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Office Girl [Paperback]

Joe Meno
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

8 Feb 2012
Set in 1999 - just before the end of one world and the beginning of another - Office Girl is the story of two youths caught between the uncertainty of their futures and the all-too-brief moments of modern life. Odile is a lovely 23 year-old art-school dropout, a minor vandal, and a hopeless dreamer. Jack is a 25 year-old shirker who's most happy capturing the endless noises of the city on his out-of-date tape recorder.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.

Product details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: AKASHIC BOOKS (8 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 161775076X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617750762
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 13.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,447,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Cute, Amelie-esque tale of lost 20-somethings 19 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I do like a book with a pink cover, it must be said. Joe Meno's Office Girl is a cute read that you can finish in a couple of days, and it follows the meeting of Odile and Jack, both disillusioned art school graduates (or not quite, in Odile's case), when they both end up working night shifts at an office that sells muzac to companies. Odile is reeling from an affair with a married man and Jack has just become a 26-year-old divorcee.

Odile has a notebook full of ideas such as 'dress up as a ghost on a public bus' and Jack has an apartment full of boxes of tapes of things he's recorded, such as the sound of snow or a balloon floating away. Together they start a quiet art revolution and tentatively fall in love. It's illustrated with photographs and little doodles reflecting the story.

I was torn between giving it three and four stars because I did quite like it, but at the same time felt it didn't match up to the things it reminded me of, such as Amelie, or Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (which also has a pink cover - read it!), and I didn't feel quite inspired by their art revolution - none of the ideas filled me with the same joy or wonder as, say, Amelie and the gnome she posts around the world. But it is nicely written and both Jack and Odile are interestingly observed, if perhaps a little too self-consciously quirky. I think if you like stories of aimless twenty-somethings who ride bicycles, then you'd like it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  30 reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brief, satisfying summer read 1 July 2012
By Devin Kani - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a fine book, one that also happens to be screaming to be a quirky, sparsely distributed indie film. Done right, that movie could have a cult following; if not, everyone would complain that the movie's not nearly as good as the book, and for good reason: it's tightly written, with few flourishes and no extraneous themes.

Office Girl is about Odile and Jack. Both are twenty-somethings who attended art school but were dead-ended in meaningless jobs; Odile is sleeping with a married man, while Jack's wife is leaving the country and their newly-minted marriage. When they meet during the Chicago blizzard of 1999, they have a lot in common, especially that they need each other. In the pages that follow, Meno's characters explore nostalgia, expression, and pop culture and discover strength they didn't previously know about. Even though you've probably met the essence of these characters before, Meno's character development makes this brief but satisfying read recommended for a summer reading list.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't get through this one 11 Dec 2012
By ThrillaYZ - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I feel like this is a book for hipster teeny boppers. I couldn't read past a few chapters.
I'm sure this will make a great gift for a young angsty teen.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Alternately Irritating and Entertaining 28 Jan 2013
By kcuccia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ehhh. After finishing this book yesterday I spent a while trying to figure out why I alternated between liking bits of it and being totally irritated by most of it. I liked the idea that life is really about the small moments we experience or create, but was totally annoyed by the characters. Neither Jack nor Odile was particularly likeable or original. They both seemed to act much too young for their age and neither seemed quite believable - they both felt too much like a sterotypical hipster. Their angst was pretty cliched. The writing was blah with a few good bits. The emphasis on color was interesting if you paid attention to it. The illustrations and photos were an interesting idea and sometimes quite entertaining, but it all seemed to be trying a little too hard to be clever. I enjoyed the little acts of art terrorism, but wasn't really moved by it, but rather admired the ideas from a distance. You never really get close to feeling anything real in this book - it's a pretty quick, superficial read
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky, Original, Fresh Love Story 14 July 2012
By D. Crowell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
While this book is not for everyone, if you are looking for something inventive and fresh, it is well worth the read. Readers who enjoyed Visit from the Goon Squad, will enjoy this novel as well for the same quality of freshness among its characters. This novel is for those who admire creativity, taking chances, breaking the traditional novelistic structure, excellent characterization. and living metaphors and descriptions. This book is not for traditional literary readers but rather for the avant garde literary reader open to "taking chances." I enjoyed this book immensely and will not forget it soon. Yes, it is indie, yes it is calling out to be made into a film by the right film-maker, and yes, I will see it but not expect the film industry to capture the magic of the original. Great book to take to the beach, but also a good book to stoke creativity if you are also an artist or writer.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 3 July 2014
By Kathleen DesHotel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Cute coming of age story about quirky, interesting people.
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