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Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman

3.25  ·  Rating Details ·  539 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
Jamie Reidy is to the pharmaceutical business what Jerry Maguire was to professional sports and Frank Abagnale (Catch Me If You Can) was to bank fraud. He's the guy who's been there, done that, and walked away with the insider stories. You'll find yourself rooting for Reidy and at the same time, you'll be shocked by the realities of the world that paid his salary. Hard ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
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Feb 08, 2011 Heather rated it it was ok
Eh. This book was very underwhelming. Jamie Reidy seems like he's probably a nice enough guy, but you can tell he thinks (earnestly) that he's a much more hilarious and amazing writer than he is. Not that it's terrible, but it's like someone told him he's really funny and he's kind of not.

The thing is this:
1. Half the book is just about being a pharma rep, not about being a pharma rep who sells viagra (he initially sold zithromax and other stuff).

2. None of it is that interesting or exciting. It
Marisa Fernandes
"O Amor é o Melhor Remédio" não foi de todo uma boa escolha de leitura que fiz. Aliás, acredito que Jamie Reidy possa ser um bom escritor, mas não me convenceu... Passei a maior parte da obra ansiosa, desejosa por chegar ao fim do livro, fim esse que parecia um destino longinquo!
Em primeiro lugar, continuo a não perceber a razão do título da obra ser "O Amor é o Melhor Remédio", já que esta se refere maioritariamente ao Zithromax e não ao Viagra (que poderia mais facilmente ser associado ao amor
Dec 08, 2010 Diana rated it really liked it
From my understanding, "Love & Other Drugs" (the movie with Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal) was based off this book. But while the movie was a love story (and kinda crappy) the book is all-comedy (and f*cking awesome). Seriously, it's laugh-out-loud funny. Jamie Reidy is witty, honest and well, I'll leave it up to the reader to decide if he's likable (I actually think he is). It's a damn shame that the producers took this book and made it into a dramatic/romantic movie. They could have ...more
Christine Bader
May 27, 2013 Christine Bader rated it did not like it
Shelves: business-memoir
"Hard Sell" should have been a game changer: the book that exposed the endemic corruption in the pharmaceutical industry, with unethical sales reps pushing drugs into doctors' offices fully aware of their flaws.

But Reidy manages to make it a frivolous frat-boy story: how funny it is that he stole samples, collected fake signatures, fudged his expenses, and handed out drugs to friends and family.

I find it hard to believe that Reidy's shenanigans didn't cross the line from juvenile to unlawful. I
Apr 27, 2010 Lauren rated it liked it
I didn't actually read this book, my husband did. I checked it our for him out of pity: it has sat on the shelves of our library for 5 long years, and not a single person has checked it out. I brought it home for him, like a cute puppy from the pound, and hope he liked it. He did. Here's his review;

It was entertaining, an interesting story, good insight into "salesman university." Enjoyed the first half, the second half was kind of slow until the end where it really picked up, then abruptly ende
Nov 21, 2010 Casa rated it liked it
THe book was a good book, regardless of the fact that it seriously had nothing to do with the movie...I mean If you were reading this book because you wanted to before the movie came out, do not waste your time...but if you enjoy pharmaceuticals and learning about ones mans journey through the ever so impressive world of Pharm sales then have a read. But I can honestly say that the movies trailer made me want to read the book before hand so in that aspect I was sorely disappointed. But its a ...more
Apr 06, 2011 Tina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-reviewed
I don't know if I can do a review that isn't biased. The author of Hard Sell is a childhood friend. Someone who even though I moved away in the 6th grade, made his mark on me long ago. I used to flip baseball cards with him. I won. I won a lot. I'm glad that never made his book.

But back to Hard Sell. I found it an interesting look into what goes on with the big drug companies. It opened my eyes to when I would ask for more samples of my BC pills way back when, they told me no. When they had a wh
Totally blindsided of the fact that the only reason why I bought this book was for 2 reasons: 1) Borders was closing and I couldn't help but to buy some books in its final days. 2) It said it was based on the movie Love & Other Drugs and if I hadn't had a chance to watch the movie I love to read the book first....

