Charles Rammelkamp’s Presto chronicles the adventures of an employee for a temp agency as he goes out on what often seem like absurd assignments for which he occasionally has to make up the rules as he goes along, improvise. As the sequence deepens, we see this unidentified character in later work situations. His attitude seems unchanged as he deals with the absurdities life throws his way. A timely book that is a meditation on the temporary and the illusory nature of work and waking life.

What a supremely textured, sharp-witted and absorbing book Presto is. Rammelkamp explores the temp job experience brilliantly—that multivarious, short-term universe where a factotum shapeshifter resides only for a moment. That wet cement terrain one steps into for fast cash, then gets out of before it has a chance to harden.—Robert Scotellaro, author of God in a Can and Ways to Read the World