Review: The Simulations by John Forelli

The Simulations by John Forelli
Release Date: April 20, 2015
Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Pages: 196
Source: book provided by the author for review



When Ray Ality arrives for a job interview at Simulations Inc. he’s immediately drawn to Delilah, the cute receptionist. Only one problem: she’s engaged. Ray soon concocts a plan to win Delilah over, as he and his new, eccentric coworker Bob use the company’s software in an attempt to simulate the process of courting her. Ray soon discovers that the simulations aren’t exactly what he expected, and as he sinks deeper into virtual reality it becomes harder to distinguish real life from the imaginary.This novel is Office Space meets The Matrix–an existential discourse told among keyboards and cubicles.


Review:   This is the author’s debut novel and it’s for those that have an interest in virtual reality and computers.  The plot is nonexistent except for Ray, during working hours, trying to figure out a way to ask out Delilah, the pretty building receptionist who greets people as they come in the building.  There isn’t any depth to the characters or the storyline which is very repetitive in actions and words and takes place mainly in the world of virtual reality. For the most part there are few interactions between the characters.  There are a lot of references to the television show The Office and The Sims computer games which you have to be familiar with to understand the connection.

This is Ray’s first job out of college and though he’s overqualified for it based on his interview and the elaborate and knowledgeable responses he gives to the questions, he accepts the job offer.  When he’s meeting with the head of Human Resources, whom they each dislike on sight for a few reasons, the writing is on the wall and we can tell he won’t fit in to the quirky culture of the company.  He has no use at all for any of his co-workers except Warren, who hired him, and Bob whom he gets to help him in his quest to ask Delilah out.  This becomes Ray’s main focus and most of his time and energy is spent on it.  He even has Bob create a simulation program for him to be able to act out his fantasy and to perfect his words and actions.  This is done over and over again – 42 times to be exact!  Some of what they do to create the simulation isn’t ethical and digs into personal, private and confidential information.  Bob doesn’t seem to mind since most of his own day is spent in his own self-created Sims game that is out of the realm of ever being possible.

Most of the employees we meet seem to act unprofessionally and take care of their own needs first.  Even management seems to have their own agenda and except for Warren take an immediate dislike to Ray.  There are roadblocks thrown in Ray’s path that he and Bob always get around including a theft.  He has several meetings with management but always goes back to doing what he wants and not his job.  The ending left me puzzled and I didn’t feel there was closure. Not an author I would read again if this is his style of writing.