Severance

Severance

An offbeat office novel turns apocalyptic satire as a young woman transforms from orphan to worker bee to survivor. Candace Chen, a millennial drone self-sequestered in a Manhattan office tower, is devoted to routine. With the recent passing of her Chinese immigrant parents, she?s had her fill of uncertainty. She?s content just to carry on: She goes to work, troubleshoots t An offbeat office novel turns apocalyptic satire as a young woman transforms from orphan to worker bee to survivo...

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Title:Severance
Author:Ling Ma
Rating:
Genres:Fiction
ISBN:Severance
ISBN
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:291 pages pages

Severance Reviews

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    Jan 21, 2019
    So I think this book is a case of the sum being greater than its parts. If you take it apart too much all it is is pieces that have been done before, apocalypse cliches, etc. But somehow the arrangement of the parts and the point of view make it a more enjoyable read for me than I woul...
  • OutlawPoet
    May 02, 2018
    So, when I started reading this one, I wasn?t sure. I was getting shades of Station Eleven (a.k.a the book most of the world loved and I did not a.k.a. 2 Pretentious Apocalyptic Fiction). I actually stopped reading it for a bit and almost deleted it. But, I returned to it and I?m g...
  • Rincey
    Dec 16, 2018
    3.5 stars Watch me talk about this book in my December wrap up: https://youtu.be/ReIV4UHlHCI ...
  • Tasha
    Sep 13, 2018
    I must be in the minority because this book fell flat for me and the ending was a huge let down. ...
  • Roxane
    Jan 05, 2019
    Well written post-apocalyptic story that goes back and forth between a woman in the world after an epidemic wipes out most of humanity and everything in her life leading up to it. Very compelling, nuanced protagonist. Maddening ending that could be stronger. ...
  • Jessica Sullivan
    Aug 25, 2018
    I feel like this book was written just for me. It?s a post-apocalyptic anti-capitalist office satire that explores so many of the themes that resonate with millennials like myself. Candace is one of the few survivors of Shen Fever, an epidemic that turns people into non-violent z...
  • Carol (Bookaria)
    Jan 19, 2019
    This is an introspective, character-driven novel. I was hesitant to pick it up but I?m glad I did. The story follows Candace Chen as she navigates life in post-apocalyptic America. The world has succumbed to the ?fever? and those who have caught it are called ?fevered?. ...
  • Peter Boyle
    Mar 03, 2019
    Severance is what you might call a literary zombie novel, except that the zombies are peaceful. As post-apocalyptic stories go, it's more Station Eleven than I Am Legend. Low on thrills, but wistful, and loaded with smart satire. The year is 2011, and Candace Chen is a successful pr...
  • Thomas
    Sep 09, 2018
    4.5 stars This book stopped me right in my tracks - literally. I read it in the span of five hours; I could not put it down. In Severance, Ling Ma shares the story of Candace Chen, a self-described millennial worker drone who spends much of her life sequestered in a Manhattan office...
  • Jill
    Aug 13, 2018
    Think of Severance as a stack of matryoshka dolls?an office satire inside a post-apocalyptic road trip inside an immigrant experience inside a millennial coming-of-age story inside an anti-capitalism tale. And if that sounds complicated ? well, it isn?t. It all works together bea...
  • Justin
    Dec 13, 2018
    Boy howdy, I ripped right through this little piece of dystopian apocalyptic romance(?) coming-of-age story. I liked a lot of what was going on here. It took what could have been your basic, run-of-the-mill end of the world story, and it added some depth and layers to it. Well, the aut...
  • Dianne
    Mar 07, 2019
    I really enjoyed this oddball dystopian novel about a young woman in NYC soldiering on while the world around her succumbs to a deadly plague. ?Shen Fever? is a fungal infection originated in China, which is transmitted by breathing in fungal spores. The symptoms initially mimic th...
  • Jenna
    Mar 01, 2019
    ? ? ?? ?? ?? ?? "After the End came the Beginning. And in the Beginning, there were eight of us, then nine?that was me?a number that would only decrease." In our modern world with antibiotics, anti-viral drugs, anti-fungicides, and vaccines, we som...
  • Rachel
    Dec 21, 2018
    There are a lot of elements from Severance that we've all seen before - the global pandemic which brings an abrupt halt to civilization as we know it, the few survivors trying to forge ahead in the absence of a structured society, the juxtaposition of before and after narratives. But t...
  • Diane S ☔
    Sep 19, 2018
