Monday, February 02, 2009

Book Look: Resume with Monsters by William Browning Spencer

Book Look: Resume with Monsters by William Browning Spencer: If the name Cthulhu and the mythology behind it are unknown to you, much of this book will be lost on you. However, if you even have a passing familiarity with H.P. Lovecraft's horror classics you'll get a kick out of the exceedingly clever premise behind Resume with Monsters.

Philip Kennan is a loser who has been bounding from one dead end office job to another for decades and is now on the cusp of middle age. He's divorced. His girlfriend has dumped him. Horrible childhood memories of his father's descent into paranoid madness haunt him very deeply. All of this angst, along with whatever energy he can summon, gets hopelessly poured into a rambling, gargantuan novel based on Lovecraft's creations. Philip's problem is that he really believes in Cthulhu and the other unspeakable ancient monsters. They are the things responsible for all the horrors in his life from his Father's insanity to his wayward career. Our problem is that, as he describes the day to day happenings at his office jobs in Lovecraftian terms, we're not sure he's wrong.

The plot is b-movie stuff, and the ending is worse, but the premise and the view of contemporary activities as subtle forms of a prevailing demonic influence in the world keeps things interesting until the plot needs to be resolved. The prose is straightforward with occasional plunges into horror stylings. Nicely done. A good escapist read for the most part. Think of it as Office Space meets Stephen King.