The Promotion: Jacke Wilson

Morning Little Bloggers! Hope you have enjoyed the numerous posts this morning. I finally looked through the whole of my email inbox and have realised that I have so many more books to review, more than is physically possible, so I am getting my head down and getting those books read and reviewed! (If you are waiting for a review I am getting round to it I promise!) The first thing to say is that I have already reviewed ‘The Race,’ another book by the brilliant Jacke Wilson which you can check out here: and then secondly, you should check out his brilliant blog here: I am constantly checking out his new posts and I think you should too! Anyway onto the review!

“I should have jumped at the promotion, of course.…Even as Jennifer the office manager sat in the chair across from me, all smiles and positive energy, I elided the two developments…What I did was worthless and yet the firm was eager for me to do more.” The Promotion: A Novella is the deadpan cri de couer of a lawyer trapped inside a Kafkaesque firm, tasked with recruiting new attorneys even as he himself slides into obsession and madness.

Seeing as this is not my first encounter with Jacke Wilson’s work I knew that I was going to be taken on an incredible journey, and one way to really sell the book to you, is that since I read it on the long train from Stoke-On-Trent, to the glass city of Milton Keynes a couple of days back, I have not stopped thinking about this book. Questions stem from how I feel about it? The ending? The main character? What really happened?  See, this is a book that makes the reader think. If you are looking for a book that hands the plot to you on a plate, turn away now; this depends wholly on the interpretation of the reader. But for now, down to the basics. The book is an incredibly quick read, with only five chapters and ninety-four pages, you could, like me, get this read in a couple of hours! The books main setting is in a law firm; we follow the no-named protagonist, who becomes obssessed with a case that has him riled. As he struggles to balance the commitments of the new promotion, with his obsession with the cold-case that has suddenly come to life, we see the difficulty the main character has in balancing sanity and passion. See, our lone hero is obsessed with passion, with the frenzy, with fervor, and this case has him excited, desperate to see it through. The question is, how will he deal with the sudden realisation, through this case, that his life may not be worth that much after all?

One of the things that I loved most about the book was Wilson’s ability to create so much content in such a short amount of space. We see the main protagonist build, and build to a peak, before seemingly spiralling out of control, unable to deal with the facts he has been told. The mix of trouble and depression contrasted with anticipation and promise is built up astonishingly well. The dialogue is sarcastic and funny, but has a deep sense of a struggle, and of anxiety which gives the book a deeper meaning which kept me turning the pages till the very last sentence had been read. The book is told in a first person narrative, and although we never learn the storytellers name we do learn a lot from him; in a job that  appears to be draining everything from him, he is given the promise of a promotion, however this brings about the knowledge of a new case that takes hold of the mind of this said person, and leads him on a path of utter self-destruct. In the description above it describes it cleverly as Kafkaesque, and it definitely has links with Kafka’s work such as ‘The Metamorphosis.’ The writing lulls the reader into a false sense of securtiy before snapping back and drawing them back into the storyline. Although there is no clear climax point, the story builds and builds before sudden turmoil takes hold, leaving the reader to gather their own personal thoughts on what the writer is trying to convey. Additonally, we are introduced to a number of different characters, with extremely contrasting character profiles which the reader can easily distinguish between and they all add additonal feeling to the narrative. As in all of Wilson’s work the writing is beautiful balanced between dialogue and description and is smooth in the telling which makes for a very easy but sophisticated read.

What I loved most was that the main character is obsessed with passion and passionate people; he wants people to remember him, he wants his job to matter, he wants to make a difference. However, throughout we are subjected to the utter lonliness and gloominess that comes from this constant search for something passionate and real. One way to look at it, is as a mid-life crisis, that occurs when the protagonist realises that he has nothing to show for the life he has created, and maybe this is a message to us all; what the message is you will have to decide for yourself! Whether passion, is, the ultimate gift, or whether it is something that is ultimately inobtainable. I’m going to leave this review here as not to give anymore away; I think this book needs to be interpretated and will be interpretated differently by every single reader! So go on, get a copy, give it a read and let me know what you thought it is definitely, definitely worth a read!!

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