I would recommend this to a friend who is a David Foster Wallace fan. I think something would be lost without coming to this without having read DFW.
I've got to say that it was great to have a voyeuristic peek into DFW's life. Sure, it's much more than that - but the sense you got from a DFW essay of knowing him - this delivers the same dope.
The highest praise I have for a narrator - any narrator - is that they are not annoying. Mike and Danny are not annoying.
No - akin to a DFW work, there's just too much to take in for an "all in one sitting" thing.
This is a fantastic collection - and narrated by the Man himself pushes it over the edge of good into a "must listen".
It's disappointingly "abridged" - that's all the negative I've got to say.
Yes - I listened to "This is Water" and I saw him read live at a Barnes and Noble in NYC in the late 90s.
How does this compare? It's good. Very good.
Flipside Fairy Tale
Shirley Jackson is an amazing yarn-spinner - her deliberate slow display of telling details and wonderful way of evoking an atmosphere is unparalleled.
Merricat - the first person narrator of the story - Bernadette Dunne does an amazing job!
No - I wanted to stretch out the enjoyment!
"The higher up you go, the more mistakes you are allowed. Right at the top, if you make enough of them, it's considered to be your style." - Fred Astaire
For everyone who has not - yet! - achieved the freedom granted by arriving at the career apex Astaire refers to above, Dexter Hawk offers a short, though not particularly sweet, book that challenges a job candidate to look at the interview process primarily through the employer perspective.
Taking a tone that, for the most part, stops just short of annoying know-it-all and skewing towards a corporate "swimming with sharks" mentality, the book models recommended responses to standard interview questions, followed by a brief rationale for this response.
While I initially found this fairly off-putting - the overall result is far from subtle and you will find no "do you what you love" call to introspection here - in the end I found this astringent approach to be the book's greatest asset.
In my experience, the process of looking for a job tends to steer an individual towards the mindset of an actor starring in an off-Broadway one-person melodrama -- veering here and there, darting about on sudden pivots and chock full of artificially imposed highs and lows paired with improbable plot twists -- resulting in an overstuffed theater of the mind frantically dancing the "Do they want me? Do I want them?" tango.
Here, it is all too easy to get wrapped up in the idea of how best to present one's own personal story to the best advantage of the moment... for example - - "How will I explain gap X in my employment?" and obsess on these types of things - to one's own detriment.
Dexter Hawk's bracing tonic of a book clears out these cobwebs from the head with a quickness!
He reminds us that the interview is not all about "me" per se - on the most base level, it's about the employer looking for someone to fill a position, being able to tick off boxes on a clipboard, and see who best fits their profile, ASAP.
Advocating an essentially conservative approach, the overall message is to play it "the company way". (Whether or not you agree with this approach is another matter - this book is about how to *get* the job, not how to succeed in / be fulfilled by / or otherwise deal with the job once you've got it.)
So while neither warm nor fuzzy, Hawk's approach fits the task at hand - his assessment of typical contemporary hiring processes, while painted with a broad brush, are accurate - and his recommendations should at the least be considered, if only to serve as a "jumping off point" to formulate your own response . For that reason alone, the book delivers valuable information.
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