... brisk, wildly imaginative ... you can hear an old note, a note I’ve missed in American fiction, and am surprised to have noticed myself missing—for so long it seemed dominant to the point of imperishability. The violent, surreal, often cartoonish scenarios delivered deadpan that draw attention to the freakishness of ordinary life—from writers like Donald Barthelme, Gordon Lish, Ben Marcus ... This novel could have easily sagged into dogma, but Leichter keeps the narrative crisp, swift and sardonic. Temporary reads like a comic and mournful Alice in Wonderland set in the gig economy, an eerily precise portrait of ourselves in a cracked mirror.
...this book is taking a long hard look at work, the way a job can commodify us and strip us of our humanity, and it does it while being uproariously funny ... I would walk through neighborhoods handselling this book if that was an option ... Is Temporary the Great Late Capitalist Novel? I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the last few weeks ... What Leichter is getting at in her wonderful, slippery, surreal book is the structure of work ... By taking her Temp to extremes, Leichter is able to puncture the utter absurdity of work itself ... By the end, Temporary has wrestled with all of these questions, but in such fun and surprising ways that you might not even notice how emotional you’re getting until after you’ve punched out of the book.
Leichter displays a wonderful command of language. Every image jumps out with startling clarity. Even the mundane pops on the page, brought sharply, oddly, into focus by the eager eyes of our narrator. And the writing proves just as innovative with sound—adding a twinge to everything written that makes the strangeness of it all that much more apparent and intriguing. Leichter has taken the world of jobs and hurdles we know too well, and put it on the page for us in a way that makes it new. It is a strange, hilarious, and fantastical book about work, about our dreams and all the related burdens that burrow into our hearts.