Read My Work Is Not Yet Done by Thomas Ligotti Online


When junior manager Frank Dominio is suddenly demoted and then sacked it seems there was more than a grain of truth to his persecution fantasies. But as he prepares to even the score with those responsible for his demise, he unwittingly finds an ally in a dark and malevolent force that grants him supernatural powers. Frank takes his revenge in the most ghastly ways imaginaWhen junior manager Frank Dominio is suddenly demoted and then sacked it seems there was more than a grain of truth to his persecution fantasies. But as he prepares to even the score with those responsible for his demise, he unwittingly finds an ally in a dark and malevolent force that grants him supernatural powers. Frank takes his revenge in the most ghastly ways imaginable - but there will be a terrible price to pay once his work is done.Destined to be a cult classic, this tale of corporate horror and demonic retribution will strike a chord with anyone who has ever been disgruntled at work....

Title : My Work Is Not Yet Done
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780753516881
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 192 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

My Work Is Not Yet Done Reviews

  • BillKerwin
    2019-03-30 15:09

    Thomas Ligotti is as close as I come to a living literary hero. Now that I have learned we share a common loathing, however, I find him more sympathetic but less heroic than before. Yes, Thomas Ligotti and I both loathe meetings, and--unfortunately--Ligotti's visceral loathing of meetings is evident on almost every page of this book.In 2001, after 23 years, Ligotti retired from his position as an editor with The Gale Group (publisher of research volumes for schools and libaries, best known for InfoTrac.) Then, in 2002, he published My Work is Not Yet Done. Set in the world of corporate management, this book—although it also includes a few forays into cosmic terror—is structured around the primary horror of meetings: those pointless gatherings of perpetual antagonists, where hidden agendas have already been decided, where every weakness will be exploited, each small misstep used to blight a rival's career. I loathe meetings too. I recently retired from 34 years of teaching, and—although I view my colleagues more charitably than Ligotti's hero views his—I now see even more clearly just how much I loathed those meetings, how the pull of their soul-killing inertia can weigh down—my, anybody's--useful endeavors. So I sympathize. The trouble is, though, that I look to Ligotti for cosmic—not quotidian—terror. Sure, this book has cosmic terrors in it too, but, filtered through Ligotti's loathing of meetings, even those terrors begin to appear mundane.It is a different, an heroic terror that I seek, something that howls in the spaces between the stars. I think I'll open my old copy of Grimscribe, read a few favorites again.

  • Stephen
    2019-03-20 07:51

    MY WORK IS NOT YET DONE SUMMARIZED IN PICTOGRAMSMY WORK IS NOT YET DONE SUMMARIZED IN BORING OLD WORDS4.0 stars. This is a bleak, bizarre and wonderfully original story that I thought I would have real trouble describing in a way that conveys the “unique feel” of the book. Then, as I was contemplating visual aids for my review, the images above popped into my head and I thought...That's pretty much it!!! Still, I will do my best to explain my weird picture equation. 1. Say Hello to DilbertOur “Dilbert”is Frank Dominio. Frank is a scared, introverted loner who holds a "lower-middle management" position at a huge, nameless “mega corporation.” Frank suffers from OCD and a serious persecution complex and feels loathing and disgust for humanity (who he refers to as swine). This loathing is simply of reflection of Frank's bleak outlook on life in general and his view that anyone who willingly participates in the farce that is LIFE is a swine. As Frank explains on the first page of the story:Of Course there is a measure of beast's blood in anyone who aspires to maintain a place in this world, anyone who lacks that ultimate decency to remove themselves from the herd either by violence to themselves or total capitulation to their dread.Frank sees the world as a greedy, impersonal, implacable place that has no room for the individual or their needs....Quick Side note: If you haven't figured it out yet, let me be very clear that this is NOT A FEEL GOOD BOOK. It is complete absence of light "black hole" dark and can turn a cute, carefree kitten into Frank sees the company he works for as a microcosm of this worldview and he sum up the purpose of his employer (and by extension the world) as follows: The company that employed me strived only to serve up the cheapest fare that its customers would tolerate, churn it out as fast as possible and charge as much as they could get away with. If it were possible…the company would sell what all businesses of its kind dream of selling—Nothing. And for this product they would command the ultimate price—Everything. This market strategy would then go on until one day, among the world-wide ruin of derelict factories and warehouses and office buildings, there stood only a single shining, windowless structure with no entrance and no exit. Inside would be—will be—only a dense network of computers calculating profits. Outside will be the tribes of savage vagrants with no comprehension of the nature or purpose of the shining, windowless structure. Perhaps they will worship it as a god. Perhaps they will try and destroy it, their primitive armory proving wholly ineffectual against [it]…2. Where Dilbert meets KafkaFrank's disgust for humanity are personified in 7 people that he works with at the company. They are his 6 fellow managers and their boss, Richard. Frank refers to them collectively as the 7 Dwarfs. Each Monday, Frank meets with the 7 Dwarfs for a department meeting. At the beginning of the story, Frank introduces a radical proposal that he thinks will benefit the company (Frank explains that he is only doing this because occasionally you need to show your worth so people will leave you alone the rest of the time). To Frank’s dismay, his proposal is viewed with silence and polite deflection by the 7 Dwarfs and he leaves the meeting very upset. [ENTER KAFKA] Suddenly Frank finds himself in the middle of a “Kafkaesque” conspiracy (or so he thinks). Odd occurrences begin to happen that make Frank look bad and Frank’s boss privately tells him he is willing to submit the proposal to the higher ups but would like “all of the background data” as well. Frank is reluctant and believes that the 7 Dwarfs are conspiring against him. Eventually, Frank thinks his suspicions are confirmed as he is fired from the company (normally, I would say the following is a spoiler, but it is on the back of the book so I figured I was safe. 3. The Devil Made me Do itFrank immediately decides to massacre the 7 Dwarfs and then kill himself and buys an arsenal to carry out the plan which is set for the next Monday meeting. However, before that can happen “something happens” [ENTER SUPERNATURAL FORCE] and Frank discovers that guns are no longer necessary for him to take his revenge. Again, I normally would be worried that I am saying too much but all of this is mentioned on the back of the book as well.4. Turning the Sins Against the Sinner For those who have seen the movie [ENTER SEVEN] (and for those who haven’t, you really should). Frank goes about planning to kill his co-workers in the most ghastly ways he can think of…and the boy has quite an imagination. Ghastly and brutal (yet incredibly inventive) imagery shall follow so be prepared. As much information about the story as I have given above, I don’t think I have described much more than I knew going into the story based on reading the book description. Besides, the real magic of this story is in experiencing Ligotti’s superb prose and his amazingly deft plotting. This is the first Ligotti book I have ever read and I am an instant fan and looking forward to reading more of his stories. Plus, as a HUGE BONUS, the title story I just described is only one of three stories in the book and the other two are excellent as well. I will leave you to discover those on your own. Finally, I need to give a big shout out to GAVIN who recommended this superb book to me. Gavin, you sir have earned TWO BIG THUMBS UP!!!

