Saturday, December 10, 2005
51. Human Resources by Floyd Kemske
A random grab at the library, Human Resources is about a middle manager whose company undergoes a re-engineering by a vampire. It's an interesting concept and the author is interested both in the history and character of the vampire and by the nature of the modern corporation. It was the latter aspect that most appealed to me (and I see from his publisher's website that these themes are central to Kemske's other books as well). Unfortunately, it was all too surreal and didn't really go beyond looking at how the changes affected the psyche of the middle manager. A lot of the dialogue was very stilted, to the point that I thought it might have been translated from another language. Part of it might be that I just emerged from the depths of Middlemarch and part might be that Kemske is deliberately trying to write a fable, but I still found it off-putting. The main character was also excessively naive and clueless. I don't necessarily expect him to believe his company is being taken over by a vampire, but when your workmates are acting like zombies and their clothes smell bad, you're going to say something. I think this idea could have been done much more subtly to a more interesting end. I may give some of his other books at least a skim through because he is at least looking at the modern nature of work critically and interestingly. It's the delivery that seems to be the problem.