Already known for his works of speculative fiction, author John Edward Lawson uses Discouraging at Best to take a look at the "real" world. On the pages within are five interlinked tales that, when pieced together, paint a panorama of apathy, greed, and manipulation. We follow the self-inflicted plight of working class families and their efforts to step on others in the race to get ahead. We watch the petty wars of Nobel laureates. We become immersed in the minds of those caught in an ankle-biters rebellion. We are drawn into the intrigues and incompetence of those pulling the strings at the highest level of government. And, ultimately, we wonder: why? Here the absurdity of the mundane expands exponentially creating a tidal wave that sweeps reason away. For those who enjoy satire, bizarro literature, or a good old-fashioned slap to the senses, Discouraging at Best offers extra helpings of each.