  • Maciek
    2019-03-26 16:14

    The company that employed me strived only to serve up the cheapest fare that its customers would tolerate, churn it out as fast as possible, and charge as much as they could get away with. If it were possible to do so, the company would sell what all businesses of its kind dream about selling, creating that which all our efforts were tacitly supposed to achieve: the ultimate product – Nothing. And for this product they would command the ultimate price – Everything.This is the third collection by Thomas Ligotti that I've read, and it's the most straightforward. The title novella, My Work is Not Yet Done, is a very dark and gruesome story of Frank Dominio - a typical corporate drone caught in a mindless 9 to 5, who is convinced that his seven co-workers are conspiring against him. When Frank is demoted and then removed from his position completely, he is completely convinced that it's their doing that got him sacked - and begins to plan a bloody revenge on all involved. But as he thinks about the situation he found himself in, he sees the destructive, malignant nature of the corporation that he worked in, and the even further destructive nature of the system on which it operates:This market strategy would go on until one day, among the world-wide ruins of derelict factories and warehouses and office buildings, there stood only a single, shining, windowless structure without entrance or exit. Inside would be -- will be -- only a dense network of computers calculating profits. Outside will be tribes of savage vagrants with no comprehension of the purpose or nature of the shining, windowless structure. Perhaps they will worship it as a god. Perhaps they will try to destroy it, their primitive armory proving wholly ineffectual against the smooth and impervious walls of the structure, upon which not even a scratch can be inflicted.Commodity fetishism is not a new concept, but Ligotti's dark vision of its consequences is truly excellent. Gradual dehumanizing of workers turning them into easily replaceable links in a corporate chain, which would eventually evolve into a conscious, powerful and malevolent force of its own. In this vision some of the vagrant tribes are said to consider worshiping it as a God, but I think that it is the embodiment of the Devil.The next two stories expand on the theme of revenge and corporate isolation, with the last story featuring a corporate merger combined with cosmic horror in an episodic, fragmented way through a series of want ads in the ultimate aim of creating a multi-dimensional, semi-organic corporation. However, the title story is the most successful riff against corporate culture and its devastating events on human life, which all people who have ever been subjected to it will recognize and be able to relate to themselves.

  • TK421
    2019-04-07 11:55

    What a bleak, dark tale of corporate culture and the ways in which the bugs of the corporate world go about surviving day-in and day-out. I can't say that I am going to recommend this, but if you have a hankering for dark material, search no further. I need to read some more of his stuff before I can fully state if I even like this me, that says something. Nightmares, here I come. --------------------------------------------------------------------- Okay, I've had some time to think about Ligotti, and have come to this conclusion: He is America's Kafka. He takes what would normally be seen as banal (the office work place), and spins a nightmarish vision that we all secretly agree with. To boot, he has no qualms about putting our "thoughts and feelings" into his words in the most grotesque images possible. Mr. Ligotti, with all due respect, if we ever work in the same place, let this be my two weeks notice.A perfect read for the state America is in right now, methinks.HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (for those of you that are deeply know who you are)

  • Paul Christensen
    2019-03-21 15:00

    Ligotti is an extremely talented and atmospheric writer, but his shallow ‘philosophy’ of anti-natalism (which he keeps pushing in nearly every story) is pure evil at this point in time.Europeans (99% of Ligotti’s readership) are encouraged not to breed because we’re all bloodbags full of sh*t, or gateways to the outer darkness beyond the soft black stars, or something. Of course the shoggoths continue to breed.This collection is essentially a novella (My Work is Not Yet Done), appended by a short story (I Have a Special Plan For This World, unrelated to the same-named piece he wrote for Current 93), and a series of short vignettes called The Nightmare Network. The novella is by far the best of them.

