Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Job by Craig Davis

The JobActually, the full title is: The Job: Based on a True Story (I Mean, This is Bound to have Happened Somewhere). Quite simply, this is modern update to the Biblical story of Job, though with more humor and far less death.

Joe B. is a vice-president at Universal Whirligig. He has enjoyed a successful career and a happy marriage, and has three loving daughters. Unfortunately, his success and dedication to the Big Boss has earned him the ire of Luci Fernandez, the HR Executive Officer in Charge of Outgoing Prescription Drug Claims Oversight. During a high level meeting, Luci makes the claim that Joe B. has been filing fraudulent claims. The Big Boss lets Luci mete out the punishment and is allowed to do anything short of firing Joe B. Our hero winds up being demoted to the mailroom where Luci hopes that he will become so demoralized that he'll quit.

Joe B. spends the rest of the novella trying to figure out why he has been demoted and how he can get back in the Big Boss's good graces.

Mr. Davis utilizes humor to tell the story of Joe B.'s troubles. And while it isn't laugh out loud funny, if one visualizes the physical comedy that Davis has composed, it's certain to produce several smiles. I could see Jim Carrey trying to pull off the role of Joe B. in the movie version.

While I found characterization to be a bit thin, I realize that the characters are here to support the story. Still, Davis does a great job with introducing us to Joe B. and Luci. After the intros, Luci disappears (a waste) and Joe B. becomes obsessive in his search for answers. In conversations with others who offer their advice to his plight, he falls back on sarcasm when he doesn't like what he hears. His best moment comes when he's taking care of his daughter Marie, who is sick with cerebral palsy. It is here that he's able to set aside everything else and focus on the one thing that matters.

In summary, Craig Davis skewers office politics and business bureaucracy for comedic effect to re-tell the grim story of Job. At times, the story is clever and cute, but it might've been better had Davis been less faithful to the original and more true to himself.

The Job is available in print from Amazon and several eBook formats via Smashwords.

1 comment:

Craig said...

Just like everyone to know I've cut the prices to all my ebooks to 99¢. The new prices may take a while to show up in the Kindle and Nook stores, but they're in place at Smashwords. Please give them a look!