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Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman

3.25  ·  Rating Details ·  526 Ratings  ·  82 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 Sel ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
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(showing 1-30 of 1,125)
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Heather
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
...more
Diana
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 co ...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
...more
Lauren
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
...more
Casa
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 goo ...more
Tina
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
...more
Paulina
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
...more
Liliana
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 yikes...read 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.
Danm
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 t ...more
Kayel
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
...more
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 o ...more
Nick
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
...more
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, it’ ...more
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
Corinne
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
...more
Skipbertman
Jan 27, 2009 Skipbertman rated it really liked it
This book is an honest look into the pharmaceutical industry...in 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
...more
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.
Anandh Sundar
Mar 18, 2016 Anandh Sundar rated it liked it
The book was quite entertaining though did not do justice to its title and did not quite justify the author's decisions. While he did 'hack' the process and gamed the system, this did not provide any substantial insight, instead read like a frat book. Still, for someone interested in how pharma sales could work for retail segment, an interesting read
Sam Marshall
May 16, 2015 Sam Marshall rated it it was ok
While this book was certainly a page turner, it lacked any plot line, character development or real insight into rx drug salesmen. It was essentially a bunch of anecdotal stories that took place over a few years that portrayed the author as being 'the man'.
Grace
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
...more
Jonathan
Jun 03, 2014 Jonathan rated it really liked it
The author has a nice conversational, storytelling gift. Despite the mundane-ness of some of the pharmaceutical industry data and content, the storyline provided an entertaining backdrop. All in all, well done.
Milulik
Jul 27, 2015 Milulik rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
if you are anyhow related with sales forth in pharma you will find this book very intresting. Otherwise i doubt you will be interested in it
Bongani Mdaki
May 10, 2014 Bongani Mdaki rated it liked it
Quite amazing how the magic blue pill was discovered!! it revolutionized the life of medical reps!!
Alicia
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
Meg Funk
Feb 20, 2015 Meg Funk rated it it was amazing
Hilarious, entertaining look at sales & slacking.
Jennifer
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
...more
Joe
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 u ...more
Kacey
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 you ...more
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85572
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
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