  • Jadranka
    2019-03-22 07:58

    Nezadovoljstvo na radnom mestu, odnos nadređenih prema potčinjenima, homo homini lupus - u svom punom sjaju, uz primesu Lavkraftovog neizrecivog užasa koji odnekud vreba, i očigledan uticaj Kafke, sve to se nalazi između korica Ligotijevih priča o tzv."korporativnom užasu" pod nazivom "Nedovršeni posao". Zbog malo konfuzne, ili prosto meni nedovoljno jasne, poslednje priče, moja konačna ocena: 4*

  • Marko Radosavljevic
    2019-04-12 11:04

    Početak kao iz Američkog psiha, blaziran, poslovni svet, korporaciske ajkule i beznadje... Kulminacija i rasplet kao iz najboljih priča Klajva Barkera... Ko voli, nek čita...

  • Nate D
    2019-03-24 13:51

    I don't read much horror. I mean, just look at the much-neglected horror shelf at the back of any bookstore, dominated by Anne Rice, Stephen King, Dean Koontz. Nothing much too alluring. But as someone who is very interested in horror cinema, it seems strange to me that outside of the standard Poe and Lovecraft and a few Clive Barker stories, I give the stuff such a wide margin (please suggest). So when I ran across Ligotti, who draws comparison to Bruno Schulz and Thomas Bernhard, Kafka and Burroughs, I knew I had to investigate.And so this. The title novella, 3/4 of this volume of "corporate horror" opens pretty well as a sort of gothic paranoiac Office Space, switches to something annoyingly obvious, and then, fortunately, to something much less obvious. The weird mystery of which makes the rest of the story move very quickly. The world-view at the center is oppressive and unsettling as could be hoped, and offers memorable moments of hallucinatory insight, but a lot of the action leaves me pretty cold. Particularly when it falls into a sort of theater of the grotesque (appropriating another Ligotti title) that reduces to "hey, what's the craziest, most awful death you can think of?" Enghh, never mind. I guess there are still reasons that I don't read much horror. I was hoping that the literary comparisons indicated a strength of writing and aesthetics to correspond to the best style, ambiance, and dread in good horror cinema, and sometimes they do, but only sometimes. Still, some of the obsessive, dire analysis of the business universe is quite good, and compellingly written. Here's the very best part, which is admittedly excellent:The company that employed me strived only to serve up the cheapest fare that the customer would tolerate, churn it out as fast as possible, and charge as much as they could get away with. If it were possible to do so, the company would sell what all businesses of its kind dream about selling, creating that which all of our efforts were tacitly supposed to achieve: the ultimate product -- Nothing. And for this product they would command the ultimate price -- Everything.This market strategy would go on until one day, among the world-wide ruins of derelict factories and warehouses and office buildings, there stood only a single, shining, windowless structure without entrance or exit. Inside would be -- will be -- only a dense network of computers calculating profits. Outside will be tribes of savage vagrants with no comprehension of the purpose or nature of the shining, windowless structure. Perhaps they will worship it as a god. Perhaps they will try to destroy it, their primitive armory proving wholly ineffectual against the smooth and impervious walls of the structure, upon which not even a scratch can be inflicted.The other two stories that follow are much shorter, one an eerie variation on office alienation and solipsism, the other a fragmented documentation, that is only half-way comprehensible but fully bizarre and intriguing (and has a stunning last moment). (A few years later now, thinking back, I'd really like to read that second bonus story again. My recollection of it is that it was totally insane and original.)Ligotti is unique at least, in the underlying conceptions if not always in execution. I'll probably come back to him at some point, despite rating this merely "okay", which it was.

  • Eddie Watkins
    2019-04-09 08:05

    Thomas Ligotti is the best "horror" writer at work today, though not many people have heard of him because he chooses to publish with small presses. But to pigeon-hole him as horror is certainly a disservice, as if he and Stephen King could even remotely be grouped together. King has his place and can be scary and entertaining, but Ligotti is entertaining and not only spooky scary but philosophically scary as well. He's in possession of about as bleak a vision as is possible while still retaining a clear head. This is all just to say that Ligotti has looked into the Void, and the Void has infested him, yet he manages to still write about it.This isn't my favorite work of his, I prefer his denser stories filled with very evocative nightmare scenarios and a more "literary" language, while this book is intentionally cold and calculating in tone (like a corporate document) with a minimal amount of described nightmare scenarios, which adds to the almost unbearable chilling inhuman nature of the narrative.The one novella and the two stories in this collection are essentially vehicles for Ligotti to vent his absolute abhorrence of corporate life. The eponymous novella is a revenge fantasy involving the systematic murder of seven of the main character's co-workers. The second story involves the takeover of a corporation by a very evil entity. And the third is a little collection of want-ads and corporate statements and advertisements that is more satirical than horrific in nature.What adds a punch to this collection is knowing that Ligotti worked in a corporation in Detroit for many years, only quitting recently, maybe around the time this book came out. If he had published this book while still working, some serious eyebrows would've been raised.

  • Benoit Lelièvre
    2019-03-20 08:03

    Up until this morning this was in line for the "best thing I've ever read in my life", but since the main narrative MY WORK IS NOT YET DONE kind of ended in a predictable whimper, I'll only say this: MY WORK IS NOT YET DONE: THREE TALES OF CORPORATE HORROR is just one of the best things I've read in 2015. Whoever calls himself a horror fan and hasn't read Thomas Ligotti yet is like a man saying he likes painting despite looking at the same wall of the same museum for years.The man is a universe unto himself. I've read Ligotti's essays before, they were good but in no way could they measure up to THIS. The psychological accuracy of his first person narration is second to none. He nails the perceptive insight that makes a character feel special, but weak at the same time for understanding and fearing human nature better than his fellow man. His storytelling is unhinged and free from most of the constraints of the genre. Ligotti is a standout writer and MY WORK IS NOT YET DONE was a fantastic reading experience. I tip my hat to him!

