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e: a novel

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e: a novel

Current Status:
In Season
Matt Beaumont

We gave it a B-

e: a novel is a tale for the modem era — one consisting entirely of emails. Set in a London advertising firm, this broadly comic book traces the agency’s madcap monthlong attempt to land Coca-Cola’s European account. While an admittedly gimmicky way to frame a story, email proves a snappy, fitting form for capturing the gossip, rumors, and spin doctoring that fuel office politics, and first-time novelist Matt Beaumont has good fun making the melodramatic most of the medium: There’s the nitwitted, apoplectic CEO who can’t stop accidentally cc-ing his irate messages to every person in his address book; the two-faced missives of a conniving creative director deftly stealing his colleagues’ ideas; and sacked secretaries firing off vengeful electronic memos about the copywriters’ sordid sexual secrets. Beaumont’s grasp of the instant, disposable nature of email makes this a fast, amusing, and forgettable read. B-