Book Review: There’s no such thing as an easy job

Honestly, I bought it as the cover intrigued me, the author is a woman and the book stated that it is a « Must read before a burnout ».

Synopsis

A young woman walks into an employment agency and requests a job that has the following traits: it is close to her home, and it requires no reading, no writing – and ideally, very little thinking.

She is sent to a nondescript office building where she is tasked with watching the hidden-camera feed of an author suspected of storing contraband goods. But observing someone for hours on end can be so inconvenient and tiresome. How will she stay awake? When can she take delivery of her favourite brand of tea? And, perhaps more importantly – how did she find herself in this situation in the first place?

As she moves from job to job, writing bus adverts for shops that mysteriously disappear, and composing advice for rice cracker wrappers that generate thousands of devoted followers, it becomes increasingly apparent that she’s not searching for the easiest job at all, but something altogether more meaningful…

Mon opinion

One of the worst book i have read.

I read other Japanese books, the Irezumi thriller and kinda liked the writing style and detail on Japanese history and culture. But this book is shit. Seeing what was stated in the various book reviews, I expected better. Granted, it requires a certain interest or knowledge of the Japanese society and lifestyle, the book still felt hallow. It feels like its a diary of a person who tried jobs and said what’s good and bad and did not make an additional effort. There is no information on the character, her past, her future. I felt a lot of depth missing here.

There’s no such thing as an easy Job talks about a woman, 36 yo, who left her job due to a burnout, went back to live with her parents and registered at an employment agencies to look for an « Easy » job that doesn’t require a lot of thinking and is full of routine and monotony. The plot sounds interesting, yet the 6 chapters and 400 pages talk about the 6 jobs that she did and her daily tasks. We do not have a single drop of information about her background, character and life before the burnout and how she changed. It’s truly a type of daily diary that state what she does for the job, what she found surprising and what she didn’t like. Her performance review with the recruiting agent is not detailed and she just finishes the job and ask to test another different one. I feel like this book is incomplete and was missing a prequel and sequel to the chapters explaining the context of the story and what were the lessons learned and how she used them when she feels its the right time to go back to her job or not.

The writing style was not elaborate or complex, it suits any average English speaker. She used mostly daily life syntax and no play on words. It’s an easy read if you are used to classic novels or books with brain teasing paragraphs. I genuinely think that the author did not aim to teach us anything via this novel and kept the little info on her protagonist life until the last pages. I think I don’t even know the name of the protagonist 😀

Was so skeptical about it, that I had to go out to read it

What I find amazing is that this book won an « English Pen awards ». My question is: Against what other book? Who judged? What were the criteria? As the book was translated from Japanese to English, I think that the translator added her style and made it worse for me 😀

Paying 400 pages for 17,50e was not a good return on investment for this book. It is definitely my first disappointing book of 2021, I am not even sure that I want to read another Japanese book aside from Mangas. Though, I am curious to have someone else’s opinion 😀