Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New job opening at the Store: Scapegoat needed

"A female voice emerged from the loudspeaker, as airy and full of promise as a bridal veil:
'Monsieur Malaussène is requested at the Customer Complaints Office.'

It was a misty voice, as if a David Hamilton photo just opened its mouth. But, all the same, there was still a detectable smirk lurking behind Miss Hamilton's haze. And the smirk wasn't a nice one at all. Anyway, I had to go. I reckoned I might make it there by this time next week." ('The Scapegoat' by Daniel Pennac)

He can take his time, Monsieur Malaussène, he can have all the time in the world! It's his, the most important job at the Store, and everyone agrees he's pretty good at it! What, you've never heard of the 'Scapegoat' job title before? It's only because the retail industry in your country didn't reached such a refinement as the one in France, and, I assure you, only a French employee can understand the importance of aspiring to the ultimate goal of selling: never to receive a customer complaint.

This French Forrest Gump (but, of course, unlike his American counterpart, he's endowed with brains, imagination and wit) is wandering the Store and the Universe in search of something. We don't know what exactly, all that counts is the modern Ulysses' quest. Embark with him in this journey full of extraordinary events and even more extraordinary people: Theo, king of the Store DIY kingdom, obsessed with his looks and philanthropist; Julius the dog, affectionate friend and misfortuneteller; the Malaussène tribe, colorful bunch of step-brothers and sisters - in Belleville, the colorful Paris neighborhood; aunt Julia, shoplifter and philosopher; and many many others: friends and foes, friends becoming foes, foes becoming friends. La vraie vie, quoi !

The tumult is not yet ready to stop in this Zola superstore gone bad, especially when our hero is constrained not to do his job anymore, for the first time in his rich and fulfilling career.

Dreaming the same dreams, asking the same questions, wondering at the same wonders, I stalk Benjamin Malaussène, engaged in this extraordinary adventure called life. And then it hit me: I'm in love with Monsieur Malaussène.

Check out the other Daniel Pennac books in the Malaussène series:

Fairy Gunmother Write to Kill Monsieur Malaussène Passion Fruit

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