Every year there are at least one or two "Dilbert" collections released and every few years a new "Dilbert" anthology is released. Every once in awhile, a random "Dilbert" compilation is released that contains strips that have been already released, but revolve around a particular theme. The theme in PROBLEM IDENTIFIED AND YOU'RE PROBABLY NOT PART OF THE SOLUTION is the in competency and useless managing skills of the Pointy-Haired Boss at Dilbert's company.
PROBLEM IDENTIFIED AND YOU'RE PROBABLY NOT PART OF THE SOLUTION isn't a very good collection of "Dilbert" strips. The strips are taken from 1991-2005. Even though it would have been nice to see some more recent strips, the time period the strips comes from doesn't bother me very much. In fact, that's one the few bonuses about this collection: you can actually see the physical progression of the characters in the strip. For instance, the Pointy-Haired Boss didn't start out with pointy-hair and had large, droopy jowls instead; Wally was fatter and had thinner glasses (you can see his eyes much of the time); and Alice looked more like an obese trailer-park hussy instead of the well-framed woman she is now.
My biggest issue with the book is the abbreviated storylines. One of the pleasures of reading "Dilbert" is reading through a series of strips and seeing how a story or gag will end up concluding. You don't get to see much of that in this collection. The book feels like reading a bunch of punch lines without the set-ups tied together with a few set-ups without punch lines and a few complete jokes here and there.
PROBLEM IDENTIFIED AND YOU'RE PROBABLY NOT PART OF THE SOLUTION has appeal only for the most devout "Dilbert" fans. Normally a collection like this can be a good way to introduce someone to a new strip, but this book isn't useful for that either because it leaves out so much of what makes "Dilbert" great.
So, the library gets a relatively new Scott Adams Dilbert compilation, and I put myself on the hold list. Finally, Problem Identified: And You're Probably Not Part of the Solution comes in, and I pick it up. Instead of the most recent year or two of strips I expected, it's a compilation of strips over the last 15 years that seem to be related to Dilbert and the Point Haired Boss. Overall reaction? Meh... Granted, when you get a compilation … more
"Admit it. Everyone loves to hate their boss, and who is more deserving of loathing than Dilbert's Pointy-Haired Boss? In this volume, the PHB's misdeeds, missteps, mismanagement, and utter incompetence are chronicled..."--P.  of cover.