Humorous New Novel Takes a Satirical Approach in Examining the Individual Consequences of America’s Toxic Work Culture and Obsession With Productivity

Author Michael Carter’s clever debut, “In the Belly of the Bell-Shaped Curve” explores how the “daily grind” and soullessness of the modern workplace breeds lethargy, complacency and despair

March 1, 2021 10:00 AM EST

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INDIANAPOLIS, March 01, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mediocre is not a descriptor most people would prefer to apply to themselves, but it is a feeling that many unfortunately share. A desire to escape the confines of responsibility and achieve something more is pervasive, made evident by the countless stories that follow a rags-to-riches trajectory or accompany a confident protagonist as he or she leaves behind the comfortable familiarity of home for the great adventure of the unknown.

Weaving together comedy and drama, Michael Carter’s debut novel, “In the Belly of the Bell-Shaped Curve,” follows William “Turk” Malone, who is plagued by everything that reminds him of his own averageness. A middle-aged, recently divorced claims adjuster, his ambitions span far wider than the stuffy cubicle he is confined to at American Security Services. He is desperate to escape monotony and make his mark on the world. Fueled by a torrent of caffeine, sugar and a need to overcompensate for his insecurities, Turk hatches an extraordinary plan called the Primo-Primate Project (PPP).

As Turk sees it, chimpanzees possess a wealth of untapped potential and could be trained to work menial jobs, which would usher in a new global workforce where human talent is better utilized. Through fraudulent albeit cunning means, Turk leverages his mediocrity to secure the funds and chimpanzees for the PPP, visualizing riches, notoriety and, most importantly, the liberation of humans from their tedious 9-to-5s. However, when Turk becomes entangled in a web of white-collar crime, underhanded dealings and amateur zookeeping, he walks a fine line between finding success in his fantasy or descending into complete and utter madness.

“In the Belly of the Bell-Shaped Curve” relates to readers through a familiar scenario of doldrum office life and a main character they can see themselves in. While Turk’s frustration stems from a variety of sources—human incompetency, meaningless corporate jargon, his broken family—his worst anxiety comes from feeling trapped with so many others in mediocrity. Through keen observations of modern society, commentary on corporate malfeasance and absurd, tragicomic situations, Carter forces readers to reckon with their own limitations and pushes them to find purpose outside of the capitalist structure.

With laughable scenarios and tender moments alike, “In the Belly of the Bell-Shaped Curve” invites readers to join Turk as he discovers the inherent value in his life and how he can pioneer meaningful change from his rung in the ladder.

“In the Belly of the Bell-Shaped Curve”By Michael Carter ISBN: 9781663206848 (softcover); 9781663206862 (hardcover); 9781663206855 (electronic)Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iUniverse

About the authorMichael Carter graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor's degree in English and the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law with a doctor of jurisprudence. He practiced law for years as a trial lawyer. Later, he worked in state government as a deputy attorney general and as chief counsel for a state agency that provides support to the impoverished and those in need. “In the Belly of the Bell-Shaped Curve” is his first book. To learn more about Carter, please visit

iUniverse, an Author Solutions, LLC, self-publishing imprint, is the leading book marketing, editorial services, and supported self-publishing provider. iUniverse recognizes excellence in book publishing through the Star, Rising Star and Editor’s Choice designations—self-publishing’s only such awards program. iUniverse is headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana. For more information or to publish a book, please visit or call 1-800-AUTHORS.


Leslie Standridge
Source: iUniverse

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