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Overqualified Paperback – April 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: ECW Press; 1st edition (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550228587
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550228588
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"There have been spoof letter-writing books in the past, like The Lazlo Letters by Don Novello (a.k.a. Father Guido Sarducci) and several that followed. While [this] protagonist in is just as unhinged as his predecessors, he's significantly less giddy. A real story unfolds in these pages, about a departed brother and the sibling left behind. It's sad and fragmented and, in places, funny. This slender epistolary novel is charming."  —Los Angeles Times Jacket Copy online


"Unlike anything you've ever read. Each of Joey Comeau’s letters comments, sometimes subtley, sometimes not, on the emptiness of the system . . . while it simultaneously reveals the humor, beauty, and pain that is all else in life."  —About.com



"A sometimes-hilarious, sometimes-crushingly sad romp through a man’s swelling nihilism and disenchantment.  —MonstersAndCritics.com



"A collection of wry, clever and demoniacal job-application letters, teeming with knife-edged malice and stomach-tearing hilarity . . . Successfully deludes the fear of the faceless corporate entity by empowering the faceless applicant."   —Globe and Mail


"Joey Comeau's collection of real cover letters, Overqualified, is pretty much sui generis. Not to mention sweetly written, bitter and bitterly funny . . . One of the season's most remarkable books."  —Macleans.ca


"Overqualified's cover letters are like a slap in the face, but the slap is hilarious, and you can't stop laughing, and as soon as it's over you want to tell all your friends about the slap. You know the kind?"  —Ryan North, Dinosaur Comics


"Joey Comeau's Overqualified is Judy Blume's Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret as chewed up and spit out by J. G. Ballard. . . . A book whose melancholy is leavened by a surprising hilarity."  —Paul Di Filippo, author, The Steampunk Triology and Cosmocopia



"Joey Comeau has made the unreadable not just readable, but beguiling in its digressions and personal revelations."  —Eye Magazine

About the Author

Joey Comeau is the author of Lockpick Pornography and Too Late to Say I'm Sorry, as well as the popular web comic A Softer World. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.


More About the Author


Joey Comeau (born September 26, 1980) is a Canadian writer. He is best known for writing the text of the webcomic A Softer World.

Comeau currently resides in Toronto, Ontario. He has a degree in linguistics.

- from Wikipedia.

(photo by Bryanna Reilly)

Customer Reviews

The paper alone has to be worth more than the book.
Margot Rae
Curl up and read it and then go act out because you will want to.
Rachael
The writing is very funny, but also dark and a little twisted.
ShoppingBear

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 92 people found the following review helpful By JFoz on March 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
It was unrelated to the purchase, somebody was taking a picture of him, and he did not want to look at the camera I think. I stared back, not wanting to be the one to break eye contact. Like Joey had thrown out some unspoken dare and I didn't want to disappoint him. Halfway through he gave me a little wave, as if to say it would be all right, that it was almost over.

Overqualified is a lot like that. Each letter is funny and amazingly written, but it shows you a glimpse of something darker. It chokes you up a bit. It makes you want to call up your brother and see how he's doing. Makes you want to put the book down, but it also makes you want to keep reading, so as not to disappoint Joey.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Arienette on March 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
And by beautiful, I mean Joey Comeau. Overqualified is such a wonderful, insightful, heartbreaking, hilarious, and familiar book that with every page I read, even everytime I wander past it while it sits gloriously on my nightstand, I have an incredible urge to just take my pants off. Sometimes I can't resist. When I say sometimes, I mean everytime. Right now, I know you may be thinking I'm a crazy person and that this book is only for crazy people or for people whose aspirations are to someday be crazy, but my friend, you are so very wrong. Once you read Overqualified, you will know. You will be pantsless and you will also know what I mean. Buy it. Don't ask, just do it.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Popham on March 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A dear friend of mine once told me that there are only four possible endings to a fight that indicate a successful argument:

