by Helen DeWitt
Helen DeWitt’s follow-up to her critically accalimed debut novel The Last Samurai arrives with a bang, ready to take on the complex issues surrounding sexual tension in the workplace with a wicked dose of satire and humor.
Joe is a down-and-out salesman who spends most of his time sitting around his trailer in Florida fantasizing about women. But one afternoon a particularly strange fantasy turns into a life-changing epiphany. Suddenly he knows how to curtail sexual harassment in the office and increase productivity. His solution? Sexual lightning rods: women who, via a carefully constructed system of anonymity and strict protection, provide “sexual release” for alpha-male employees. As unlikely to succeed as it seems, Joe has finally found a product he can sell with boundless enthusiasm, and he simply refuses to fail, no matter what the obstacles. And of course he encounters quite a few of those on his rise through corporate America.
Lighting Rods is DeWitt at her finest, offering a mesmerizing blend of social commentary and jaw-dropping humor, all with a philosophic approach that takes modern storytelling into new realms of possibility.