Joe is a salesman who couldn't sell encyclopedias, and then couldn't sell vacuum cleaners, and then was inspired by his lonely masturbation fantasies to come up with the lightning rods idea. It was a hit.
Audiobook narrator Dushko Petrovich [Dreamscape Media: 7.5 hours] delivers this audacious literary satire in a perfect deadpan. DeWitt has a great ear for language and the close third-person voice makes Joe very real.
"'Oh, you have the Encyclopaedia Britannica!' exclaimed Lucille.
As a former rep Joe had been able to get himself a good deal. It was a lot of money, but then you never know when you're going to need to look something up -- if you have a crazy schedule, you could do worse than just have a Britannica in the home. The Internet is a wonderful thing, but it multiplies a millionfold the dual hazards of creative reportage and fantasy enhancement; if you need the straight poop on some area of research which you have over-hastily sketched in for a client, the Britannica, with its team of accredited experts, will give you a wealth of bibliographical citations not easily refuted by casual recourse to the wackos at Wikipedia. In this type of eventuality focus is all-important; the apparent saving represented by an online subscription or CD, with the attendant opportunities for XXXX-rated distraction, may too easily prove a false economy."
It's edgy and thoughtful and funny and I loved it.
Readalikes: Worst. Person. Ever. (Douglas Coupland); The Blondes (Emily Schultz).