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The Intern's Handbook (John Lago Thriller #1)

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  5,048 Ratings  ·  899 Reviews
Interns are invisible. That’s the mantra behind HR, Inc., an elite "placement agency" that doubles as a network of assassins-for-hire, taking down high-profile executives who wouldn't be able to remember an intern’s name if their lives depended on it.

At the ripe old age of twenty-five, John Lago is already New York City’s most successful hit man. He’s also an intern at a p
Hardcover, 276 pages
Published April 8th 2014 by Simon & Schuster (first published January 1st 2014)
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Lola Sherlock Thanks a bunch, Sarah and Rahila! I have been putting off reading this book because I don't like getting halfway through a book to find that it is…moreThanks a bunch, Sarah and Rahila! I have been putting off reading this book because I don't like getting halfway through a book to find that it is completely not my type of read. (less)
Leonardo Yep, that's it. Kill Your Boss is the title of the same book in the USA.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Will M.
Dec 28, 2014 Will M. rated it really liked it
John Lago is an assassin disguised as an intern. Interns are invisible, and that makes it the best costume for an assassin. He has been doing this for years now, and he's in his last mission. He's planning of retiring, and his last mission is not the easiest one of all.

This was a mixture of craziness and awesome action. It was really hard to like during the first part, but once I've grown to like the main character, the novel was very fast paced. In a way, it was a simple story, but there were
Ash Wednesday
Apr 08, 2014 Ash Wednesday rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers who enjoyed Tangled and I Am the Weapon
Recommended to Ash Wednesday by: Nenia *the flagrant liberal* Campbell
I am wet shoes.
I am cold, damp breath.
I am sweating hands.
I am gravity crushing the grass beneath my boots.
I am Kevlar and metal and lead.
I am laser sighting.
I am death.
And I am coming.

It feels like yesterday I was just writing a review about a sociopathic young male assassin facing THE conflict that will change his life.

The difference between that book and this one of course being, John Lago (the author of this handbook) reminds me a bit of Drew Evans… without the manwhoring, misogyn
Apr 30, 2014 M. rated it did not like it
Shelves: not-for-me, 2014
It's been brought to my attention that this book is also called "Kill Your Boss." Hah. Cute.

* * * * *

I got this book through GR's first-read giveaway. What drew me in at first was the cover art (so gimmicky, it's got to be one of my favorites), the whole "assassin posing as an intern" premise, and the promise of humor. So I went into this book expecting a fun read.

It was not a fun read. It's actually a screenplay given a lot of padding to look like a book. Why this story isn't a movie but a book
Jan 26, 2014 Flannery rated it did not like it
I received an ARC from Simon & Schuster Canada.

This book read like an action movie (which makes sense since Shane Kuhn works in film): lots of action, but poor characterization, a nonsensical conceit, and shoddy plotting. The main character, John Lago, is basically a 25-year-old James Bond, but without the glamour or MI6 background. What Lago has in common with Bond is having no conscience and basically womanizing all day long. He drinks, he does drugs, he survives impossible situations, inv
Robin (Bridge Four)
May 31, 2014 Robin (Bridge Four) rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars Buddy read with Ash

Its John’s final assignment before he is forced into retirement at the ripe old age of 25, he has made it longer than most the people he started out in the assassin business with. As a parting gift he is giving the next generation of assassins an instruction manual of sorts so they might be better prepared for the life they’ve chosen.

Don’t kid yourself. If you’re going to do this, you can’t ever try to justify it. You are the bad guy, and that is your role. Without
Apr 02, 2014 Marvin rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
John Lagos is an assassin. He has been an assassin since he was 12 years old. He is 25 and ready to retire although he is a bit suspicious on what "retire" means in his business and especially to his boss. He works for a mysterious company that specializes in high end assassinations usually putting the hit man into an intern's position at the company where their high profile victims reside. Why interns, you ask? As John Lagos' boss, Bob, states...
"Interns are invisible. You can tell an executive
Aug 24, 2014 Spartarus rated it did not like it
This book was powerfully terrible. The writing was appaling; the story is fraught with cliches, inconsistency, and piss-poor action sequences...

