Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A quick note

Not my usual fare, but I accepted a copy of Attachments, by Rainbow Rowell, because I am fascinated by email relationships.

I don't feel particularly good about admitting that I've read a book written by someone named Rainbow. But everything about this book will be sold to people who wouldn't mind that fact. Ironically, it's exactly this sort of thing that it'd be likely the two female leads would kvetch over.

So the plot: the new IT security guy is charged with monitoring company email (it's a newspaper office), and surprise, he gets caught up in their story.

Being that I work in an office where it's widely known that the email is monitored, and it's surmised that the CEO spends his day doing little else but reading it, I was interested to see how this might play out in fiction.

While people who work together do share news and laughs via email, they still talk. My experience is that when there's real news to dish, we go for coffee. So while Rowell's email exchanges are necessary (this is the whole premise, after all), liberty is taken with them to the point where they no longer ring true — they're too long, too conveniently structured, and not all of them meet the criteria for being flagged by Web security.

I love the copy-desk setting. When Lincoln starts befriending his coworkers, he realizes that the copy-desk crowd is much like his D&D gang, only without the D&D. Weirdly, it's only Lincoln who knows all the words to Auld Lang Syne, which is exactly the sort of thing a bunch of copyeditors would know.

There's nothing very original about this novel — it's fairly predictable, with very ordinary characters — but it does have a modern moral bent in terms of email privacy. It was a nice way to spend a Saturday morning blanketed in bed, and I admit, I raced toward the end to see how things panned out for everybody. I'm not much for romantic comedies when it comes to movies either, but every now and then it makes for a nice change of pace.

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