Not to Mention a Nice Life: A Novel

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9780989880510: Not to Mention a Nice Life: A Novel
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Byron is a poet. And he knows it. The problem is, he's unable to make art out of the mess he has made of his life.

The more Byron drinks, the more money he makes. If he can keep up this pace, he might enable his embattled company to stay in the black. Maybe if he doubles down, all those stock options will split, reconcile and multiply. This is his story and he's stuck to it.  

Byron is a real piece of work in progress: old enough to own his own condo and pay all his bills most of the time; young enough to be unmarried but understand he is not getting any younger. Byron would love to mix things up and instigate some excitement into his own humble narrative. Unfortunately, a fight scene is not feasible, a car chase is getting too carried away, and a love interest appears to be out of the question. Also, he has to be awake and ready to work in the morning, just like everyone else.  

A recovering bartender, Byron struggled to escape the self-destructive restaurant business, but finds that the drinking and drugging of the corporate world are more pervasive--and encouraged--than he could ever have imagined. He finds himself unprepared for life after thirty, and ambivalent about the semi-fortune his stock options might eventually yield. Then, when a rumor circulates that a devastating round of layoffs is scheduled to occur just before Christmas, Byron begins to envision where he'll be when something approximating reality comes crashing down.  

Not to Mention a Nice Life examines corporate America during the not-so-quiet storm that preceded the historic economic meltdown of 2008. A literary expansion on "Office Space," this novel provides an answer to a question not enough people have asked: What happened to Holden Caulfield when he grew up? He got a job.

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About the Author:

Sean Murphy has been publishing fiction, reviews (of music, movie, book, food), and essays on the technology industry for almost twenty years. He has appeared on NPR's "All Things Considered" and been quoted in USA Today, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Forbes and AdAge. In addition, he is an associate editor at The Weeklings, where he contributes a monthly column. He writes regularly for PopMatters, and his work has also appeared in Punchnel's, The Village Voice, The Good Men Project, All About Jazz, AlterNet, Web Del Sol, Elephant Journal and Northern Virginia Magazine. He is the recipient of a Noepe Center for Literary Arts Writer Residency.

Review:

"The world of work, life, and love changed seismically in the early 2000s. In Not to Mention a Nice Life, Murphy's masterful storytelling takes us on an honest, searing, sardonic ride through the decade that wasn't." 
--Jeremy Neuner, co-author of The Rise of the Naked Economy 

"Not to Mention a Nice Life is a wry, acerbic, and terrifying critique of the notion that there is really nothing left to critique. Modern Corporate America is less an enemy than a state of reality. They have won. We have lost. Read this very funny book. Like, right now. And then pour yourself an ice-cold laudanum."
--Sean Beaudoin, author of Wise Young Fool and Welcome Thieves

"Sean Murphy's Not to Mention a Nice Life offers a voice rarely seen--that whisper of human suffering that comes from an insular heart. As Byron moves into and through his "Terrible Thirties," and the dot-com boom of wild heights and terrifying drops, we move with him...but we also get to watch, and be that cautious eye which only has to watch, and doesn't have to be. Which is both blessing and curse in this romp of Americana, half Fight Club, half Catcher in the Rye for the middle-aged. Regardless, I'm hooked--and want to stay that way."
--Jesse Waters, author of Human Resources

"It's early in that lamentable decade of the 2000s, and while the good times continue to roll in corporate America, they won't be rolling for much longer--and no one knows it better than Byron, the Everyman narrator of Sean Murphy's witty and wise firecracker of a debut. If you liked Joshua Ferris's And Then We Came to the End, you'll love Not to Mention a Nice Life."
--Greg Olear, author of Totally Killer and Fathermucker

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