Here's my top 2, of many, problems with the book.

-The main character exhibits probably the most inconsistent, incongruous personality I've ever seen. He talks many times about how he is an emotionless robot with no qualms about killing whoever he has to, stating that he has no moral code and no ability to connect emotionally... He then routinely exhibits
Mar 08, 2014 Silea rated it liked it
Shelves: vine, arc
An action movie on paper, but suspension of disbelief can only hold for an hour or two. I'll buy that John is a serious bad-a$$ and can perform feats of strength, agility, and stamina that we mere mortals have trouble comprehending, but the point where he got a piece of his heel shot off and could still walk was just nonsense.

The plot got more and more contrived as it went, jumping the shark without a backward glance around 2/3 of the way through the book. And i got really, really tired of John
Jan 17, 2014 Aisling rated it it was amazing
Refreshingly different! I won this book on Goodreads. My honest review is that I have found a new favorite author. This book was a humorous but carefully crafted look at an assassin's trade. I loved the writing, the pacing and the plots. Highly recommend!!
Things that make a book FREAKING AWESOME!:

·Great premise
·Compelling lead
·Twists whenever you don't see them coming
·Trigger happy people
·A writer that knows how to make exciting the on paper most boring details about for example, the inner workings of a gun.
·Another twist that will leave you


Mike French
Apr 23, 2014 Mike French rated it it was amazing
Fasten your seatbelts, you are in for a wild ride! The chase scene in "Bullitt" is a Sunday ride in the country compared to this!! Shane Kuhn has written my favorite novel in 2014!
Michaela Mitsuko Sklenářová
NEČTĚTE TUHLE KNÍŽKU! Myslím to vážně! Protože jestli ji někdo přečtete a pak se mi ji pokusíte byť jen jedním slovem pohanit, budu vás muset zabít!
Akce syrová jako tatarák,cynismus tuhý jak stará mrtvola,suchý humor,ironie,... možná bude kratší vyjmenovat,co mi v knížce chybělo - NIC. A dokonce i děj! Wow,to byla jízda! Kdo uhodne předem všechny jeho kličky, musí být zpropadenej génius. A pokud si stejně jako já děláte v průběhu čtení mentální poznámky k nesrovnalostem v ději,buďte připraveni
Toribio Puente
Sep 16, 2014 Toribio Puente rated it did not like it
I can't believe this book almost got 5 stars! I mean, to be fair this was Shane Kuhn's first novel and not everyone is going to write Carrie as their first novel, but this book was NOT worthy of even 2 stars, let-alone 4!

The main character, John Lago, is just . . . awful! Everyone can see it's basically James Bond and Barney Stinson put into one obnoxious, self obsessed, douche, right? He's suppose to be smooth like 007, but has a cocky humor like Stinson. Then he's suppose to be this murderer w
May 08, 2014 Katherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mrtvolky, toto-a-dost
Oh shit... Shane Kuhn je jako malé dítě.
Dítě, které s potěšením sleduje mravenečky a pak je prstíkem morduje. Hezky jednoho po druhém. Chudáčci maličcí. Úplně jsem ho viděla, jak se zamyšleným výrazem přemýšlí, koho ještě ve svém příběhu zabije. :D

Pokud jste se někdy chtěli stát vrahem, je tato kniha přesně pro vás.
Plná sarkasmu, cynismu a ironie. Slušná zápletka a tisíce druhů všech možných zbraňovitých zbraní pod sluncem. Totálně sympatický hlavní vražda-chlapák je samozřejmostí.

Mar 22, 2014 Mihir rated it really liked it

Full review over at Fantasy Book Critic.

