Uccidere o essere uccisi
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Uccidere o essere uccisi

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  966 ratings  ·  180 reviews
In this new thriller from the acclaimed author of "The Blonde," Jamie DeBrouxs boss has called a special meeting on a Saturday to reveal to the employees that their company has been a cover for a branch of the intelligence community. Now it is being shut down, and all of the employees must die.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 7th 2009 by Newton & Compton (first published May 27th 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,444)
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Severance Package is a wickedly adrenalized, pulsating, page-turning piece of pulp. Like seriously, wtf? Everything is exquisitely exaggerated and unleashed in comic technicolor. I would love to have seen this as a graphic novel actually (or a slick Tarantino cinematic production), since so many of its best characteristics are both visceral and visual.

This novel IS NOT grounded in realism, flirting much more with parody and noir. And what can I say? I loved it! It's bloody and ridiculous. Unbel...more
Getting called in to work on a saturday? That is the worst. Getting called in to work on a Saturday and being told that you're a front for a secret government counter-terrorism unit? That's.. interesting. Getting called in to work on a Saturday and being told that your office is being shut down and you're all going to be killed? Well, is it too late to take a sick day?

Swierczynski gives us the third installment in a sort of Philly-based unofficial crime trilogy. I say unofficial because it doesn...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mike (the Paladin)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
There's been a terrible mix-up. Author Duane Swierczynski seems to have submitted this screenplay to a publishing house, and it somehow got printed and marketed as a book.

Rife with cliche, Severance Package is about a wimp whose boss decides to kill his company. Cheesy, comic-book violence prevails, which I guess is supposed to be both fun and shocking.

Maybe it's because I just finished a *real* violent book reading with literary value (Murakami's Wind-Up Bird Chronicle), but Severance Package...more
Make sure to read this thing in one sitting. It wouldn't be quite as effective otherwise. Recommended for anyone looking for a BATTLE ROYALE-like rush.

Kelly Hager
David Murphy has called a mandatory Saturday meeting for his key employees. Everyone's pretty pissed about this (who wants to work on a SATURDAY?!) but that's before they get there. When they arrive, they learn that the elevator's been disabled, there's a bomb on the stairway exits and they have two choices: drink poison for a fast, painless death or get shot in the head (which may be fast and painless or may not. Hard to tell).

A blurb on the back says that this book "begs for the next Tarantino...more
There's a cliche that pops up in cartoons and old slapstick comedies. A character with a ball and chain 'round his/her ankle stuffs said ball into a cannon, lights the cannon's fuse and shoots himself/herself over a wall. Well, you can't do that in real life---they already proved it impossible (and extremely dangerous, obviously) on "Mythbusters". But you can do it reading a book.

That book is SEVERANCE PACKAGE by Duane Swierczynski. Do you want to taste the power of great storytelling? Cleanse...more
I bought this book while I was extremely frustrated with my place of employment and because the author’s last name is barely pronounceable (like mine). One reviewer on the cover leaf stated that the book begged to be the next Tarantino movie. I thought it would be a fun read.

Although I read the whole thing and was intrigued from the cover to the last page, I was by no means impressed. Mixed metaphors, bad puns, lame one-liners... This book reads like a conversation with some college student tel...more
Duane Swierczynski is an author that dispenses with characterization and relies almost exclusively on dialogue and swift action to carry the reader through the book. In essence, and if this book is any indication, he's a pulp writer. And if you're into this style of writing than you've come to the right place.

John Locke fans (and yes, I'm one of them) would say that the dialogue is not as good as what the Donavan Creed novels deliver. Locke too dispenses with characterization and description and...more
I love gallows humor. And Duane Swierczynski delivers. It's film noir meets TV's The Office, with a healthy dose of superfluous bedlam. The plot requires one to suspend disbelief, but it's over-the-top funny. Talk about taking fluid rounds (after-work drinking) a step to far, Duane does it with great style. I wonder if he'll be at B'Con 2008 and can I buy him a beer?

Now I'm the girl who likes Jason Statham, Sam Jackson, and Frank Miller movies. Duane's novels have the feel of graphic comic-book...more
Seizure Romero
Another GR reviewer wrote:
"There's been a terrible mix-up. Author Duane Swierczynski seems to have submitted this screenplay to a publishing house, and it somehow got printed and marketed as a book."

...and she is dead on. I like Swierczynski's sense of the absurd, and this book had the potential to be really fun in a day-at-work gets all crazy-ass psycho-violent sense. It did not live up to that potential, however. The separate story threads never really come together in a worthwhile fashion and...more
Elizabeth Amber Love
I was looking around for the link to add a review because it's been a while since I've popped over to goodreads for something other than looking up quotes. I caught a few of the one-star reviews which made me feel bad for novelist Duane Swierczynski but then I read the text of each one and, as if they were copied and pasted, I saw the phrase "orgy of violence." Well... yes. Yes it is. You need to know what Swierczynski is capable of when it comes to telling action stories.

