The Job of the Wasp

The Job of the Wasp

A new arrival at an isolated school for orphaned boys quickly comes to realize there is something wrong with his new home. He hears chilling whispers in the night, his troubled classmates are violent and hostile, and the Headmaster sends cryptic messages, begging his new charge to confess. As the new boy learns to survive on the edges of this impolite society, he starts to...

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Title:The Job of the Wasp
Author:Colin Winnette
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Job of the Wasp Reviews

  • Elijah

    Yo holy fuck

  • Vivek Tejuja

    An unnamed narrator shows up at a mysterious facility for orphaned boys. The world is strange, eerie and everything seems to be sinister, even the Headmaster. He hears whispers at night. His classmates are volatile and always angry and for some reason the Headmaster is sending him cryptic messages to confess. But confess about what? What is going on? And then beware, because the corpses start showing up.

    This is the plot, to put it loosely of “The Job of the Wasp”. I have just given you the gist

    An unnamed narrator shows up at a mysterious facility for orphaned boys. The world is strange, eerie and everything seems to be sinister, even the Headmaster. He hears whispers at night. His classmates are volatile and always angry and for some reason the Headmaster is sending him cryptic messages to confess. But confess about what? What is going on? And then beware, because the corpses start showing up.

    This is the plot, to put it loosely of “The Job of the Wasp”. I have just given you the gist. There is so much more to this book that perhaps cannot be put into words. This is such a dark book that for most of the time I found myself jumping in my skin as I was reading it late into the night. I have always found myself strangely attracted to ghost stories, even though I can’t sleep a wink after reading them.

    “The Job of the Wasp” will make you paranoid even if you aren’t that person. There are layers of what’s happening and why and though you think you have it all figured, the book takes a sharp turn and leaves you breathless. The writing is in the atmosphere – from the facility to its surroundings to the dark characters, Winnette’s skills just show us the chaos of the world and what goes on in people’s hearts.

    The book is so many things – surreal, entertaining, witty, and so bizarre, that it not only takes you by surprise but also leaves you gobsmacked and wanting more and more. I wish I could put the brilliance of this novel in more words, however, all I can say is that you have to get up, go to the nearest bookstore, and pick this up. Don’t drop it till you are done reading it.

  • Melki

    This is one of the strangest stories I've read, and also one of the most unsettling. I hesitate to shelf it as horror, as the chills engendered by the author are not the type that keep you up all night, or haunt your dreams if you do manage to drop off . . . and yet, the book is every bit as creepy as its disturbing, fleshy-looking cover.

    As many reviewers have mentioned, the

    vibe is strong here

    This is one of the strangest stories I've read, and also one of the most unsettling. I hesitate to shelf it as horror, as the chills engendered by the author are not the type that keep you up all night, or haunt your dreams if you do manage to drop off . . . and yet, the book is every bit as creepy as its disturbing, fleshy-looking cover.

    As many reviewers have mentioned, the

    vibe is strong here, as unsupervised boys turn on one another. But, there's definitely something different about this tale . . .

    Our nameless narrator, an orphan sent to an institution, keeps discovering bodies. Well, that's rather odd . . .

    As things progress, the reader has no idea who to believe . . .

    Who is alive, and who is . . . dead.

    If you're looking for a different kind of spooky read for October, this one might just fit the bill.

  • Lori

    This was my first date with Colin Winnette, and will most definitely not be my last.

    I inhaled this book in nearly one sitting. Equal parts

    ,

    , and

    , we follow an increasingly unreliable and highly paranoid narrator as he becomes confusingly entangled in a series of mysterious murders that take place at a boarding house of sorts for terminally ill and problematic boys (aka the Facility).

    Page after peculiar page, I was pulled deeper

    This was my first date with Colin Winnette, and will most definitely not be my last.

    I inhaled this book in nearly one sitting. Equal parts

    ,

    , and

    , we follow an increasingly unreliable and highly paranoid narrator as he becomes confusingly entangled in a series of mysterious murders that take place at a boarding house of sorts for terminally ill and problematic boys (aka the Facility).

    Page after peculiar page, I was pulled deeper into Winnette's world, and though I had an inkling of where things were heading, much like our nameless orphan, I continuously second guessed myself as I pushed on, running the scenearios over and over again in my head.

    Well played, Colin. Very well played.

  • Blair

    Right from the start,

    is utterly disquieting. Everything about it just feels somehow

    though it's difficult to put your finger on exactly what the problem is. Perhaps it's the fact that the story is ostensibly narrated by a boy at boarding school, but

    about the narrative voice sounds like any child or teenager you have ever encountered. Perhaps it's that the time period and geographical setting are so unclear. Perhaps it's even that the title and inexplicably unse

    Right from the start,

    is utterly disquieting. Everything about it just feels somehow

    though it's difficult to put your finger on exactly what the problem is. Perhaps it's the fact that the story is ostensibly narrated by a boy at boarding school, but

    about the narrative voice sounds like any child or teenager you have ever encountered. Perhaps it's that the time period and geographical setting are so unclear. Perhaps it's even that the title and inexplicably unsettling cover don't seem to say anything about the story.

