When junior manager Frank Dominio is suddenly demoted and then sacked it seems there was more than a grain of truth to his persecution fantasies. But as he prepares to even the score with those responsible for his demise, he unwittingly finds an ally in a dark and malevolent force that grants him supernatural powers. Frank takes his revenge in the most ghastly ways imaginable - but there will be a terrible price to pay once his work is done.
Destined to be a cult classic, this tale of corporate horror and demonic retribution will strike a chord with anyone who has ever been disgruntled at work.
The bureaucracy of the modern office and the dehumanization of workplace drones are fodder for surreal black comedy in this triptych of tales from horror master Ligotti (The Nightmare Factory). Each of the selections resonates with echoes of Kafka and Orwell in its elaboration of the daily work grind as a disturbingly credible metaphor for universal entropy. In "I Have a Special Plan for This World," worker discontent in the office setting becomes so toxic that it generates a cloud whose release into the external environment accelerates social decline of the surrounding city. "The Nightmare Network" is presented as a series of want ads and dispatches for Oneiricon, an all-consuming multinational corporation whose merger mania leads inevitably to hideous physical transformations of its work force. The title tale, a short novel, begins as the morbidly amusing narrative of Frank Dominio, a Dilbert type driven to psychotic paranoia by the seemingly senseless boardroom protocols enforced by his fellow supervisors and their superior. It soon morphs into a bizarre pas de deux between Frank and a department head nicknamed "The Doctor," who come to represent cosmic forces in a collision that draws the business and its employees into their vortex. As Ligotti depicts it, the modern workplace is an infernal realm where illogical demands are clues to an inscrutable malevolent scheme, and where terms like "reorganization," "relocation" and "product" have sinister talismanic meaning. There is little balm in these stories for the overworked, but enough dark satire to make the reader cringe in agreement.