Not To Mention a Nice Life

Sean Murphy

Byron is a poet. And he knows it. The problem is, he's unable to make art out of the mess he has made of his life.

The more Byron drinks, the more money he makes. If he can keep up this pace, he might enable his embattled company to stay in the black. Maybe if he doubles down, all those stock options will split, reconcile and multiply. This is his story and he's stuck to it.

Byron is a real piece of work in progress: old enough to own his own condo and pay all his bills most of the time; young enough to be unmarried but understand he is not getting any younger. Byron would love to mix things up and instigate some excitement into his own humble narrative. Unfortunately, a fight scene is not feasible, a car chase is getting too carried away, and a love interest appears to be out of the question. Also, he has to be awake and ready to work in the morning, just like everyone else.

A recovering bartender, Byron struggled to escape the self-destructive restaurant business, but finds that the drinking and drugging of the corporate world are more pervasive--and encouraged--than he could ever have imagined. He finds himself unprepared for life after thirty, and ambivalent about the semi-fortune his stock options might eventually yield. Then, when a rumor circulates that a devastating round of layoffs is scheduled to occur just before Christmas, Byron begins to envision where he'll be when something approximating reality comes crashing down.

Not to Mention a Nice Life examines corporate America during the not-so-quiet storm that preceded the historic economic meltdown of 2008. A literary expansion on "Office Space," this novel provides an answer to a question not enough people have asked: What happened to Holden Caulfield when he grew up? He got a job.

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