The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips

BLOG“The person who interviewed her had no face.  Under other circumstances – if the job market hadn’t been so bleak for so long, if the summer hadn’t been so glum and muggy – this might have discouraged Josephine from stepping through the door of that office in the first place.  But as things were, her initial thought was: Oh, perfect, the interviewer’s appearance probably deterred other applicants!”  

Josephine has gone through a difficult period of unemployment and hopelessness.  The big move to the city was meant to be an exciting new start for her and her husband, but it proves to be more of a challenge than anything.  So when Josephine is hired as another bureaucrat entering an endless amount of numbers into something only known as “The Database,” she accepts it and sets aside the many unanswered questions.  But her new position and her husband’s increasingly odd behaviour begins to take its toll, leading to an unsettling discovery.

Intriguing indeed.  The Beautiful Bureaucrat has a surreal, almost dream-like feel to it.  It’s well written and quite odd, in a way that works.  I felt Josephine’s struggle and the blandness and desperation of her life.  There is nothing outside Josephine’s world that is explored, so we get immersed in her experience.  I wouldn’t consider this to be a thriller and it’s not a book that is action packed, rather it focuses more on the individual frustrations and emotions.  Many of the mysterious aspects of the book I found to be easily guessed before they occurred, however it was still interesting nonetheless.  If you enjoy a weird and off-beat story, The Beautiful Bureaucrat is just that.

Check out the book trailer for The Beautiful Bureaucrat here.

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