Labor Pains

by C.A. Huggins

Verdict: The narrator's ordinary struggles will appeal to a readership trying to make the best out of difficult circumstances. However, without emotional identification, an interesting plot, or a particularly winning writing style, LABOR PAINS is not full term.

IR Rating

 
 

2.5

IR Rating

Part of the appeal of a movie like “Office Space” or a novel like Max Barry’s “Company” is that both works enlivened a boring workplace environment by skewering it for comic effect. LABOR PAINS by C.A. Huggins appears to be aiming for an “Office Space”-like effect, but is ultimately goes on far too long without developing a compelling or particularly witty conceit.

Kevin is a vocally bored mid-30s employee at a job to which he is consistently late. He applies for a different job at an equally deadening facility, but decides that the only way to succeed in life is by defrauding others. His co-workers are portrayed variously as fellow inmates in a prison, and the drudgery with which they complete their meaningless tasks is rendered in crushing, sarcastic detail. The ultimate “twist” of the narrative, in which seemingly opposed characters are in fact cleverly working together, comes much too late to be redeeming.

The appeal of LABOR PAINS rests heavily on whether or not the reader enjoys the personality of the narrator, Kevin. “It’s my right to fraudulently get ahead,” he explains in one passage. Kevin’s endless whining, combined with the sense that he find his jokes utterly hilarious without the bothersome need of actually entertaining the reader, are reflected in constructions which usually fall flat. All of the “wit” feels recycled, and the sympathy of the reader is taxed.

The narrator’s ordinary struggles will appeal to a readership trying to make the best out of difficult circumstances. However, without emotional identification, an interesting plot, or a particularly winning writing style, LABOR PAINS is not full term.

Reviewed by Julia Lai for IndieReader.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *