The Consultant by Bentley Little (a book review)

Another engrossing Little novel. This is a satirical horror story about a consultant from HELL.

CompWare’s CEO, Austin Matthews, hires Regus Patoff of BFG Associates to help him make improvements to his game software company. The consultant is more than a little offbeat; he’s way off-center. His questions are overly personal and irrelevant. One of the activities he plans is for the managers is to go on a camping retreat. The trip turns out to be more of a scary episode than a team building exercise. One of their activities is to go “hunting.” But the only wildlife they spot out in the woods is a dog wearing a dog tag. Later, when dinner is served, guess what it is?

As the story continues, the consultant’s purview crosses over to the employees’ personal lives. His cost-saving ideas and schemes become stranger and more irrational. For example, the consultant finds through his studies that many of the employees use too much toilet paper, so they are to view a training video on how to wipe their a_ _ properly. Another example is a mandatory drug test. Here, several work groups are slashed with a rusty knife, with their blood collected in a vial. Afterwards they are given a tetanus shot for good measure. Meanwhile, the CEO’s blood is withdrawn by using a plastic bottle opener.

The atrocities build up until you want to fire that consultant yourself. Can you?

Bentley Little writes unique stories that are both horrific and wonderfully absurd. He’s a real master of dark humor. I’ve read only the novels he’s written, and I’ve listed them below in the order they were published.

The Revelation
The Mailman
Death Instinct (writing as Phillip Emmons) aka Evil Deeds
The Summoning
University
Dominion
The Ignored
The Town
The Store
The House
The Walking
The Association
The Return
The Policy
The Resort
Dispatch
The Burning
The Vanishing
The Academy
His Father’s Son
The Disappearance
The Haunted
The Circle
The Influence
The Consultant

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