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Inside Job

Inside Job

4.4 9
by Connie Willis

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Willis's charming tale of the paranormal, Rob, a professional skeptic, and Kildy, his too-good-to-be-true ex-actress sidekick, try to debunk a psychic channeler, who just might be hosting the spirit of legendary skeptic H.L. Mencken. Willis fans will find the funny, snappy narrative familiar, from the "how can you not know I'm in love with you" relationship to the quick-witted social commentary. Apt quotations from Mencken or Inherit the Wind, Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee's play inspired by the Scopes trial, which Mencken reported, head each chapter. While not as tightly woven as one of Willis's typical short stories nor as layered as her novels (Passage, etc.), this novella is still highly enjoyable, somewhat educational and will leave readers happy at the end. Agent, Ralph Vicinanza. (June 24) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
When Rob, publisher of the Jaundiced Eye (a magazine dedicated to exposing psychic fakery), is invited by his assistant Kildy, an actress turned debunker, to a performance by a psychic named Ariaura, he expects the usual "show." What happens, however, challenges Rob's attitudes about spirits, channelers, and the transcendent power of love in a skeptic's world. Willis spins an absorbing tale that explores the world of debunkers and their quarry while paying a delightful homage to literary curmudgeon and brilliant essayist H.L. Mencken. A consummate storyteller whose novels (e.g., To Say Nothing of the Dog) combine serious themes with sparkling comic relief, Willis grows even better in her short fiction, bringing to this novella both richness and integrity. Highly recommended. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Subterranean Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Connie Willis is an American science fiction and fantasy writer. She has won eleven Hugo Awards and seven Nebula Awards, including Hugo Best Novel for Blackout/All Clear in 2010. Willis' novels showcase the comedy of manner style of writing and often feature time travel, which are informally referred to as the Time Travel series. In addition to numerous novels and novellas, Willis has written short story and essay collections. Her notable books include Doomsday Book, To Say Nothing of the Dog, the aforementioned Blackout/All Clear, and the short story "The Last of the Winnebagos".

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Inside Job [With Earbuds] 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
PhoenixFalls More than 1 year ago
The motif of this Connie Willis story is H.L. Mencken and con artists, and it is pure joy to read. Willis is rightly one of the most awarded authors in science fiction, and her wit and humanism are on full display here. This story sparkles.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rob is a true skeptic. In fact, he makes his living (if you could call it that) investigating psychics and channelers while publishing a magazine called the Jaundiced Eye. His motto is if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. That may be why he has never allowed himself to get involved with his too good to be true and beautiful assistant Kildy. Little does he know that cosmic forces are about to change his life and tie his beliefs into a Gordian Knot. Something extraordinary is happening in the performances of a local channeler. In the midst of her act, the spirit of a skeptic from the past generation seems to be taking over and telling the attendees what rubes they are and what a fraud the channeler is. To top it off, this spirit seems to be none other than Rob¿s hero H. L. Mencken, a great reporter and debunker from the past. Do you see Rob¿s problem now? If he accepts the spirit is genuine, he must accept channeling as real, but to remain a true skeptic, he must denounce the voice of his hero. This book, set in Beverly Hills, is styled after a classic hard boiled detective story, and true to that form, Rob smells a trap and suspects that the dame is in on the scam. When Kildy confesses her love for him, it only confirms his suspicions. How can she prove her love to a true skeptic? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and to win the day, true love must untangle this web and rise above all else. But how? Both short and intricately woven, this story reminded me of the M. C. Escher print of The Drawing Hands, where the left hand is drawing the right and vise-versa, only in this case one of the hands should be holding an eraser. In the end, it¿s the chicken and the egg question all over again with the creationist against the evolutionists. The ending is written so that a true skeptic will feel quite satisfied, but with the spirit of a dead debunker intruding on the present, who really gets the last laugh? I highly recommend this book to anyone with a brain. Reviewed by Hugh Mannfield at stormbold.com
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Hollywood53 More than 1 year ago
She is one of the best Storytellers I have ever come across. It is a joy to read her prose and the development of her characters. For some authors it can be an effort to read their works but hers is always an easy read. I would suggest reading this book the first time for enjoyment and the second time to learn (different levels). If you don't know who H. L. Mencken is google him.
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