  • Nebojša Petković
    2019-04-14 08:51

    Добар избор теме - хорор унутар актуелног корпоративног хорора. Остало - нихилистичко, мрачно, морбидно (не баш мој избор). Заита подсећа на Лафкрафта по истаживању ужаса унутар нас самих, али безнадежније по закључцима (чини ми се). Ипак, не може му се порећи занатска величина.

  • Jason Pettus
    2019-04-10 12:54

    (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)Regular readers will remember that I recently read the new In the Mountains of Madness by W. Scott Poole, which is not just a biography of horror writer HP Lovecraft but also an examination of the "Lovecraftian" culture that has built up around his work since his death; and that got me interested not only in reading the entire oeuvre of Lovecraft for the first time (a process I'm in the middle of right now), but also checking out some of the contemporary authors who write in Lovecraft's vein, and who are helping to carry and extend the "Cthulhu Mythos" into the 21st century. So for advice with that I turned to an acquaintance of mine, Chicago horror author Richard Thomas; and among the other contemporary writers he encouraged me to sample was Thomas Ligotti, who I had already vaguely heard of as, alternatively, "The best horror writer you've never heard of" and "the horror writer all the other horror writers wished they were." Several of his fictional works struck my fancy when first looking through his bibliography; but what stuck out much more in my mind when coming across it, and what I ended up taking on first, was actually a nonfiction book he wrote back in 2011 with the intriguing title The Conspiracy Against the Human Race. It's essentially a Philosophy 101 survey of all the various deep thinkers throughout history who have espoused what Ligotti calls a "philosophy of pessimism," which he then examines and weaves together to present a sort of unified narrative story about what all these philosophers had in common, and the 3,000-year-old lesson they've been trying to teach us the whole time. It essentially starts with the idea that no living creatures in the universe were ever meant to have self-sentient consciousness, and that the fact that humans do is actually an aberration and a curse, not some sort of gift from a benevolent god; because with this self-sentient consciousness, we're then compelled to spend our lives searching for a meaning to our existence, but are saddled with the knowledge that there is no meaning to existence, that the universe is quite simply an infinitely large void of constant chaos and random violence, bereft of any human-invented quality like "equality" or "fairness," and that each of our lives are nothing but insignificant specks in the cosmic scale, in which we change not a single thing about the universe in our lifetimes and then are promptly forgotten by the human race a mere generation or two after our deaths.That's the "conspiracy" of the book's title, the idea that someone is perpetrating a grand cruel joke on humanity at all our expenses; for anyone who looks too closely at this unvarnished truth about the universe, one that we were born with the ability to easily see, ends up going violently insane (or in other words, suicide victims and serial killers are simply the people who see the universe as it really is), which means that to stay sane, productive members of society, we must literally spend our entire lives making up pretty little lies about existence (that there is a cosmic order to it, that there is an inherent sense of justice, that we were purposely born on this planet for a specific reason), and then spend every ounce of our energy brainwashing ourselves into believing these lies, despite the fact that we can quite easily see with our rational minds just how much we're deluding ourselves when we tell ourselves these things. That's essentially the basis behind every horror story ever written, Ligotti argues, the schism between the lies we tell ourselves about an orderly, fair universe and the unending parade of chaos and violence that we glimpse when we stop telling ourselves these lies; and he then spends the length of his book hopping from one famous thinker to another over the course of written history, showing how there have always been select philosophers and authors around, from the ancient Greeks to the Renaissance to the Victorian Age to now, who have used this same basic set of principles as the basis behind every treatise and manifesto they ever wrote.Yeah, pretty dark and heady stuff, making it no surprise that True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto has admitted in interviews that he based Matthew McConaughey's season 1 antihero Rush Cohle directly on the theories being discussed in this book; and it also goes a long way towards explaining why a genre writer like Ligotti cites as some of his favorite authors such surprising non-horror people as Arthur Schopenhauer, Vladimir Nabokov, and Samuel Beckett. So after this, then, I jumped right into the only book-length fictional piece Ligotti has ever written, 2002's My Work Is Not Yet Done, republished in 2009 for a larger audience by hipster British press Virgin Books (all the rest of his books are short-story collections), which unsurprisingly reads like a fictional version of all the nonfiction theories being banded about in Conspiracy. It's essentially the tale of an intellectual malcontent and mentally imbalanced loner working a faceless middle-management job at a blandly nondescript corporation; when he's railroaded by scheming co-workers into getting unfairly fired, he makes plans to launch into the violent act of retribution you would expect from such a person, but then a sudden dark cloud that envelops the city that night imbues him with a malevolent supernatural spirit that suddenly makes the story go in a much different and weirder direction.I'll let the rest of this delightfully crackpot story remain a surprise, although I will mention that the scope of the narrative gets a lot bigger and grander than you would expect by the time the story is over, and that it's also obvious in this book why so many people call Ligotti the natural heir to Lovecraft and his obsession for all-powerful creatures who regard humans as little more than gnats to be flicked at in annoyance. What may be the most clever thing of all about about My Work, however, is that it's also an astute examination of the former industrial powerhouses of the American Midwest, and the ignoble corrosion they have faced in the post-Industrial age (Ligotti was born and raised in Detroit, and the unnamed city where My Work takes place feels an awful lot like it, although you could also substitute in such cities as Cleveland, Indianapolis or St. Louis), as well as a gleefully cynical takedown of the misguided attempts to transform these cities in the 21st century into shining creative-class destinations full of coffeehouses, bike paths and loft condos. (In fact, in a way you can see the main theme in My Work manifested as the question, "What if literal demons were behind the urban gentrification movement?") It's been a darkly exhilarating experience for the last few weeks, being stuck so deep in Ligotti's unrelentingly nihilistic universe, a writer who after thirty years of professional publishing just now seems to be starting to come into his own as a popular public figure. (He's one of only ten living writers on the planet who's been republished by Penguin Classics, a feat which only happened a year and a half ago, at which point the Washington Post called him "the best-kept secret in contemporary horror fiction.") If you yourself are looking for a refreshingly chilling alternative to the played-out "ghosts in the suburbs" trope of Stephen King and other Postmodernist horror authors, I suggest you give Ligotti a whirl yourself.

