I feel a bit embarassed about giving up on Human Voices by Penelope Fitzgerald. It's only 120 pages long, for fuck's sake. I was halfway through it when I decided to stop lying to myself about my intention to finish it and pulled the bookmark out. But I just couldn't get into it.
I'm not sure why. It was set during World War II at the BBC. It was meant to be part historical fiction, part office drama/comedy. I like reading about workplaces, too, but this one didn't do it for me. It was too episodic, seesawing back and forth between upper management and a cadre of very young women hired primarily to drink with and listen to the problems of one of the members of senior management. It could have been good, but...ever start a job where there are tons of people, tons of drama, tons of work, and nothing's explained to you and no one really bothers to interact with you at all? Reading the book was a bit like that.
I still remember how much I liked The Bookshop, though I read it ages ago. I won't give up entirely on this author, but I didn't care for this book. I'm going to motivate myself to go return it, as it's due tomorrow.