find companionship and a place in the world. Odile’s and Jack’s stories are all twisted up in crippling loneliness and the off-beat funny of a boy who records the sounds of buildings and a girl who tags up the city with a silver paint sharpie. Yeah.-grumbleberries

"Meno supplies an off-kilter, slightly inappropriate answer to the Hollywood rom-com. Meno is a deft writer. The dialogue in Office Girl is often funny, the pacing quirky, and some of its quick, affecting similes remind me of Lorrie Moore."
--Chicago Reader 



Paulina said...

Happy New Year !:)

caitlin and megan said...

I just can't imagine riding a bike in the dead of winter in snow..but somehow Meno makes it work. I loved his characters.

Cafe Fashionista said...

Ooh, this sounds like such an interesting, adorable book. I want to check it out! :)

Sara Gerard said...

I really like the sound of this book!