    Dnf at 20%. Probably me, just not feeling this. Lacking the patience or will to continue. ...
  • Trudie
    Feb 21, 2019
    4.5 I can't get enough of these Millennial Malaise novels at the moment. So much so, I really want to host a dinner party with Candace, Janice ( The Ice Shelf) and the unnamed protagonist from My Year of Rest and Relaxation . These are my kind of women. Candace a child of Ch...
  • Monica
    Jun 21, 2019
    Severance is a very clever, dare I say brilliant allegory and/or modern day fable/ meditation on how we (specifically urban but in general all) humans go about living our lives. This was a Millennial novel that hit the spot for this borderline Baby Boomer/Gen Xer (I flex towards Gen X ...
  • David Yoon
    Feb 19, 2019
    It's the zombie apocalypse but the mindless, infected hordes this time aren't craving human brains but are instead locked in an endless loop of familiar and comforting patterns. Setting the table for example, or trying on outfits, over and over and over again. In that sense, Candace...
  • Michael Ferro
    Jan 04, 2019
    SEVERANCE is a very well-balanced novel, seamlessly blending dry wit, apocalyptic end games, and a unique character study. Following a young woman as she travels by caravan from a deserted New York City to the outskirts of Chicago, this book deftly blends different tones from the dark ...
  • Chad
    Sep 07, 2018
    Who knew that a book about a fever outbreak crippling civilization could be SO dull? Ling Ma has talent, but this book was so haphazard and incredibly boring. It was so infuriating reading about Candace's naivety; there were multiple instances where I uttered, "she is so dumb!" while r...
  • Elaine
    Aug 27, 2018
    As usual, I'm in the minority about Severance, a plodding post-apocalyptic story about a millennial drone named Candace Chen. When Shen Fever sweeps through the country, killing off most of the population, Candace continues to go to work at the publishing office because she signed...
  • Lisa
    Dec 22, 2018
    A riveting, thought provoking novel about a millennial woman living and working in New York when an apocalyptic event occurs. This novel defies categorization or simple summaries. Ling Ma taps into the anxieties of our era brilliantly and held me captive for 291 pages. ...
  • Katie
    Dec 30, 2018
    This was a slow burn for me, but once I got to the last 100 pages I couldn't stop. This is the first time I've connected personally with a protagonist in a long time, and whether or not you're a "millennial" this book is more important than the trendy book cover color would lead you to...
  • Michael
    Oct 09, 2018
    My full review, as well as my other thoughts on reading, can be found on my blog. An apocalyptic satire about the global onset of Shen Fever, a plague that turns people into mindless drones, Severance follows Candace Chen as she attempts to navigate a world stripped of choice and fe...
  • Book of the Month
    Nov 30, 2018
    Why I love it by Siobhan Jones Look, I want to be a good book-mom here and say that I love all our selections equally. But the truth is, there are a few reads from this year that I absolutely adored? For Better and Worse and An American Marriage come to mind?above all the ot...
  • Cindy Pham
    Jun 02, 2019
    I relate a lot to the millenial experience of banality and monotony under capitalism; in fact, I could easily see myself in the same position as the main character, where I still go to work despite the death around me. I like that the zombie apocalypse is different in the sense that it...
  • Meike
    Aug 30, 2018
    Winner of the Kirkus Prize for Fiction 2018 Ever wondered about the connection between globalization, your office job and the zombie apocalypse? Well, no worries, Ling Ma figured that out for you. Her debut novel is a mixture between immigrant family story, corporate satire, and a dys...
  • Lori
    Jun 15, 2019
    Not your standard zombie post-apocalypse. I liked the humor and Candace's detail-rich backstory, immigrated as a child from Fujian province to Salt Lake City, most of all. Her trip to Shenzhen for her book publishing job alone was worth the read. ...
  • Lark Benobi
    Nov 14, 2018
    This one landed like a flat mylar balloon for me. The combination of a detached narrative voice plus the strangely muted descriptions of this particular vision of apocalypse deflated my enthusiasm. I suppose it?s part of the satire that the tiny band of survivors here are all regular...
  • 7jane
    May 04, 2019
    This is a story about many things: on where your home is (Candace really likes being in New York, and then of course there's the everyone wanting to go 'home' when the Fever really spreads - in Bob's case, the mall (view spoiler)[of his childhood (hide spoiler)] called by him The Fa...