That's the thing I susp...more
Lukasz Pruski
Judging by numerous references in the text (and by the writer's surname) I share ethnicity with Duane Swierczynski, the author of "Severance Package". Alas, this will be his last book for me. The first 25 pages are intriguing, then the plot becomes a ridiculous roller-coaster and the novel turns into a non-stop orgy of senseless violence. I have nothing against heavy violence in literature; for example, I rated "Mixed Blood" by Roger Smith, "Eleven Days" by Donald Harstad, "Savages" by Dan Winsl...more
Karin Montin
A rogue intelligence agent sets up his own agency (or does he?) with only two civilian employees. One day he decides to shut up shop, leaving no one to spill any secrets. He calls them in on a Saturday morning to their high-rise office, booby-trapped with nerve gas, and orders them to drink poisoned mimosas.

An over-the-top idea, but it doesn’t stop there. There’s one employee who’s cut a deal with another set of spies: she’ll audition for them by demonstrating her abilities. She sets about assas...more
So, what do you do when your boss drags you to work on a Saturday morning and announces that you have two choices -- drink poison and die OR let him shoot you in the head (and die). Which do you pick?

I chose to read SEVERANCE PACKAGE purely based on the fact that I read Swierczynski's THE BLONDE a few years back and found it to be one of those thrilling kind of reads that you devour in a sitting but never quite pick up again -- and somehow, this was exactly what I wanted at the time I selected t...more
Kelli Lee
All I can say is Duane Swierczynski does it for me. I enjoy his novels. Severance Package, like the rest of his books, would make for an excellent movie. A movie that would fit perfectly with the styles of Quentin Tarantino.
Don Crouch
The world has been waiting (well, MY world anyway) for Duane Swierczynski's follow-up to the 2006 standout The Blonde for a long damn time, and it's finally here, in the form of Severance Package. Was it worth the wait?

Oh, yeah.

Severance Package is a rocket-fueled story of spy vs. spy, and then some, spanning continents as well as consciousness.

It opens with a fairly incidental death by potato salad. Really good, we're told, potato salad. From that point, the story gets unusual.

Right away we are...more
Sep 15, 2008 Nicole rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Fast, funny suspense. Best cover quote ever: "Ever want to kill your boss? Well, the feeling is mutual."
Interesting premise that descends into an unending orgy of violence.
Craig Pittman
Whoa! What a thrill ride! Enjoyed this book from start to finish.
Bloody and Tarantino-esque. Guys will like this. I liked it ok.
One Sunday night, after a particularly pulse-pounding episode of the show "Breaking Bad" , I began to do an online search for novels that folks may have compared to the show. This was one of the first ones I came across.

I would not have reached this opinion myself if I had read this book before watching my beloved "Breaking Bad" (it's my favorite show ever as of this review).

I mean, this book wasn't AWFUL. Quite the opposite. It has a great high concept.

The members of an office that is a cove...more
This was exciting. I like actions stories that begin at the start of the action instead of the true beginning. And Swierczynski keeps the intensity level high throughout. The story did meander for a while around the two-thirds point and the ending seemed headed toward a very loose and unsatisfactory conclusion, but it finished well. A tighter ending would have earned it a fourth star. Worth the read. And a fine introduction to The Company.


OK, I’ve thought a...more
I read this book in record time (for me).... less than 48 hours... I pretty much couldn't put it down.

While the book had "mindless" violence, this is exactly the kind of book that I could see being made into a movie. Unfortunately, you had the stories of about 10 characters packed into a 260-page book, so you didn't really get to know each character. On the other hand, you didn't need to. You learned just enough to make you sympathize with their situation... being trapped in an office with a bo...more
Jason (RawBlurb)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nobody does mayhem like Duane Swierczynski. To be precise, nobody does blood-dripping, bone-crushing, Looney-Tunes style mayhem like Duane Swierczynski. So if you haven't read any of his works before or have so far read only his stories for comic books, consider yourself duly warned.

It's a Saturday morning, and all the boss of Murphy, Knox has called for a meeting to announce to his staff the bad news: they're being shut down ... and they will not leave the office building alive. What ensues is...more
Mike Kazmierczak
This is one of those books that once you start reading it, you won't be able to put it down. Fortunately I was on a plane to Madrid and had nothing else to do because otherwise I would have spent an entire evening or Sunday afternoon reading it. The character are engaging. The story is fast paced and exciting. And the action does not let up.

After a month of paternity leave, Jamie DeBroux returns to the office on a Saturday morning for a special meeting. Unfortunately he finds out that his compan...more

"Severance Package" ist einfach ein gelungenes Stück aus dem Genre Action/Action-Thriller. Es dauert am Anfang etwas bis die Story in die Gänge kommt, das macht es aber zum Ende hin mehr als wett. An der ein oder anderen Stelle kommt auch durchaus etwas Situationskomik durch, hauptsächlich ist das Buch eine ereignisreiche Geschichte, bei der man nie richtig erahnen kann wie es enden wird.
Die Ausgangssituation ist einfach, eine "Finanzfirma" soll aufgelöst werden. Mit aufgelöst ist...more
Jeff Raymond
Probably closer to a 4.5 or so, but I'm willing to fudge things a bit for the sake of a great book.

Imagine getting called into work on a Saturday. Your boss brings you into a meeting room, there's cookies and champagne. And then he announces that he's there to kill you. It turns out your boss is part of an extra-governmental intelligence agency, and, well, the project is over and it's time for everyone to go now.

Thus begins a wild, bloody ride on an upper floor of an office building, where peop...more
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Duane Swierczynski is an American crime writer who has written a number of non-fiction books, novels and also writes for comic books.
More about Duane Swierczynski...
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