December 9, 2021 4:37 PM - Subscribe

Derek is LitenVärld's most loyal employee. He lives and breathes the job, from the moment he wakes up in a converted shipping container at the edge of the parking lot to the second he clocks out of work 18 hours later. But after taking his first ever sick day, his manager calls that loyalty into question. An excellent employee like Derek, an employee made to work at LitenVärld, shouldn't need time off.

To test his commitment to the job, Derek is assigned to a special inventory shift, hunting through the store to find defective products. Toy chests with pincers and eye stalks, ambulatory sleeper sofas, killer mutant toilets, that kind of thing. Helping him is the inventory team ― four strangers who look and sound almost exactly like him. Are five Dereks better than one?
posted by Literaryhero (4 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This is the follow up to Finna, and as mentioned in the previous thread it focuses specifically on what happens in the store. I am actually having a hard time reading it, not because it is bad (it isn't!), but because I feel so bad for poor Derek. I keep having to put it down and breathe for a while. I think that's kind of the point, but it is making this a slower read for me. I ripped through the first one in a sitting, and I am only about a third of the way through Defekt (he just met his first living furniture) and have been reading it for two days.
posted by Literaryhero at 4:39 PM on December 9, 2021 [2 favorites]

[SPOILERS as a courtesy warning since you say you're only 1/3rd the way through]

As I said in the other thread, I really enjoyed this book. It did a great job letting us slowly realise that everything was not normal with Derek's life. And plenty of gently sinister !Ikea weirdness presented as being utterly mundane.

It's not "take care of this quickly and quietly - the blasphemous realities of the world are dangerous and the public could never cope".

It's "take care of this quickly and quietly - the blasphemous realities of the world are off-brand and anti-productivity."

I think my favourite aspect was that Derek hits that inevitable patch where he realises he's not normal and feels he needs to be different to be better. Especially when he meets "better" versions of himself. But it's when he backslides and just starts being Derek-but-moreso that he starts resolving everything for the better. "Be yourself" is not exactly a revolutionary theme, but it was really well executed here and totally on-theme.
posted by Lorc at 12:45 AM on December 10, 2021

I liked this one, too. It shared the same strengths as Finna (quirky humor, queer perspective, support of individuality in the face of soul-crushing corporate demand) without being anything like a retread.
posted by kyrademon at 3:31 AM on December 10, 2021

I thought this was really interesting. There were some neat moments in here of Derek realizing he wasn't like the other employees, and not just in enjoying his job or being good at it. Little things, like that they have health insurance, a nurse line to call, and apartments. He is so obedient and wants to do things right, that I was intrigued that he was secretive about the changes that were happening to him and that he chose not to call the number for hallucinations and strange growths (what a great phone number).

I also loved the defekta, once we got to know them. I love that Derek gets to be able to talk to them. A fair bit of book was too scary for me, but the vision of a safe place for defekta, Derek, and the other clones, well, that's just amazing and lovely. I didn't even know I needed a sequel after Finna, but I absolutely needed this.
posted by blueberry monster at 2:23 PM on December 23, 2021

« Older Movie: Ron's Gone Wrong...   |  Mystery Science Theater 3000: ... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments