My Work Is Not Yet Done (2002) – The Revenger’s Futility

My Work is Not Yet Done is a novella published alongside two other stories.  It is, to this date, the longest work of fiction produced by Thomas Ligotti.  It is also a deeply vexing work.  While the book is occasionally brilliant and incredibly twisted, it is also a deeply taciturn book that is forever seeking to wrong-foot its readers with a series of shifts in tone, style and even genre.  The book’s ultimate target is work (that most inhuman and universal form of slavery) but I would argue that the book’s shifts in tone and sympathies also suggest a desire to deny its audience the vicarious catharsis that generally comes with a good story of revenge.  It is this aspect of the story I want to discuss here.

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