Office Girl is One Mundane Bike Ride After Another

As I mentioned in a previous post, I picked up Office Girl by Joe Meno because one of the reviews said it had “hipster cred”. But my first impression of the book was that it was terribly slow.

There are lots of random bike rides through the city by the book’s two main characters, Odile and Jack. There’s also plenty of apathy during painfully boring office jobs (slow death by photocopying). But the story doesn’t really pick up until the two characters meet. That’s when you finally learn what makes the characters tick and some of their “guerilla art” antics are truly, truly genius.

The “F the man” message is loud and clear in Office Girl but I found the mental anguish of both characters to be pretty superficial. It reminded me of 30 Days of Summer without the charm, HBO’s Girls without the humour, Catcher in the Rye without Holden Caulfield.

Frankly, the characters seem completely hopeless until they meet and some kind of romance develops between them. Unfortunately, Meno kills off the romance right when you really start to care. I felt rather unfulfilled when the book ended — not unlike the main characters. Perhaps that’s what Meno intended.


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