In Rachel Cusk's first two novels - this and Saving Agnes - she is hell-bent on charting the unglamorous, depressing eking out of a living in London's 20-something temporary job market. Her characters are unsympathetic, caught in an unpleasant world not of their making. But the accuracy with which Cusk describes atmosphere and feeling lifts this from being hard work into being a very human account of the metro bulot dodo lifestyle that today's job market has become.
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