Provocative, darkly amusing, and quirky as heck, this book highlights the absurdities of office life with aplomb.
Super smart and a little weird (in the best possible way), Several People are Typing comes served with a huge dollop of darkly quirky, smirky humour. This novel, which comes in at under 250 pages, is all written in the workplace chat function of the app Slack. Gerald is uploaded into the Slack while working on a spreadsheet, his pleas for help initially go unanswered by his work colleagues. We use Slack at LoveReading, but you really don’t need to be aware of it in order to ‘get’ this book, anyone who uses a workplace communications channel, apps or social media will just slide into this book and within a couple of pages feel right at home. Gerald and his colleagues could be anyone, anywhere, the little darts of jealousy, humour, support, showboating, flirting, and all the other emotions that highlight office life can be found on display. In terms of characters, Slackbot is a particular favourite of mine, the horror of the situation is deftly handled with humour by Calvin Kasulke. While office politics and shenanigans are front and foremost, I really enjoyed the relationship element sneaking in to stir things up. And it really did stir things up as it also poked a thought-provoking elbow into sexual consent. Several People are Typing is a fabulously ballsy read that edges along a tightrope between provocative and humour.
Is it still WFH when you're now just binary code?
Whilst working on a spreadsheet for a New York-based PR firm, Gerald has his consciousness uploaded into his company's Slack channel. He posts for help, but his colleagues assume it's an elaborate joke to exploit the new working-from-home policy, and now that Gerald's productivity is through the roof, his bosses are only too happy to let him work from . . . wherever he says he is.
Faced with the looming abyss of a disembodied life online, Gerald enlists co-worker Pradeep to care for his body and Slackbot, the service's AI assistant, to help him navigate his new digital reality. But when Slackbot discovers a world (and an empty body) outside the app, will it hijack a ride into the 'real' world? Meanwhile, Gerald's co-workers are scrambling to stem a company PR catastrophe like no other, their CEO suspects someone is sabotaging his office furniture, and if Gerald gets to work from home all the time, why can't everyone?
Hilarious, irreverent, and wholly original, Several People Are Typing is the perfect remedy for any idle fingers waiting to doomscroll: a satire of both the virtual office and contemporary life, and a perfect antidote to the way we live #now.
|Publication date:||9th September 2021|
|Publisher:||Hodder Studio an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division|
|Primary Genre||Science Fiction|
An absurd, hilarious romp through the haunted house of late-stage capitalism
A smooth and funny read that does something smartly original both with the form of the novel and the tropes of science fiction. Office-comedy meets Tron. Why doomscroll Twitter when you can blissscroll this book?
I loved Calvin Kasulke's debut novel. It wears weighty themes - surveillance and robot takeovers - so lightly and somehow manages to be touching and funny, as well as eerie and prescient.
A deadpan allegory for the autocorrect generation - less of a novel, more a full out-of-body experience.
An existential romp with a wicked sense of humor, Calvin Kasulke's debut novel is a Greek chorus of modern strife, a workplace of woebegone souls. It asks the important questions, like what it means to be a person, but also, what it means to be a gif. Several People Are Typing is a dirge for bureaucracy told by one of the funniest new writers @here.
Several People Are Typing is the first novel I've read that feels written of, about, and inside the internet. With cursed spreadsheets, pregnant lizards, backchannel smack-talk, :dusty_sticks:, and the creepiest gifs in American literature, Calvin Kasulke doesn't just commit to the bit; the bit commits to him. If you've ever felt imprisoned by work, the internet, or your mortal body, buy this book twice
A brilliant, laugh-out-loud funny slice of unglued genius about the triumphs and tyranny of the online workplace. Deliciously weird and wonderfully real, Several People Are Typing is a must-read for anyone who's ever suspected that the people on the other side of the screen are not all there -- Max Barry
Sharp and inventive. A virtual identity crisis in alt-book form
A unique cross between The Office, William Gibson and HP Lovecraft. Surreal and absurd, whilst also being an acute satire on workplace politics and our increasingly unhealthy relationship to online life and WFH culture.