Henry Tuhoe is the quintessential twenty-first-century man. He has a vague, well-compensated job working for a multinational conglomerate. He has a beautiful wife and an idyllic home in the suburbs. But things change when Henry’s boss offers him a choice: go to the tiny, about-to-be-globalized Kingdom of Galado to oversee the launch of a new customer-service call center for a bottled water company, or lose the job with no severance, Henry takes the transfer. Once in Galado, a land both spiritual and corrupt, Henry wrestles with first-world moral conundrums, the attention of a megalomaniacal monarch, and a woman intent on redeeming both his soul and her country.
About Holy Water
A mordant, ruefully funny novel about downsizing, outsourcing, globalization, third-world dictatorships, and vasectomies, by the acclaimed author of The Futurist and Adland.
Henry Tuhoe is the quintessential twenty-first-century man. He has a vague, well-compensated job working for a multinational conglomerate—but everyone around him is getting laid off as the company outsources everything it can to third-world countries.
He has a beautiful wife—his college sweetheart—and an idyllic new home in the leafy suburbs, complete with pool. But his wife won’t let him touch her, even though she demanded he get a vasectomy; he’s seriously overleveraged on the mortgage; and no matter what chemicals he tries the pool remains a corpselike shade of ghastly green.
Then Henry’s boss offers him a choice: go to the tiny, magical, about-to-be-globalized Kingdom of Galado to oversee the launch of a new customer-service call center for a boutique bottled water company the conglomerate has just acquired, or lose the job with no severance. Henry takes the transfer, more out of fecklessness than a sense of adventure.
In Galado, a land both spiritual and corrupt, Henry wrestles with first-world moral conundrums, the life he left behind, the attention of a steroid-abusing, megalomaniacal monarch, and a woman intent on redeeming both his soul and her country. The result is a riveting piece of fiction of and for our times, blackly satirical, moving, and profound.
“Manages to be at the same time cynical and soul-searching. . . . Smart, elegant, witty.” —The Washington Post
“[A] beach read for BlackBerry addicts. . . . The book’s gooey center inside its hard-candy shell is about finding meaning in work and life.” —Fast Company
“Smart. . . . The best satire springs not from contempt but from idealism, and Holy Water’s heart is finally an awakened one.” —The Buffalo News
“Hilarious, disquieting, razor sharp, and Now with a capital N. . . . Othmer is . . . a keen-eyed witness to the troubling but strangely hopeful times in which we live and a stylist of the first order. —Jonathan Evison, author of West of Here “Saul Bellow had Henderson the Rain King. Adolfo Bioy Casares had The Invention of Morel. James P. Othmer has Holy Water, and you should, too.” —Ben Greenman, author of What He’s Poised to Do and Please Step Back
“If you’ve been looking for Kurt Vonnegut’s successor, look no further. James P. Othmer has picked up the master satirist’s torch and taken off running with it. The moment you meet Henry Tuhoe, Vice President of Underarm Research, you know you’ve entered a world that is at once wildly absurd and frighteningly credible. If ever there was a novel for these troubled and bizarre times, this is it. What The Futurist predicted, Holy Water confirms: Mr. Othmer is on the brink of a major career. So it goes.” —John McNally, author of After the Workshop and The Book of Ralph