    I was slightly inaccurate just now in referring to the setting a boarding school. To be more precise, it is (according to the Headmaster) 'a temporary holding facility with mandatory educational elements'. After the first page, our narrator – who lacks a name himself – only ever calls it 'the facility'. The Headmaster keeps reminding the narrator that the latter's presence means the facility is 'one person beyond capacity'. The narrator hears laughter outside his bedroom window during the night. He's bigger than the other boys, which leads to a long, borderline-farcical conversation about the bagginess of trousers. He seems to be disliked by his fellow residents (plus he can barely tell them apart), and his discussions with the Headmaster lead to existential monologues like this:

    At this early stage, it is impossible to avoid notes of absurdity and amusement in the story. But then the narrator and another boy find the body of a teacher, and it quickly spirals into a paranoid, claustrophobic nightmare. It doesn't

    lose its sense of humour, as the narrator spins outlandish and horrible fantasies about every new suspicion, but at the same time provides an uncomfortably realistic idea of what it's like to suffer paranoid delusions.

    I would place

    next to

    and

    in a small but significant category of recent fiction that combines nightmarish imagery, symbolism, elements of traditional horror, and narratives that move beyond unreliability and into unreality. I found it weirdly powerful, compelling and totally

    But if surrealism isn't your thing, if you like everything explained and resolved, give this one a miss – it's stubbornly enigmatic.

    The Job of the Wasp

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  • Jessica Sullivan

    Imagine Lord of Flies if it were a surreal, gothic ghost story written by Jesse Ball. That's the best way I can describe this bizarre little book.

    The Job of the Wasp begins with an unnamed narrator showing up at a mysterious facility for orphaned boys. We, the reader, are dropped directly into this strange and eerie world where everything and everyone functions in a peculiar and unreliable manner. This is creepy, this persistent sense of the unknown.

    The narrator tries to fit in at the facility,

    Imagine Lord of Flies if it were a surreal, gothic ghost story written by Jesse Ball. That's the best way I can describe this bizarre little book.

    The Job of the Wasp begins with an unnamed narrator showing up at a mysterious facility for orphaned boys. We, the reader, are dropped directly into this strange and eerie world where everything and everyone functions in a peculiar and unreliable manner. This is creepy, this persistent sense of the unknown.

    The narrator tries to fit in at the facility, but is met with a range of indifference and hostility. Then the bodies start turning up, and things get really weird.

    Racked with dread, isolation and increasing paranoia, the narrator attempts to formulate a plan to save himself and his peers from the strange facility, only to learn that his role in all of it may not be what it seems.

    This is a creepy, darkly funny and cerebral book with some truly thought-provoking passages about the nature of reality, life, and death. The concept of control also plays a big part, as the narrator consistently struggles to take control of what's happening while simultaneously accepting "the unrestrained chaos of the world."

    Ultimately, though, I'm not sure I fully get the plot. Maybe I'm not supposed to. I enjoy the obscureness of surreal entertainment, but in cases such as this one I can't help but wish that the author had taken me just one step further toward a sense of cohesion. Jesse Ball always seems to nail this, which sets the bar high for other writers of surreal literature.

    In spite of feeling slightly disappointed with The Job of the Wasp as a whole, I'm always grateful for the opportunity to read a novel like this that's so intelligent and bizarre. The narrative itself gets 3 stars, but the dialogue and writing are so good that I can't give this anything less than 4.

  • Michelle

    I've got to say that I was confused through most of this book. There were glimpses of some good creepy scenes but my mind just couldn't fully grasp what was happening. Maybe it's me. Maybe I just didn't get it.

    This is well written and other reviewers seem to of enjoyed it so by all means give it a try if it sounds interesting to you.

  • Jennifer

    I can't help but wonder "What did I miss?" as I look through the reviews on Goodreads and elsewhere. The book is about an orphanage for young boys and a mysterious set of deaths (accidents? murders? suicides?) and potentially supernatural perpetrators. It seems like it's Lord of the Flies-esque at some parts--a Jack/Ralph battle emerges a bit between the narrator and Anders/Fry. But it's quickly the case that Fry is the leader, so there ends that direct parallel. It's hard to say this is a consi

    I can't help but wonder "What did I miss?" as I look through the reviews on Goodreads and elsewhere. The book is about an orphanage for young boys and a mysterious set of deaths (accidents? murders? suicides?) and potentially supernatural perpetrators. It seems like it's Lord of the Flies-esque at some parts--a Jack/Ralph battle emerges a bit between the narrator and Anders/Fry. But it's quickly the case that Fry is the leader, so there ends that direct parallel. It's hard to say this is a consideration of groupthink or (im)morality, and I'm not sure what else to make of this. When I wonder "What did I miss?" it's not just a question of why did people like this story it's also, what did I miss in the story? I can't really figure out how this is a story. The only explanation I got from reading reviews was that this story was Poe-esque (it certainly was only Dickensian to the extent that it was set in an orphanage and written with narration and dialogue we wouldn't use today) in that the book ended abruptly right when the story seemed to get good. Here, it wasn't that it had gotten good right as it was ending. What I mean more is that it got to the point where it could have gotten good. There was some explanation from a character of things that might have been going on and then it could have gotten good. But we got no explanation of what has happened.

    All I can say is we likely had an unreliable narrator, but with so many events that made no sense, and no illuminating explanations or resolution whatsoever I could not come up with an idea of what was the alternative to what this narrator was saying.

  • Emily May

    Too strange, cold, and emotionally-detached for my tastes. I should have probably felt something when the corpses started to show up, but I didn't.

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