  • Tim Pendry
    2019-04-10 12:59

    This book did, in all honesty, give, or at least contribute to, nightmares. The sheer viciousness of the evil acts of the protagonist of the main novella might be enough to do that for some people ... but the real nightmare, as always with Ligotti, lies in his dark vision of existence.My more considered opinion on Thomas Ligotti's place in contemporary culture is to be found elsewhere - - but this book adds to the canon.The book is slim - really it is a novella with two short stories attached, culled from previous journal publication. Ligotti does not do extended narrative in general. He is not entirely comfortable with plot or characterisation though he is not bad at it either. The main title 'My Work Is Not Yet Done' seems to stretch him to his limits though it cannot be said that he fails in what he wishes to achieve.As always, we are wary of spoilers so the main guidelines here are that these stories take us into the world of the modern corporation which he has handled elsewhere - see our review at - but that the horror is more obviously cosmic. These may be counted as tales of both demonic possession and of human evil. The novella in its first section gets closer imaginatively to the mind-set of a person 'going postal' than anything I have read before (although I suspect no killer is quite this self aware).What Ligotti does is turn creation into a 'great black swine', a blind thrashing animal of destruction, while everything that we do with our consciousness is just a puppet play, theatre: " ... only costumes and masks, the inventory of an ancient and still flourishing theatrical supply company'.In this world, the obsessive-compulsive personality (as he refers to it) simply wants to tidy things up. Things can only be tidied if everything is destroyed. This stance is truly pathological and not within the normal imaginative range of the vast majority of non-adolescent humanity but he takes 'rage against the machine' and recrafts it. Ligotti's use of the corporation as the site for his horrors (with the caveats outlined below) is not quite so modern as it appears. Big lumbering corporations are now being displaced by the very different creative chaos of the internet, much as industrial society had long since replaced the castles by the time that castles had become the centre of Gothic writing. Horror, even Stephen King's small town settings, generally positions itself in what is passing, even when the subject is future apocalypse, and less frequently in what is now or is to come. It is as if horror writers are anxious about being confused with their brother, dystopian science fiction. They must articulate one of the primal cores of their art - anxiety about change and modernisation. To do that, they have to set the horror where things are being lost and not where they are being created.However, in his final short tale ['The Nightmare Network':], Ligotti does switch gear with a deliberately confused picture of all human consciousness as struggling brutal competition within one massive oneiric/nightmare corporation spreading outwards - reversing his usual Lovecraftian position that brute cosmic matter, working out its 'swinish' anti-human destiny, is the blackness of evil in order to make its counterpart, collective human consciousness, equally chaotic, cruel and expansionist.By this point, while he does not state this, his world-view seems to shift from humans as puppets in a black universe to that black universe and the collective of humanity competing to be chaotic evil - doubling the chaos and doubling the horror.And the role of the person in all this? "I - and you - now understood: We would be pulled back into the flowing blackness only when we had done all the damage we were allowed to do, only when our work is done. The work of you against me ... and me against you." Mind you, anyone who is not American and who has worked 'with' or for Americans in business and politics will know what he is getting at. American individualism can seem incredibly counter-productive and unnecessarily time-consuming. No wonder American executives rarely get a proper holiday ...Between the main novella and the 'oneiric' nightmare lies a more familiar style of Ligotti story ['I Have A Special Plan For The World':] bridging the tale of the demonisation of the human and the demonic nature of the human with a sense of the demonic in the world, a demonic that may not be human at all.The story is worth reading just for the use of the metaphor of haze, a worthy successor to Dickens' use of fog in 'Bleak House'. It is the obfuscation, crass politics and isolation of life in that sort of corporation where things just happen and one knows not why. The blurring of perception and ignorance are made physical in the most remarkable way.As the story progresses, the haze is linked to the construction of a false (whether theatrical or public relations) reality by corporatism to cover up what actually happens in the world - in this case, 'murders'. This is a very subtle story, if written in that formal style that, derived from Poe and Lovecraft, positions Ligotti within a specific tradition. Taken as a whole, in this book we have a ruthless competitive individualism (people only combine to effect a conspiracy) operating within seas of ignorance although, by placing detectives and waitresses outside this system, Ligotti uncharacteristically suggests that, though no doubt swine' at their core, 'ordinary people' at least are not directly complicit in this machinery of corporate horror. Ligotti appears to hate any claim to organisation whatsoever and sees it as lying cover for underlying soul-destroying chaos (yep, he has definitely had a job in a real Western capitalist corporation!). His contempt for the expansionary and acquisitive plans of the various corporations and executives in his stories are manifest in this volume. Although written at the height of global happy-clappy capitalist Friedmanism in 2002, their release more widely by Random House in 2009 might well express a new mood after the credit crunch has created a growing sense of a capitalist system out of control and run by incompetent buffoons.Let us return to the third story to get a feel for this. A 'Memo from the CEO' states: "As the forces operating in today's marketplace become more shadowy and incomprehensible we must recommit ourselves every second of our day to a ceaseless striving for that elusive dream which we all share and which none of us can remember, if it ever existed in the first place." Yes, well, that pretty well fits corporate life for many people.The last two pages of the last story pull together these themes in a transition from horror to science fiction, a flip from a Lovecraftian resistance to the modern and to a dark observation of where we are heading ... I won't spoil it.