ANALYSIS: There are some books that draw you in with their blurb descriptions about their protagonists such as Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay, I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells, Beat The Reaper by Josh Bazzell, etc and then completely hook you in with the content matter. The Intern’s Handbook seemed to be another such book and I couldn’t wait to read it and see how it would pan out.

The story begins as a series of chapters in a handbook that d
Mar 15, 2017 Cyndi rated it really liked it
Hi. My name is Cyndi and I'm addicted to...television. You thought I was going to say books, didn't you? Well, that addiction is a given, right? But I'm also a tv junkie.
In our house there is never any, "My children never watch tv." (Read that with a snooty accent, please.) Nope. We love tv AND books.
Anyway, that is why I often compare books to a tv show, and that is why I think this book was a bit like 'Burn Notice.' There is a 'voice over' feel to the story while he is giving the best meth
Oct 31, 2013 Kimberly rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
4.5 stars

I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway, and it is the first I have read by Shane Kuhn.

This comedic/thriller is the story of John Lago, a hit man who gains access to his targets by infiltrating their organizations as a lowly intern. There were parts of this that were tongue-in-cheek hysterical, mixed in with all the great elements and drama of a thriller. Emotion? Yes, this book has that as well. What starts out as a "handbook" to would-be employees of Human Resources, Inc., turns into
Oct 28, 2013 Neil rated it really liked it
Sleek, quick, violent, funny, surprising and inventive, with a surprisingly creamy, chewy emotional center. Picked up out of curiousity, put down in the wee hours when I ran out of pages to turn.
Mar 09, 2015 Trike rated it did not like it
This book is sloppy in the way most action screenplays are, while trying way too hard to be cool. I think Kuhn wants this to be a cross between Fight Club and Grosse Point Blank, but it just feels like a pale echo of better movies like those.

I didn't realize this was written by a screenwriter until I got to the twelfth movie reference and read the author's bio. Then the main character goes to work at the law firm of "Bendini, Lambert & Locke." Bendini, Lambert & Locke is the evil law fir
V zahraničí je tento thriller známy pod dvomi názvami - The Intern's Handbook (Príručka stážistu) a Kill Your Boss (Zabi svojho šéfa). Osobne sa mi viac páči názov The Intern's Handbook - práve tým totiž kniha je. Hlavný hrdina John Lago nerozpráva len o súčasných udalostiach, ale zároveň spomína na mnohé predchádzajúce úlohy, hodnotí veci z pohľadu skúseného nájomného vraha a dáva tipy svojim potencionálnym nasledovníkom. Táto netradične zvolená forma sa mi veľmi páčila a dodávala príbehu akúsi ...more
Don ツ
May 06, 2014 Don ツ rated it really liked it
Initially 5 stars.

I hesitate to read this because I was slightly affected with readers comment/ maybe I was just lazy. Book hopping is my thing nowadays.

I like John Lago narration of his life in sarcastic, most descriptive ways in every highly exaggerated manner. Well he is professional high-profile assassin. So, it's a MUST.

John was on his last assignment before he retired and lead a clean life. However, this assignment doesn't have specific target, he must discover himself by masking himself
Brian Poole
Jun 19, 2016 Brian Poole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Intern’s Handbook is an entertaining, subversive thriller.

John Lago works for an organization called HR, Inc. Its mandate? To put highly trained young assassins into low level positions that give them access to valuable targets. Because no one looks twice at the intern. Approaching age 25, John embarks on his final mission. He’s embedded into a high end NYC law firm, one of whose partners is selling the identities of locations of people in witness protection. John’s assignment is complicated
Mike (the Paladin)
Aug 10, 2015 Mike (the Paladin) rated it liked it
Shelves: action, thriller
Interesting book. Set up as a handbook being produced for "new assassins" going to work for his employer the book is readable and it holds the interest. I can't really go above 3 stars here as while I like it pretty well it never drew me in, it was never more than a mildly readable book. Where I've gone so far as to be concerned about how interested I was in other "assassin" based novels, this one was sort of...just a book.

