Why Are You So Sad?
January 28, 014
Plume Original (Penguin)
An interestingly slim novel about a man who seems to be surrounded by depressed people. Are they really depressed or is he reflecting his depression onto them? Is there a Depression Virus running rampant? He decides to quiz his workplace with survey questionnaires and this novel revolves around those questionnaires. As we all know, the workplace is filled with individualism and oddities. This definitely comes out in the questionnaires.
A quirky read.
Here's an interesting little promo Jason has going on right now:
Have we all sunken into a species-wide bout of clinical depression?
Porter’s uproarious, intelligent debut centers on Raymond Champs, an
illustrator of assembly manuals for a home furnishings corporation, who
is charged with a huge task: To determine whether or not the world needs
saving. It comes to him in the midst of a losing battle with insomnia —
everybody he knows, and maybe everybody on the planet, is suffering
from severe clinical depression. He’s nearly certain something has gone
wrong. A virus perhaps. It’s in the water, or it’s in the mosquitoes, or
maybe in the ranch flavored snack foods. And what if we are all too sad
and dispirited to do anything about it? Obsessed as he becomes, Raymond
composes an anonymous survey to submit to his unsuspecting coworkers —
“Are you who you want to be?”, “Do you believe in life after death?”,
“Is today better than yesterday?” — because what Raymond needs is data.
He needs to know if it can be proven. It’s a big responsibility. People
might not believe him. People, like his wife and his boss, might think
he is losing his mind. But only because they are also losing their
minds. Or are they?
Reminiscent of Gary Shteyngart, George
Saunders, Douglas Coupland and Jennifer Egan, Porter’s debut is an
acutely perceptive and sharply funny meditation on what makes people