  • Simon
    2019-04-07 13:16

    I didn't know whether Ligotti could live up to the impressively high standards that he attained in Teatro Grottesco but fortunately he did. I am once again humbled by this man's brilliance. This is precisely the kind of thing I'm looking for in horror; smoothly, eloquently written prose with creeping unease that makes one tremble in the face of the universe and the unseen that hide in its shadows.Ligotti presents a starkly atheistic, cynical view of life and the universe. If asked whether the glass is half empty or half full, I think he would say that it is less than empty, inversely filled inside out in some kind of nether world. Don't read this expecting some kind of life affirming read because it is precisely the opposite.His crowning achievement to my mind is the way he can make the reader share the protagonist's sense of cosmic terror. A far more easy task in the case of more visceral types of horror but not so easily done when it comes to the cosmic variety. In this regard he is unequalled (in so far as I have read), even by Lovecraft.This book comprises of a novella and two short stories, thematically linked by a concern with corporations and their nefarious nature and become progressively more cryptic. I'm not sure where he was going exactly with the last one but the other two were utter brilliance. Avoid reading the synopsis on the back as it gives away too much of the story of the novella for my liking.

  • Peterh
    2019-03-19 09:14

    There were three stories in this book, of which titular and first story was the longest, and the most offensive. Ligotti's attempt to wring shock value out of various issues, including rape and eating disorders was disgusting, at least to me. The whole first story was an angsty revenge fantasy that dragged on for much too long. Ligotti somewhat redeemed himself with the second two stories though. The second, "I Have A Special Plan For This World" was less focused than the first story, but also more eerie. The third story, "The Nightmare Network," was a sort of epistolary piece, and while it was difficult to follow, it stayed short enough to be entertaining in spite of that. Ligotti knows his way around a sentence, and his book is not without some good moments, but they do not redeem the work as a whole.

  • Bill
    2019-04-19 11:18

    This was my first Ligotti read. Don’t know what took me so long. He definitely has his own style which really worked for me in the first and third stories in this collection of corporate terror tales. The second story “I Have A Special Plan For This World”, was a bit of a chore to get thru and seemed to be a series of super long run-on sentences, stream of consciousness style. The main story and the namesake for the collection was my favorite of the three stories. The voice was strong and drawn, as Frank prepares for his Ultimate Statement. Frank was a great protagonist – an egomaniac with an inferiority complex and homicidal tendencies. I doubt that The Seven think so. Very well done. I need to queue up some more from Mr. Ligotti.

  • Tim
    2019-03-27 08:18

    Just never gets off the ground. I found the angst of the main character to be, well, juvenile. The author obviously has issues with the corporate world or he is trying to project something... but it doesn't work for me. The main character garnered nothing but negatives from me - first in his reactions and lack of accountability to himself, and then , even worse, by just quitting. Quitting everything. The "I have decided to die and take everyone with me" motif is just... boring. I didn't find the shocks shocking and I didn't find anything that made me feel horrified in this horror. I hear Ligotti's other work is better. This was my first try so I hope so. Disappointing.

  • T.E. Grau
    2019-04-03 12:03

    This is a grim, sad, violent book, which suffers a bit from scattershot plotting that seems to take the story in arbitrary directions, without tying up loose narrative ends.Still, the rendering of the tale is what helps it overcome structural slips, as no one writes horror fiction like Thomas Ligotti writes horror fiction, especially set in areas of urban, moral, and capitalistic decay.A pitch black gut punch to optimism and corporate culture.

