5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Falling below expectations.,
This review is from: Falling Sideways (Paperback)
Expecting this to be a sharp story about internecine office politics, the reader instead gets an odd bric-a-brac of a book. Ostensibly, the story is about a Copenhagen corporation known as the Tank which is forced to downsize and the impact the restructuring has on the lives of the characters and their families.
In the opening chapters, we visit each of the key protagonists as they rise in the morning and prepare to face the day. The author, Thomas E. Kennedy, is a sixty-something American who has lived in Denmark for decades; ditto the main character, Frederick Braithwaite. Braithwaite is a high-earning company man who finds himself facing an uncertain future and peering into the past with an increasingly melancholy eye. Other characters come straight from the box marked `clichéd office personnel' and include a ruthless CEO, a sex-mad subordinate, an unhappy female executive as well as various alienated offspring. These people are impossible to warm to and the author fails to make us care about what happens to them.
Sometimes there is an uncomfortable linguistic clash and the awkward insertion of a word translated. The author uses a great many adjectives and a great deal of unpleasant language. All this became wearing though one could live with it. But Kennedy's occasional forays into the bulky (or otherwise) contents of the characters' toilet bowls were not so easy to stomach and I'm afraid to say the book fell sideways before the end.
I should also point out to prospective readers that the type in this paperback edition is very small.
Two memorable and highly recommended alternative reads around the theme of office politics are Then We Came to the End: A Novel by Joshua Ferris and Bombardiers by Po Bronson.