Now that I've seen the movie I know....KNOW! I would've been pissed off that the book and the movie are pretty much mutually exclusive...The movie was way better and the book was dr
Jun 07, 2013 Liliana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-shelf
Este livro é bastante leve e engraçado. Escolhi lê-lo porque nesta altura precisava de algo assim e serviu perfeitamente o objectivo. Tem momentos de entretenimento puro.
Acabamos por ter a certeza de que, nas vendas farmacêuticas, existem muitos esquemas e o autor (visto que é uma biografia) é uma personagem bastante caricata que arranja forma de ter um bom ordenado sem fazer quase nada... Enfim, é um bom vivant...
Confesso que enquanto li o livro invejei bastante a sua profissão... :)
Lesley Strom
Sep 20, 2011 Lesley Strom rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lesley by: wanted to read this before watched the movie!
My intention was to read this book before I watched the movie but the first 41 pages and already this guy annoyed me. I think he thought of himself as a comedian...I kinda envisioning himself laughing over his own anecdotes as he writes this book but just wasn't for me. Gave up.
Elke Diaz
Mar 21, 2011 Elke Diaz rated it did not like it
There were many events I could relate with in what was formerly known as "big pharma" that were true and comical at times. However, the author's lazy and underachiever attitude were disturbing. Sad how one rotten apple can ruin the whole barrel.
Nov 19, 2016 Joana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Este livro não foi uma boa escolha, foi tão agoniante lê-lo!

Primeiro porque eu vi o filme e é um dos meus preferidos ( mas não tem nenhuma analogia ao livro. Estava esperançosa quanto ao livro, mas nada tem a ver com o filme, sem ser a parte de Jamie ser um vendedor farmacêutico e falar sobre o Viagra. Este livro nunca mais terminava, foi uma desilusão! O autor não me convenceu com esta autobiografia! Não tem lição de vida nenhuma, não cria empatia com o
Andrew Shine
HARD SELL is one interesting book and kind of a fascinating study. I, for one, feel a lot more informed about the world of pharmaceutical sales. Prior to reading this, I hadn’t the faintest idea how a company like Pfizer sold their drugs. The book does do a great job of clearing up any questions an outsider might have. Plus, the book will leave you with a number of surprising facts regarding drug reps, the offices they serve, and the drugs they sell. Also, as someone who has worked in sales, ...more
Nov 18, 2012 Nick rated it liked it
I always want to see more good books out there that explore what it's like to be in the early post-college career-building days as a young single man. So I give this one credit for using that subject matter. As a fellow Domer, I gave it a lot of patience.

Jamie himself in the epiloge talks about how he failed readers in his book b/c he didn't invite them into his hopes, fears, dreams, etc. He's absolutely right. I give him credit for that insight too.

As a pharma sales rep, he seems to have believ
Becky Sandham Mathwin
I've been simultaneously interested in and disturbed by the practice of pharmaceutical sales for quite some time and was curious to read this insider's account of his time in the industry. Overall, I liked the book-it was entertainingly written and Mr. Reidy (although he comes across as somewhat arrogant and lazy) doesn't take himself seriously. I liked that he wrote about his personal experiences and didn't feel the need to make any kind of broader statement-he lets the reader make his or her ...more
Mar 31, 2016 Kayel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
i'm torn on this one, really. yesterday i ended just over 1/2 and would have given it less than 0, but today i finished and liked the ending a lot. so now i'm not sure if the first half of the book was really so awful, or if yesterday i was really so grouchy?
to my naive mind, i was absolutely horrified that people like this (100% unethical, lying, cheating, stealing, etc) were actually out in the world (it's something you know, but don't really KNOW) and it's scary how much you can believe beca
Sep 14, 2013 Corinne rated it really liked it
Shelves: gym-books
I added this to my list of to-read books during my short stint working for an organization that trained people working in the pharmaceutical industry. Ultimately, it was in large party my ethical incompatibility that drove me from the pharma industry, so I was curious to see what Jamie Reidy had to say.

Reidy exposes the pharma sales sector to be a profit-driven manipulative environment, and that doesn't surprise me. His writing is quick-witted, spare, and clever. The only problem I had with him
Jan 27, 2009 Skipbertman rated it really liked it
This book is an honest look into the pharmaceutical the late 90's. The practices described are now outdated. The accounts mentioned in the book are most definitely accurate in terms of what has happened in the realm of pharmaceutical marketing. But these practices no longer exist as they are described in the book.

It is an interesting account of why the pharmaceutical industry has changed (for the better), but by no means should it be used as a proof source for how the drug industr
This book wasn't quite what I was expecting. Silly me actually thought the movie trailers would have something to do with the book! All I wondered as I read this book was, "When does Anne Hathaway's character come into this memoir?" She never does. Yet again, another reason why I always read the book before seeing the movie. The suspense is killing me though...I have to see how Anne Hathaway comes into this story!

As for the book itself, it was okay. It had its funny moments. Sometimes you can't
Sep 05, 2015 Danm rated it really liked it
It looks a lot of reviewers didn't like this book because the author is self-absorbed at times. In my opinion, who cares? He writes as who he is opposed to pretending to me someone else. I appreciate that because it's real. The story also moves quickly and is entertaining. And it gives you insight to the industry. Perhaps you will agree with the majority of other reviewers on here, but keep in mind that this site is made up of serious readers, not leisurely ones. Therefore, they're going to be ...more
Apr 24, 2011 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Most of the book relates the story of how mediocre a salesman Jamie Reidy was. He couldn't even sell Viagra! He was, therefore, bilking Pfizer out of hundreds of thousands of dollars of salary as he brags about waking up at 10, cutting out at 3 or 4 and signing doctors' names so he wouldn't have to go on sales calls.