1. The feeling that you won't need to have the same fight again in the near future
2. Makeouts or their equivalent had
3. Objects thrown and shattered, preferably against other shattering objects
4. Sudden absurd laughter

Joey Comeau's book has only questionable success at best with regard to #1, but blows the other three away so thoroughly that I have to admit Overqualified is the most successful fight I've ever read.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By K. Meisner on April 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
Of all the false ways we present ourselves in the world, job applications may be the pinnacle of fakery. The goal is to commodify the self into a bland, inoffensive package, in order to slot it into the corporate machine. And of course, we hide or amputate any aspects of who we are that don't mesh with our socially-constructed ideas of how people are supposed to think, act, and feel.

Overqualified is a short novel in the form of a series of cover letters for jobs the author will never get. Something has shattered his world -- a car accident, a tragedy -- that's disrupted his participation in the hollow process, left him unable to continue pretending his life fits into tidy, respectable categories. He goes on writing job applications, but they warp into confessional outpourings, defiant assertions of individuality, furious searches for meaning and connection and humanity.

The book is poetically written and wildly funny -- the kind of wicked humor that's all raw nerves and secret truths and naked heart. Joey Comeau is one of the most honest and courageous writers I know, and his writing is always a wake-up call. I highly recommend it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jake Eugene VanGundy on July 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
When I had to write my first cover letter I picked this book up hoping it would help and boy was I disappointed. At first I was sending the letters word for word and just changing the name to my own, when companies were still ignoring my applications I figured maybe they were on to my plagiarism. After that I just used the letters in the book as examples for what to put in my own letters. I must have sent out a hundred letters about my most embarrassing sexual encounter (the time my girlfriend pooped during anal) I still couldn't land a single job!
That's when I realized something. These letters were all real cover letters sent in to companies, right? So how come this Joey guy wasn't working for any of the companies from the letter? I'll tell you why. It's cause he doesn't know a damn thing about writing cover letters! The whole book is a scam!
That said, I'm still giving this book a five star rating because the author really does have a way with words. I just wish he'd start writing novels because he's pretty terrible at "How To" books.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By zombiekitten on April 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
I had read a lot of this before, but there's just something about having an actual hardcopy book that kinda trumps just reading it online.

When i first found Comeau's entrancing and disturbing (in a way i find hilarious and bold) web-comic (using the term comic loosely) "asofterworld", i browsed a little further and found some of these letters he sent to various companies in search of a job.

Spoiler alert: I don't think he's really looking for a job.

In short, after the first, i was hooked. Luckily, i was at a new job, training, with little respsonsibility, and a lot of time to surf the web. It was hard to explain why i sometimes appeared to be crying to my new coworkers, but once i forwarded the choice ones on to them, they knew it was just because i had been laughing hysterically in my little corner of the office all afternoon.

10/10
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Xiao Bao Clark on August 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
When I first heard about a story by the mastermind behind A Softer World, told only by way of cover letters I was sure I was in for an amazing experience. When it arrived I savagely ripped apart the packaging, not being able to wait any longer before getting at the goodness that was inside. However, upon reading the first page I was disenchanted somewhat. What I had hoped this would be was a pseudo-real somewhat-plausible sounding series of cover letters that skillfully and (here's the big one) subtly portrayed the author's mind slowly spiralling into insanity. This wasn't to be so, as the very first cover letter blows apart that possibility, almost desensitising the reader to anything that could possibly happen. I find it hard to believe that the same author who so cleverly manipulates 3 panes of a photo and 2 or 3 sentences could miss the mark in such a big way.

However, after the 2nd time through I got off my high horse and started to judge it on what was written, rather than what I arrogantly believe should be there. It's entertaining and insightful, exquisitely juxtaposing the sad with the funny in a way only Joey Comeau (OK that's a lie, but just roll with it) can. Is this worth the $10? Absolutely and without a doubt. There are some stories in there which I know will stay with me for the rest of my life. If you're thinking about it, just do it, if for no other reason than to keep the man writing this gold.
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