Review - There’s No Such Thing As An Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura

Title: There’s no such thing as an easy job

Author: Kikuko Tsumura

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Release Date: 26th November 2020

Source: NetGalley
Convenience Store Woman meets My Year of Rest and Relaxation in this strange, compelling, darkly funny tale of one woman’s search for meaning in the modern workplace
A young woman walks into an employment agency and requests a job that has the following traits: it is close to her home, and it requires no reading, no writing – and ideally, very little thinking.
She is sent to a nondescript office building where she is tasked with watching the hidden-camera feed of an author suspected of storing contraband goods. But observing someone for hours on end can be so inconvenient and tiresome. How will she stay awake? When can she take delivery of her favourite brand of tea? And, perhaps more importantly – how did she find herself in this situation in the first place?
As she moves from job to job, writing bus adverts for shops that mysteriously disappear, and composing advice for rice cracker wrappers that generate thousands of devoted followers, it becomes increasingly apparent that she’s not searching for the easiest job at all, but something altogether more meaningful...
TRANSLATED FROM JAPANESE BY POLLY BARTON

Set in Japan, out burnt out narrator finds herself at the job centre enquiring about jobs that require as little effort as possible.  To start off with you have no idea of her previous work, but she is a woman in her thirties and she has had enough of her last job.  There are no clues given as to what that job was but it sounds like it was incredibly stressful and for now she just want an easy life with no hassle.

The job centre comes up trumps and over the course of the year she finds herself working in five different jobs each totally different from the next, each job is a temporary contract and she throws herself in to each one, giving the extra mile and now that I have read the book to the end I can see the subtle hints about her old job which is not revealed until the end.

The jobs themselves are quirky, Her first is a surveillance job where she watches a writer day after day, noting down anything unusual.  Her second is writing advertisements for a bus route to promote local businesses.  The third job is writing facts that will be printed on to cracker packets.  The fourth is walking round changing over posters that advertise road safety and planting trees.  The fifth has to be my favourite, she finds herself working in a massive park in a lonely hut mapping out a section of the forest, exploring the area for edible treats such as breadfruit and persimmons.

Each job is not a simple as she thinks and each job has something that needs her helping hand and as the book progresses you see how good the narrator is at problem solving, she is dogged in her determination to make things right.

This is a charming book, it is full of supporting characters at each job who have their own quirks and it is also full of wonderfully described food, even things I probably would avoid sound delicious!  I think this book shows that sometimes it is ok to leave the rat race and step back, it’ll still be there but for the sake of self-care and sanity, taking a different path is the best.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.


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12 comments

  1. Oh, how intriguing! I like the premise, and I think I'd enjoy following along with the different jobs.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  2. This sounds stellar. I love quirky books, and food in stories is always a plus for me! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I'll be adding it to my pile. πŸ‘✨

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    1. I loved it, it was just such a lovely read and it made me order food goodies from a Japanese store!

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  3. This cracked me up. "jobs that require as little effort as possible." Can I have one of those? Haha seriously though this sounds great! I'm curious now too about the hints of her old job.

    Totally unrelated, but I saw your comment on my blog (I'm so behind) and YES. I love Black Spot!!! One of my favorite Netflix shows and I NEED a new one. they better renew it! I love too that that one guy is in both it and Into the Night, which I also loved! I'm so glad there's a season two.

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    1. I’d love one of those jobs right now, any job!!

      Black Spot is awesome, I’m hoping there is a season 3 because there are so many things still outstanding. I cant remember the actors name but yes he is the pilot isn’t he and very socially awkward in Black Spot.

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  4. Great review! This book sounds wonderful! I'm going to add it to my tbr right now!

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  5. This sounds delightful. It should be required reading for young people! There really is no such thing as an easy job.

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  6. I hadn't heard of this one before, but it sounds like a great read. I like the sound of how it's set in Japan and how you see her do all those different jobs. Great review!

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Thank you for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it and will make the time to come and visit your blog, maybe not today but soon as I am always behind!

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