This tale of his slacking on the job is the equivalent of hearing a fraternity guy say "I got so wasted last night."

It's neither funny nor admirable.

Gave it the extra star for easy
Jan 16, 2013 Joe rated it liked it
I was inspired to read "Hard Sell" after watching the movie "Love & Other Drugs" which the movie was supposedly loosely-inspired from. I enjoyed the book insofar it flowed well with some interesting stories about being a sales rep for a pharmaceutical company. While I enjoyed some of the stories he's presented, I don't find anything extremely amazing about this book. It has however helped to re-solidify my views against the FDA and the "slackers" tasked with "pushing" drugs that are either ...more
Mar 16, 2011 Alicia rated it liked it
This is written by my high school friend's brother. It is funny and entertaining, but, unlike what the book jacket claims, it is not that scandalous. I don't feel like he divulged any big secrets of Pfizer or any other drug company. The ending was a tad disappointing. The book just ended. Just like that. The movie "Love and Other Drugs" was based on this book, but more accurately, I would say that the book was simply an inspiration for the movie. There is very little similarity between the two - ...more
May 15, 2011 Kacey rated it really liked it
A catchy, enjoyable, easy read about the sales in the mid 90s pharma industry. Has a real casual, funny writing style; not from a super refined writer. I read the 2010 edition - the second epilogue is very helpful to provide a real, less-abrupt conclusion to the story. As someone else noted, many of the laws for pharmaceutical sales have changed since the time period of this book, but in case you forget the time period, the jokes about 'Friends' and other late 80s/90s references will refresh ...more
Rachel Miller
Jul 23, 2011 Rachel Miller rated it liked it
I liked it. I expected it to be all about Viagra, but that actually didnt come up until quite a ways into the book. It was more just the inside look at a drug rep's start and tactics and commentary.

I liked "Love and Other Drugs," the movie which is supposedly based off the book, but they are very loosely related. It is not a movie version of the book, and basically they have nothing in common except for the Viagra involvement.

Mar 03, 2008 Joy rated it liked it
I promise - not all pharma reps are this bad! He had to work hard at not working. I do know reps like this - reps who hold on to 2 pharma jobs (simultaneously!), reps who leave voice mails on successful appointments with doctors who they've actually never even met. Most of us are not this bad though - an entertaining read, especially for anyone connected to this industry. Just remember that it probably only represents about 10% of the rep population.
Mary Blye
Jan 23, 2015 Mary Blye rated it did not like it
I wonder if this author couldn't have made the book interesting by taking himself out of the story, doing additional research into drug reps, and giving us something informational?

I skimmed the first 30 pages - who cares about the conversation with your parents? Then skimmed the next 30 (beers and babes while training), then skimmed the next 50 pages, then quit.

I love memoirs but this was unbearably poor writing by a seemingly self-absorbed man
Nov 06, 2010 Gabrielle rated it liked it
A lot of this book was about how Reidy worked as little as possible without his boss knowing. It gave an inside look at pharmaceutical salesmen and what they do. At least I'm assuming that's what they do since I am not a rep and have never met one. It was entertaining in many places. I am anxiously waiting for the movie that is based in this book to come out. I can definitely see Jake Gyllenhal playing Jamie.
Aimee Truchan
Jun 11, 2016 Aimee Truchan rated it it was ok
The rare occasion when the movie (Love And Other Drugs) is better than the book. Much better. Personally relatable, the narrative is entertaining enough. But the 'story' is devoid of fundamental plot points. There is no hint of a story arc and nothing redeeming about the narrator. Interesting jump from one person's POV as a drug rep doing everything to work as little as possible to the much more layered characters in the movie. And by jump, I mean leap.
Michael Melara
Dec 01, 2011 Michael Melara rated it really liked it
I liked this book better than a lot of the reviewers I've seen. Mr. Reidy is very funny and I like that he doesn't mind being the butt of his own jokes. If your looking for any similarities between this and 'Love and Other Drugs' good luck because you won't find many. I liked this book on its own merits. It was hilarious and truthful sounding look at not just drugs sales in the late 90's but america. Well worth the time.
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After graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 1992,[2] he served with distinction as a U.S. Army officer.[3] He then spent two years in pharmaceutical sales with Pfizer and Eli Lilly and Company, ranking as the #1 salesman in the nation at both companies.[citation needed]
His first book HARD SELL: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman offers a self-deprecating look at the life of a drug rep, c
More about Jamie Reidy...

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