The first blog-novel has arrived
Blogs have been spreading like wildfire in the last few years.
Many of the virtual diaries appearing on the net are produced by office workers, these short stories of office life are often dark comedies worthy of Gogol. Ever since Le Monde mentioned Max’s blog, it has become a real phenomenon. Max (who remains anonymous) recounts his daily life as an executive in acid, funny, and often very raw terms. This jewel of dark humour is inspired by the chronicle Max produced for three months.
"Facts about me? I'm thirty-eight, I have a leather armchair, YSL suits, a wife who blows me, golf instructors, friends in New York, two canvases by Gerhard Richter, vintage wines from almost everywhere, paper calendars, ball-breaking colleagues, and lots of holes in my stomach."
Secret blogger wants readers to free him from mortal toilThe Times - October 08, 2005 - from Adam Sage in Paris
FRANCE’S latest literary star shuffles into his publisher’s office wearing dark glasses and a floppy hat. "I have to go to great lengths not to be recognised" says the man known to his fans only as Max.
Max is a globe-trotting manager in an international company... and he hates it. His book Le Blog de Max ridicules his employer and his colleagues. "If I say who I am and who I work for, I’ll be sacked on the spot," he said. "I’m paid a lot so I’d have to do really well as a writer to be able to maintain my lifestyle."
He is appealing for those who sympathise with his plight to buy enough copies of Le Blog de Max "100,000 is the target" for him to resign. The first 12,000 copies went on sale a fortnight ago and were snapped up in record time. A second print run is under way. By tapping into the French distrust for the free market, he has assumed a political status. He has become the Gallic worm in the Anglo-Saxon capitalist fruit, eating away at a system that leaves little room for love or long lunches.
Max’s rise started almost by accident last year when he decided to write a daily blog about avoiding work.
He mocked "le boss" for attempting to promote a company ethos, and his colleagues for believing it. He was rude about the overweight secretary and the ambitious young man. He sang the praises of a workmate who whiled away his time studying photographs of naked women on the internet.
The response surpassed his wildest expectations. At weekends there were 10,000 visitors a day and triple that on weekdays. One of France’s biggest publishers, Robert Laffont, offered a book deal.
He follows Corinne Maier, who found success with Bonjour Paresse (Hello Laziness), which encouraged workers to put in as little effort as possible. Ms Maier and Max have found wide support for their views.
"I really don’t like the way these companies expect you to give your whole lives to them ... to believe in them and in their products," Max said.
What will happen if his workmates find what he has written about them? "I don’t think they will be too shocked," he said. "Everyone’s always criticising everyone else behind their backs."THE MAX FACTOR
On his male colleagues: The clones form a pack of young wolves, all definitively lost, sitting under sun lamps in the middle of the winter, getting passionately interested in Formula One racing and ending up by watching porno films in their hotel bedrooms
On the day an employee takes sick leave: For my boss, this is the ultimate drama. The insides all churned up, the stomach in shreds . . . We’re close to a Greek tragedy
On interviewing job applicants: The first candidate is as pale as a corpse. I ask him if he’s afraid of the sun. He pretends not to understand my question.