  • Patrick
    2019-04-13 09:05

    I don’t think you’re going to like this book. Here’s the thing. Thomas Ligotti is one of my favourite modern horror writers, but he does not work very hard to be liked by the average reader. His stories are the concentrated expression of a personal philosophy which goes beyond bleak. Most eloquently expressed in his book ‘The Conspiracy Against the Human Race’, it is something not often found in mainstream fiction for the simple reason that it isn’t the kind of thing most people want to read. Most people would call it nihilism (though the author himself apparently dislikes that term) but the point is that if you feel strongly that this kind of thing is essentially wrong and bad, you aren’t going to like this book.Ligotti believes that the world is not worth living in, that our fundamentally inglorious existence is characterised by suffering, and that most people who live in our world probably do not deserve to be living at all. Which, I ought to add, is not the same as saying they ought to be killed. But when the central character of ‘My Work is Not Yet Done’ begins to plot vicious and bloody revenge against his co-workers, one might be tempted to think that Ligotti has finally slipped into straightforward advocacy of murder. It’s not quite that simple. For one thing, Frank Dominio, the protagonist of that long story (which comprises most of this edition) is portrayed as something of a buffoon. He comes across as a cross between an Edgar Allan Poe character, the killer from the movie ‘Se7en’, and George Costanza from ‘Seinfeld’. He rails against daylight savings time and the excessive consumption of coffee and juice during meetings even while he’s fantasising about putting an end to the inane witterings of his colleagues. There is no real attempt on the author’s part to empathise with Frank’s feelings; instead, Frank is as belittled as anybody else’s in this world. And then, shortly after stocking up on firearms and ammunition, something strange happens to Dominio. He finds he has has developed supernatural powers which allow him to inflict strange and cruel torments on the targets of his wrath. This is where Ligotti is in more comfortable territory. His fiction may be focused through the ideals previously mentioned, but it’s when he begins to pull and stretch at the threads of reality that his work really shines. One memorable punishment involves an executive trapped in a darkened office, forever opening an infinite series of doors labelled only ‘WORK NOT DONE’. I think we can all relate to that one from time to time.But at some point the author has to explain away Dominio’s condition, and it’s at this point that his story becomes somewhat forgettable. This grounding in a realistic mode probably leaves it as the weakest tale in this collection. Far more to my taste were its companions, ‘I Have a Special Plan for This World’ and ‘The Nightmare Network’. Both are linked thematically by a corporate setting: the former is an unsettling tale of a series of murders in an office where the atmosphere has become so anxious, so poisonous that it’s become difficult to actually see more than a few feet away from oneself; but the latter is something else entirely, an abstract tale which describes a corporation apparently dedicated to the manufacture of dreams (or nightmares), the dry Ballardian style mimicking a world of hellish infomercials and systematic atrocity in the unconscious fantasies of a seemingly omnipotent company. It’s utterly extraordinary and probably the best thing in this book.

  • Đorđe Bajić
    2019-03-29 09:03

    Nedovršeni posao (2002) je svakako zanimljiva knjižica. Nevelika obimom (svega 171 stranica), ona nudi, kao podnaslov otkriva, tri priče o korporativnom hororu. Prvi segment knjige, naslovni Nedovršeni posao, ujedno je i najduži. U pitanju je delo koje po svom obimu može da se uvrsti u kategoriju kratkih romana. Početak Nedovršenog posla ne sadrži natprirodne, pa čak ni horor elemente. Ligoti nam prikazuje svakodnevnicu jedne američke firme kroz sudbinu Frenka Dominija, čoveka koji iz dubine duše prezire svoj posao i ljude sa kojima radi. Nakon spletke u koju je uvučen protiv svoje volje, Frenk je prisiljen da uruči otkaz i napusti firmu za koju je radio godinama. Besan i ponižen, naš junak i pripovedač počinje da planira krvavu osvetu i odlazi u prodavnicu oružja, ali… Tada se dešava nešto što radnju i ton romana pomere u potpuno drugom smeru. Ligoti raspaljuje svoju maštu i piše stranice koje su natopljene fantastikom i hororom. Ligotijev pogled na stvarnost je suštinski nihilistički, ali ga to ne sprečava da roman zabiberi sa obilnim dozama goteske i crnog humora. Nakon „glavnog jela“ slede Lavkraftovim delom inspirisana priča Imam naročiti plan za ovaj svet i, kao desert, minijatura Mreža košmara. Sve u svemu – sasvim dovoljno za procenu Ligotijevih dometa i svetnazora.Kompletan prikaz:

  • John
    2019-04-02 07:54

    I feel like half the art in horror is atmosphere, where nothing exactly happens for a while but I am nail-bitingly on edge and expecting just about anything. The eponymous novella in this book is about one the most unsettling things I've read: the story of an outcast at a large corporation whose personal neuroses, related with a wry, unsettling voice that owes a lot to both Nabokov and Lovecraft, drives him to bizarre extremes. Thinking I'd work through it in a couple of days, the novella had me up late into the night through to the disturbing, though satisfying conclusion. Seriously, this story stayed with me for days.The other two stories here are very good and, particularly in the "Nightmare Factory", brilliantly weird. "I Have a Special Plan for This World" reminded my of some of the Aikman stories I've read, and despite its somewhat heavy-handed commentary on corporate ambition it left me with a strong and strangely dark image of the weird city Liggoti creates here

  • Amorfna
    2019-04-18 14:09

    Odlicna ( a cak nisam ni fan horor zanra). Mracna, kafkijanska atmosfera .Idealan poklon za sefa ( nakon sto date otkaz).

  • Cancerman
    2019-04-01 14:55

    Završen posao. Mrak mrak mrak mrak, pročitan Ligoti.Pročitajte ovo ukoliko želite da se poistovetite sa nekim ko prezire izraze "menadžment", "timski igrač", "korporacija".

