“Inhuman Resources” by Pierre Lemaitre #BookReview

Georgia Kostopoulou

The past few years, unemployment has become a huge issue in every country in this world, not only the poor ones. It is more so, that people of age are the ones to be fired first, because of all those years they have been working and the relatively large paycheck they may have. Younger employees tend to be cheaper for the companies.

One of those laid off people of age is Alain Delambre, a 57 year old man, former HR executive in a big company. It has been now four years in the unemployment state and it is geting worse by the minute. He is trying to find something, anything to occupy himself, but who would possibly hire someone of his age? He does find some low-level part time positions, but they are not enough to keep him going. He still needs to pay for the mortgage of his house. Thankfully his wife Nicole, still has a job, but it is not enough.

When a recruitment company finally invites him for a test and then an interview, Alain is determined to make this work. To use his experience in the Human Resources field and get this job. He will do whatever it take to be the first in the finish line of this somewhat peculiar interview. Because, the whole interview thing is going to be a role play game of a hostage taking situation and Alain and the other candidates are going to make the interrogations. Alain is determined to go beyond himself to get this job. He won’t deviate from his course. He will deceive his own family, only to take what he needs, what will help him reach his target. He will become estrange to his own wife and daughters, but he is only trying to make things better for all of them. How can they not see it?

The author creates true, authentic and relatable characters. People that could be your next door neighbors, people that suffered and then it all get’s so much different and so much crazy. From some point on, I could not understand why Alain was behaving in that specific way. What did he have to gain by hurting his own family. How could a job like that make everything be normal again. I understand that he felt humiliated from an incident in his part time job and he was so desperate to get a real job again, one that would make him once more the person he used to be. But he just crossed a line, I would not see possible for a normal person to cross. But then again he was so desperate, he was not thinking clearly.

That being said, the pacing of the story was fairly good for me. It would give both the psychological aspect the main character was on, as well as how his actions would affect his environment and first and foremost his relationship with his wife and daughters. Ever since he lost his job he is a different man and this is very clear from the narration. This is what he tries to recover. His own self.

I received a complimentary ecopy from the publisher via NetGalley. The views expressed are my personal and honest opinion.

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