The Agency

Tess Drake is a literary agent and the protagonist of The Agency. She’s smart, she’s good at her job, and she certainly loves talking about herself, which was the impression I got after reading this book. The Agency is a good mystery novel wrapped up in a vapid, materialistic, and soul-killing book. As I as reading through the book, there were parts where I wanted to throw it to the ground because I was afraid of how much of my soul was dying. In that aspect, the authors were good at describing the superficial lives of high-powered talent agents.

The story is told from the perspective of Tess. The first half of the book has her going on and on about her breast, her assistant’s breast, the breasts of her friends, and then her breasts some more. When Tess isn’t talking about the bodies of other women or bragging about her sexcapades, she talks about her plans to break out and start her own agency. By itself this sounds boring, but the mystery that builds from that is what makes the book.

The supporting characters in The Agency were so one-dimensional (such as drug addict brilliant writer with a tortured and haunted past and the power-hungry no-holds-barred bitch of a boss) and the main character so self-centered that it was hard to enjoy this book; there was just no redeeming character I could relate to.

Despite how much I disliked the book, I couldn’t stop reading it in the way I can’t help watching trashy reality shows. Mostly it was because I wanted to see Tess fail. I wanted her plans to go awry and wanted to see her penniless and alone. It was more than just schadenfreude. I just have no sympathy for her sense of entitlement.

If it wasn’t for the last third of the book, the apex and the huge reveal, I don’t think I could have continued reading it. It’s hard to say much without giving the mystery away, but I really was caught off guard by the reveal. That particular section of The Agency made me wish the rest of the book was better.

This isn’t the type of book I’d buy for myself, but I’m glad I got it for review. It was a quick and easy to read because the language was so fluid. The book left me with a sense of closure in regards to the story, but it didn’t end the way I wanted it to.

Review: House of Leaves

What first drew me to House of Leaves was how so many people who’ve read it called it one of the scariest books they’ve ever read. The book is about a book about a video documentary about a house whose inside dimensions keep changing. If that sounds confusing, multiply it by 10 and that’s how confused I was after finishing the book.

I didn’t find the book as creepy or disturbing as others have made it out to be, but I did find it to be like one of Borges’s labyrinth stories. House of Leaves presents itself in multiple frames:

  • Zampano’s book about the Navidson Record.
  • The story of the Navidsons as depicted through the Navidson Record.
  • Johnny Truant’s story. He’s the editor of Zampano’s book and his story mostly is revealed through footnotes.
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    Watching: Meteor Garden

    It’s a fantastic Chinese drama about a poor girl in at a rich college. It’s based on a Japanese manga, which is easy to tell based on the monologues the main girl has and her interactions with boys. I’m watching the entire first season on CrunchyRoll for free.

    Playing: Etrian Odyssey

    I started playing EO again to take a break from Final Fantasy CC My Life as a King because that was taking up way too much of my time. Unfortunately, EO is just as addictive and I can’t stop playing it once I start. Hopefully I can finish the first one before the 2nd game comes out later in June.

    The first time I played the game, I noticed that I was always in need of money, but now I have a great strategy for earning money. I already had one Survivalist in my main exploring party, but I created three more. I then take those four Survivalists and a medic to the first floor of the dungeon and I max out the newly created Survivalists’ chop stats so they can chop loot in the two chopping spots in that dungeon. I can easily get 1000 in one day just doing that.

    Reading: The Dictionary of Maqiao

    I’m only starting this book, but so far I like it. It’s different in that instead of having one story to focus on, the book is a collection of entries about different Chinese phrases or words and how it relates to the people of the fictional town of Maqiao. It takes either during or after the Communist Revolution when most of the educated youths were sent to work in the fields.

    Drinking: Boylan’s Birch Beer

    It’s a bit like root beer, but with more bite and a bit more minty tasting. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t drink soda that often, so when I actually do, my taste buds are skewed, but this soda is delicious.