Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Consultant by Bentley Little

CompWare is in serious trouble after a promised merger falls through, so they do what other businesses have done to bolster their public image: they hire a consulting firm to review and streamline their business practices.

But there's something strange about the firm they hire--more specifically, the quirky gentleman who arrives to supervise the project: Mr. Patoff, tall and thin and wearing a bow tie, and with an odd smile that never quite reaches his eyes.

In his first interactions, the consultant asks a few inappropriate questions, and generally seems a nuisance. Over time, Patoff gains more power, to the point where he seems to be running the whole company. He enacts arbitrary and invasive changes to office protocol. He places cameras all over the building, making workers paranoid; he calls employees at all hours of the night, visits some of their homes and menaces their families.

People who defy the consultant get fired… or worse.

They soon realize they're not just fighting for their jobs: They're fighting for their lives.

The Consultant is a biting workplace satire, with the horrific touches only Bentley Little could provide.

In the same vein as his previous novels The Store, The Policy, The Resort etc  Bentley Little paints a horrifying (yet satirically comedic) picture of big business as an evil entity. While I did mostly enjoy this story, as a long time fan of the author I can't help but notice I'm starting to feel that he is basically writing the same book over and over. He has a formula and he sticks to it. Because of that, if you have read his previous works you may find this one a bit predictable.

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