Don't get me wrong, it gets my recommendation as a read. Try it yourself
Jan 13, 2014 Kyle rated it liked it
I got my hands on an advanced reader's copy of this book and I enjoyed it even though I felt it came off the rails a bit in the last 5 chapters. I was hooked by the concept, "Hit men pose as interns to assassinate VIPs because no one gives a damn about interns but everyone loves to have free labor around". Fun stuff.

I would definitely recommend Joseph Garber's Vertical Run for anyone who enjoyed The Intern's Handbook. Plot: David Elliot shows up to his job like every day... and then his boss tri
Jan 02, 2014 Naomi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, first-reads
Disclaimer: I received this book for free through First Reads.

I loved this! I thought this was well-written, with an engaging plot line and my type of humor. I found it to be similar in style to Christopher Moore, in terms of humor and gore, and a little bit of Chuck Pahlaniuk (sp?), in terms of violence and the 'off the grid' type lifestyle of the main character.

I was surprised several times throughout the novel by twists in the plot, and the story line kept me guessing throughout. I would say
Apr 21, 2014 Robert rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor
The front of the book states it is a thriller. However I shelfed this one as humor. So where does it fit? I really do not know. Written by an intern as a handbook for new employees of HR Inc., a company of assassins, and detailing his last job, this is an oddball. I found it to be a humorous read because the main character is quite an oddball with a very droll sense of humor. The author does manage to throw in some nice twists that could jack this one up to a thriller. Don't worry about where to ...more
Hesham Ali
Aug 01, 2016 Hesham Ali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't know where to start here ...

John Lago is one badass hitman and he's writing a guid for whoever's taking his place after retirement--you. He's speaking directly to you.

Very realistic character settings with R-rated language. Plus the tons of movie references.
Paul Pessolano
Feb 24, 2014 Paul Pessolano rated it liked it
“The Intern’s Handbook” by Shane Kuhn, published by Simon and Schuster.

Category – Mystery/Thriller Publication Date – April 08, 2014

John Lago’s mother was murdered while he was still in the womb. He survives after several weeks in neo-natal care. He has no known recollection of his father. John has been brought up in orphanages, foster homes and juvenile detention centers. At the age of twelve he is taken in by a man with the name of Bob. Bob runs an assassination for hire organization called HR
Jun 14, 2016 Heather rated it liked it
I loved the premise of this book and I *really* wanted to like it, but John was the most unlikable little bigot. He has an unrivaled ego which he tries to play off with these bits of false modesty and by making other characters sound worse. Alice was okay, but she kind of fit into that stereotypical role of the perfect hot chick with "brains, beauty AND brawn (oh my!)." Kuhn did his homework with the fight scenes (or at least it read that way) and the brawling is grotesque and brutal. I can hone ...more
Jan 24, 2014 Nicole rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, 2016
I have to agree with the other reviewers that said this is basically a minimally fleshed-out screenplay. The main character is pretty unlikable, but so is everyone else in the book. I understand why there are so many references to movies, but it gets old after just a few chapters. The last third or so was a little more interesting, and it was a pretty quick read, but I'm probably not going to read any further into the series.
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salivaring for book 2 ;) 3 19 Sep 02, 2014 07:03PM  
killer coffee 1 26 Jun 07, 2014 04:56PM  
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Shane Kuhn is a writer, director, and producer with fifteen years of experience working in the entertainment business and advertising. He is also one of the original cofounders of the Slamdance Film Festival.
More about Shane Kuhn...

Other Books in the Series

John Lago Thriller (2 books)
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“Sometimes pain can bring about clarity and remind us we’re still breathing.” 16 likes
“Clarity equals victory. Look at successful people. Do you really think they have seven effective habits? Fuck no. Who’s got time for that? They have one effective habit: DOING. When you are a ‘doer’ you lap the rest of the rats in the race.” 14 likes
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