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Summary

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

Her first gig - watching the hidden-camera feed of an author suspected of storing contraband goods - turns out to be inconvenient. (When can she go to the bathroom?) Her next gives way to the supernatural: announcing advertisements for shops that mysteriously disappear. As she moves from job to job - writing trivia for rice cracker packages and punching entry tickets to a purportedly haunted public park - it becomes increasingly apparent that she's not searching for the easiest job at all but something altogether more meaningful. But when she finally discovers an alternative to the daily grind, it comes with a price.

This is the first time work by Kikuko Tsumura - winner of Japan's most prestigious literary award - and has been translated into English. There's No Such Thing as an Easy Job is as witty as it is unsettling - a jolting look at the maladies of late capitalist life through the unique and fascinating lens of modern Japanese culture.

©2021 Kikuko Tsumura (P)2021 Dreamscape Media, LLC

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  • Rachael C
  • 02-05-21

I learnt nothing

I’m half way through this book and it’s not teaching me anything groundbreaking about Japan. I have lived in Japan for the past 4 years and apart from talking about food, if you were an outsider this gives you no insight into why the work culture is so terrible. There is also no social commentary on why so many young people are in unstable work since the early 2000s.
You learn nothing about the character’s personal life, interests etc. Disappointing considering all the rave reviews.

1 person found this helpful