Race To The Bottom by Chris Rhatigan — Reviewed by Guy Portman
Roy is a degenerate and borderline alcoholic with a menial job at retailer Bullseye that pays less than Walmart. Roy’s precarious existence takes a turn for the worse when his overweight girlfriend, fed up with him living on her couch, throws him out. Roy is homeless, and late for work.
We soon discover that poor timekeeping is not his only bad work habit. Roy is a lazy, unmotivated employee with horrendous customer service skills. He is acutely aware that his days at Bullseye are numbered. And this is not his only concern. Roy’s decision to move in with layabout and sometime drug dealer Banksy proves to be an ill-fated one. A trip to a nightclub on his first night leads to an incident that sends Roy’s life spiralling out of control.
Replete with humour and employing a visceral prose style, the aptly named Race To The Bottom is a nihilistic, transgressive novella whose themes include menial work. Whilst this reader enjoyed this light, entertaining read, it does peter out somewhat, and there are occasions when the author uses an excess of punctuation.