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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
There's not much more to say really, other than: if you are a fan of dark horrific fiction you should read this.
Published 3 months ago by AW Hendry

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nihilistic Corporate Horror
Thomas Ligotti is a writer who has attracted a lot of critical attention in recent times. A winner of both the Bram Stoker Award and International Horror Guild Award; he's also received lavish praise from such notables in the horror world as Ramsey Campbell and S.T. Joshi. My Work is Not Yet Done is my first reading of Ligotti, and I began with high expectations for this...
Published on 16 Jan 2011 by Bāki


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nihilistic Corporate Horror, 16 Jan 2011
By 
Bāki (London - UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Work Is Not Yet Done (Paperback)
Thomas Ligotti is a writer who has attracted a lot of critical attention in recent times. A winner of both the Bram Stoker Award and International Horror Guild Award; he's also received lavish praise from such notables in the horror world as Ramsey Campbell and S.T. Joshi. My Work is Not Yet Done is my first reading of Ligotti, and I began with high expectations for this short novel and two short stories on the theme of corporate horror.

First up is the titular story, a novella length tale narrated by Frank Dominio, a junior manager who finds himself first demoted and then sacked on apparently spurious grounds. In the lead up to this event, Frank perceives a number of his co-workers to form a cabal of conspirators plotting against him. When he is dismissed, he plans a final act of revenge against them. Then it appears a mysterious force comes to his aid, empowering him with the supernatural means to dispatch his enemies according to his darkest imaginings.

This story is very well written. Its cleverly conceived structure invites the reader on a journey in which seemingly mundane and innocuous events build in paranoid significance within the mind of the narrator. As well as laying the foundations for the events that follow, I found this build-up to be both insightful for its awareness of the petty displays of ego that often abound in such settings, and darkly humorous. Anybody who has ever felt trapped by the consuming banality of the corporate world, will, I'm sure, find much to empathise with. I certainly did. I most enjoyed this aspect of the tale, and indeed this is the part of the book which worked the best for me.

After Frank's dismissal, and beyond the point at which we see his initial plans for revenge, a shift occurs. Frank acquires the ability to manipulate people and circumstance according to his conception, which of course opens a whole new array of possibilities for exacting revenge on his erstwhile colleagues. Although he has acquired these powers, Frank has no idea where they've come from. Nor is he aware of the nature of his own condition. He also seemingly possesses some of the characteristic attributes of a ghost. As he carries out his acts of retribution, black spots increasingly cloud his vision, and gaps in his mind grow larger. At this point in the story I was intrigued. I wanted to know what force was behind Frank's newly acquired abilities. Unfortunately the dénouement when it came left me feeling unsatisfied.

Ligotti's work has been described as philosophical horror by some. On the basis of this book I can see why, his work is very clearly inspired by nihilistic themes. The bedrock for the horror in this story is the certainty of the meaningless void. The corporation is a perfect environment for highlighting pointless activity in pursuit of pointless objectives. On this level it works to an extent, but beyond this there is no great philosophical insight. When the explanation of what has happened to Frank occurs, I was left feeling more than a little incredulous. Ultimately it appeared to be a clumsy tool for making a somewhat obvious statement.

There is no doubt that Ligotti is a gifted writer. He has a narrative voice that is fresh and which feels authentic, but the horror elements and their nihilistic underpinnings did not work as well as they could for me. I find fear thrives in uncertainty. I do not see nihilism as a concept that on its own provides a strong enough basis for fear in fiction. I accept that for some it may do. It certainly seems as if Ligotti believes that it does, and all else in the book seems contrived to make that point. The two additional short stories featured here, further expand this idea to encompass the entire ethos of corporate ideology. Neither is as good as the first story.

The other problem I have with this work, is that there is little in the way of strong characterisation. What empathy I felt for Frank was situational; I dislike faceless corporations and their soul destroying babble too, but I didn't care for Frank, and the other characters were never revealed as anything other than caricatures of his perception. Often amusing, but not strong enough for me to give a damn about what happened to them.

Despite my disappointment in these areas, I did enjoy this novel for the most part, and I would happily read another of Ligotti's books. For those interested in horror, I think he has a distinctive voice that deserves to be heard. My Work is Not Yet Done is an entertaining read. Primarily, because it gives release to those feelings of hatred and despair that our everyday working lives can frequently induce, especially for those who feel trapped by circumstance. By taking repressed feelings to their most extreme conclusion, it indulges twisted urges to generally pleasing effect. It is also perceptive in its exploration of work based power plays and the ego derived foundations which give rise to them. Definitely worth a look, but don't believe all the hype.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not very scary, 30 Sep 2009
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I have seen Thomas Ligotti praised highly for his work. This is the only one of his stories I have read, so I may be judging the whole body of his work unfairly based on this on collection. To my mind he should not be mentioned alongside H P Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe, he just (for me) does not reach the same heights of horror. What Ligotti presents here may have made an entertaining episode of 'Tales from the Crypt', but as a book I was unimpressed and unmoved. No scares, no emotional connection with any of the characters, and none of the uncomfortable otherness of the works of Lovecraft and Poe.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 19 April 2014
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There's not much more to say really, other than: if you are a fan of dark horrific fiction you should read this.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 'horror' book, 23 Feb 2010
By 
J. Everington (Nottingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Work Is Not Yet Done (Paperback)
This is probably the best place for somoene new to Ligotti to start exploring his fiction. The book consists of one longer work (the title story) and two shorter tales. These are all on the theme of 'corporate horror' - the workplace in this book is a magnified, distorted version of the dog-eat-dog office politics of our real-world companies, with the entity of the corporation itself being the most horrific thing. In the title story, the central character obtains certain dark powers and uses them to extract revenge on his ex-colleagues.

From this description it is probably clear the Ligotti's work is way beyond simple, gore-soaked horror, and indeed the horror tag should be seen as merely the best fit available genre-wise, rather than an exact description. However he is certainly unique and writes well - fans of such inteligent horror authors as Ramsey Campbell and Robert Aickman will enjoy this, as well as those who admire the twisted worlds of Kafka.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Twisting the Mere Ordinary, 9 Sep 2013
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Highly recommended couple of stories to introduce new readers to the work of Mr Ligotti.

The main story 'My Work...' draws you into a form of everyday horror that many an office worker can easily relate to before switching to a more fantastical tale.

Ligotti's language is wonderful and sometimes almost lyrical and it has such as easy appeal that combined with stark and dramatic plots page turning becomes a must.

Wont say anything about the stories directly as enough has already been divulged in the blurb - just a recommendation to have a go even if the horror genre is not normally your thing, the artistry with which Ligotti weaves his tale(s) is enticing enough.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horror fan's must read ....., 18 Jan 2013
This review is from: My Work Is Not Yet Done (Paperback)
"I wanted to do things to Richard that would make the sun grow cold with horror."
And with that tag line I was hooked .... brilliantly bleak .. i feel assured to know that there are other people out there that can think up gruesome ways to dispose of nasty people ... a horror fan's must read ...
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My Work Is Not Yet Done
My Work Is Not Yet Done by Thomas Ligotti (Paperback - 5 Feb 2009)
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