E-Book Review 7: The Office Christmas Party – Marteeka Karland & Shara Azod
Review it, Snookums: I was never much of a fan of Sex and the City, but I liked parts of it and understood why it was popular. One of the things I did like was that the show’s message was, at least to some extent, a proudly feminist one: ‘We don’t need men; we’re in charge of our own lives, we have fun, we have successful careers, we get what we want, what we deserve and, when all else fails, we have each other.’ I liked that. But I hated the ending (the TV ending, not the films – let’s not get started there. That second abomination was like a contemptuous slap in the face to all SATC fans) because suddenly they performed a U-turn and decided that, after six seasons, the thing that would truly make them happy was a man after all (preferably a wealthy one) – and, perhaps, a baby.
Now, we can debate the rights and wrongs of this for hours, but one thing that everything from Mills & Boon through to Candace Bushnell has taught us is that a lot of women love to fantasise about being swept off their feet by handsome, arrogant millionaires and being taken care of for the rest of their lives (there are obvious psychological issues at play here that I’m sure Freud would enjoy investigating, but this is a book review, not a shrink session).
I bring this all up because The Office Christmas Party is that classic ‘exotic-millionaire-meets-ordinary-yet-actually-quite-extraordinary-under-the-surface-woman’ tale, except its been violently condensed into one bite-sized short story, much like millions of blackcurrants are squished into each bottle of Ribena. Virtually all the ‘will-they-won’t-they’ crap has been successfully trimmed and gaily discarded. If we think of it in terms of a peanut, the shell has gone, the skin has been stripped, it’s been rinsed clean and what we have left, essentially, is the nut. Woman lusts after rich male (to an almost comical degree – she often worries he might be able to smell her flowing nectar from across the room); rich male lusts back; rich male fucks her with almost worrying force after locking her in his office. End of story.
It’s well written despite the predictability, but perhaps the predictability doesn’t matter. What a reader of erotica generally wants, I assume, is to read about two people getting it on, and Marteeka and Shara do a decent job in delivering that quickly and without fuss. They certainly reached their conclusion quicker than Carrie.
Rate it, Huggy Bear: Three out of Five Stars.