  • Andy
    2019-03-19 07:51

    It saddens me that I've almost read all of Ligotti's published fiction at this point. No other writer has affected me so much.In this book Ligotti turns to corporate horror, something he has explored elsewhere, in Teatro Grottesco in particular. But this book is different from anything else I've read by him. His dark philosophy and imaginative, surreal atmosphere come through, but the first story in this book is longer than anything else he's published. Because of this he paces the story and we get a sardonic look at boring modern office life before we're slowly taken out of the normal and into increasingly surreal weirdness.Philosophically I found the image of The Great Black Swine particularly effective. This is the life force which "infects" matter, makes it animate, what we call "alive." This chaotic, aimless, meaningless force is often embodied in Ligotti's work as The Blackness, The Shadow, etc. Here Ligotti calls it The Great Black Swine while his protagonist contemplates this animating force within a roach:"...there was nothing especially ‘roachy’ inside the roach any more than there was anything of a distinct ‘person’ inside of Lillian – once the dark interior of each had been penetrated, there was only that buzz of swinish agitation and turbulent blackness. The Great Black Swine was thrashing about inside the cockroach just as it had within Lillian Hayes, the only difference being that any sense of delusion about being some kind of thing-in-the-world was missing from the insect...""...that Great Black Swine, that thrashing and vicious blackness which flowed like a river through every living thing [...] that moved and manipulated all the created life of this world [...] the shadow within all life, the thing that would live on and on as each one of us died our deaths alone. Because whatever life we had was only its life, and when our bodies, our cockroach bodies, became too damaged to accommodate it . . . this blackness flowed away, leaving behind it a dead vine, a bug’s crushed carapace, or a human corpse – things that had no life of their own, nothing real at all about them."This book is in three parts. First is what could be called Ligotti's only novel, coming in at 42,000~ words. This is a story of surreal, horrific workplace revenge. The second section is a short story, where the first story feels like it's set in reality, this one is far more dream-like. It's about a company, constantly striving to reach it's "ultimate potential" with horrific consequences. The atmosphere here reminded me of Bruno Schulz. The final section is a brief, bizarro sci-fi horror story told primarily through classified ads, corporate memos and cinematic descriptions of camera shots. It's about a corporation seeking dreams which merges with the subversive "Nightmare Network." All three of these have something to say about corporations taking on a nature of their own, much like the "Will to Life," but the corporation is all-consuming, to the ends of the universe.This is a really funny book at times, but it's dark and bitter too. I've never worked in Cubicle Hell, but the paranoia, anger and frustration of a sensitive person in such a situation makes it real. In some ways I could see this being a good introduction to Ligotti's work, however I wouldn't say it is the most representative.

  • Ian Casey
    2019-03-27 13:08

    Ligotti’s fourth major collection of original fiction (ignoring some obscure ones) is quite literally a change of pace from the previous three. More on that momentarily, but first, a Public Service Announcement.The Nightmare Network could easily be overlooked as the last and shortest story here, but that would be a disservice. My initial reaction is that this is the most dementedly brilliant thing I’ve read from Ligotti so far, or from anyone.That visceral response will dull with time but for now I feel knocked sideways in the way I was with The Screwfly Solution by James Tiptree Jr. What happens when a multinational company pursues the notion of endless growth to its ultimate extent by expanding through every level of reality, unreality, consciousness and time? I won’t spoil any more but I will say it’s bonkers. The unconventional form alone is a sight to behold.The other short story, I Have a Special Plan for This World, is about par for Ligotti though his par is better than most. I will have to investigate how this ties in with the poem of the same name and his collaborations with Current 93.The main event of the three-story collection is of course the titular novella, which is to my knowledge the single longest story published by Ligotti to date. All his trademark themes and visual cues are present and correct though the pace is positively brisk and free-flowing compared to the crushingly dense prose of Noctuary.At first it comes across as if Office Space had been re-written as a nihilistic horror, the humour still evident but blacker than black. But then we get the supernatural twists and turns kicking in halfway through and it becomes an intense rollercoaster of vengeance, grotesquery, unreality (of course), violence as both catharsis and an exercise in futility, a central mystery of the nature of being and an exploration of the meaning of fear.If you’ve any taste for the darkest extremities of weird fiction, then My Work Is Not Yet Done (originally subtitled Three Tales of Corporate Horror) - as with Ligotti’s other collections - demands to be read.

  • d.
    2019-03-24 15:54

    andjeli ne postojeukoliko nisu andjeli smrti.

  • Galo
    2019-04-08 09:13

    How ironic Thomas Ligotti should appropriately title this book for it suits it quite well. I hate to be overly critical of an author who is truly brilliant and possess one of the richest, most fertile, and under appreciated phantasmagorical mind's this side of Swiss artist H.R. Giger, but this novella and the two companion short stories (although the Nightmare Network can hardly be called a story) were complete and utter disappointments. I can only posit Ligotti fell into a deep state of dark rapture and began swimming in the murky waters of revenge-fantasies, only to come back up for air and churn out this tiresome excuse for horror literature. I have read his stories before, both in the pages of Weird Tales and in horror-themed short story collections, and his works have always provoked in me a deep respect for his literate, bizarre, neo-gothic, and overly-written approach to horror. Ligotti has an obvious distaste for the corporate world and its philosophy, and at this present juncture many of us will empathize and sympathize with his statement, but this is truly his darkest and most vulgar work to date: a pointless and merciless exercise in revenge-fantasy that has no special meaning: soulless and devoid of a true philosophy much like the corporate world he's criticizing. Pass on it unless you're a die-hard fan.

  • Andrew Lennon
    2019-03-28 13:09

    Have up at page 50.I don't know if it's because I'm ill today, but I just couldn't get into this book. I was completely disinterested the whole time. I usually enjoy Ligottis stories but this one just didn't do it for me.

  • Zorana Mitrović
    2019-04-10 14:52

    Какав смор од књиге.Тако добра идеја и тема и стварно је у почетку и више него интересантна, а онда од друге половине почиње да губи смисао и да буде напорна.Довршила сам је на силу.

  • Dan
    2019-04-19 08:54

    oh heck, I lost interest.The problem is a possibly good story gets weighed down by vague, obvious satire. Yeah, we're all corporate drones run by unseen malevolences--but I still get vacation days