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The Intern's Handbook: A Thriller

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  2,056 ratings  ·  466 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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Ash Wednesday
Jun 03, 2014 Ash Wednesday rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Readers who enjoyed Tangled and I Am the Weapon
Recommended to Ash Wednesday by: Nenia 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, misogyni
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
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 is a mystery to me because it's got all the trappings of a summer flick. Or better yet, a low-brow B
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
Robin (Bridge Four)
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
Mar 10, 2014 Silea rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
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!!
Mike French
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!

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
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
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
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.
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
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
Don ツ
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
Paul Pessolano
“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
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
Robert Intriago
A fun book to read. It is loaded with action, romance and witty dialogue. The author takes the old hired killer story and re-wraps it in a different package. The problem I had with it is that the story stretches credulity and it can be melodramatic in spots. I also wish the author would have devoted more time in developing the character of Alice.
“How did Shane Kuhn pull this off? He’s written an action-packed, twisting thriller about professional assassins, and–guess what?–it’s funny and romantic, too! In a totally quirky way, of course. You have to read it to believe it.”

Nancy Russell, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus, OH
Toribio Puente
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
Though the adage exists to not judge a book by its cover art, I must admit that this catchy skeleton made with office supplies is a rather show-stopping image - and one that actually contains a book as slickly cool, fresh and fun as its cover implies. John Lago makes for a surprisingly sympathetic assassin and narrator to the book-within-the-book (also titled The Intern’s Handbook). Lago’s handbook gives tips to newcomers to the killer-for-hire agency called Human Resources Inc - a company that ...more
The Intern's Handbook is an interesting and enjoyable take on the "assassin thriller" genre. Unlike single operators like Barry Eisler's John Rain, John Lagos (What *is* it with assassins named John?) works for HR - a freelance hitman outfit that puts the "corporate" back in Murder Incorporated, hiding killers in plain sight by placing them as interns at their targets' jobs. The Intern's Handbook is structured as a missive/underground document provided by John to his successors, gifting them wit ...more
If I were to attempt to write a book for the 15-25-year-old male, this is the book I would like to write. Full of quick-witted humor and over-the-top violence, it's what I would imagine a bro's dream novel would look like: essentially a funny action movie, but in writing. (Not being a bro myself, however, I defer to the opinion of true male readers in this age bracket.)

The premise is catchy: a veteran "intern" (i.e. assassin) decides to write a handbook for new recruits. It turns a bit memoir-is
Natasha Chowdory
I probably liked this because I've been an intern and knowing that majority of workers in any company look at you like you're a piece of dirt, is only part of your plan? I love it. I also work with a lot of interns and it tickles me to think that any of them could be an assassin. Shane Kuhn has done his research, there are bits about how interns act with each other that are dead on (even here in the UK). It's a very speedy book, and the prose is rapid-fire. A pop-culture r
There's a review on the back of my edition stating that this Office Space meets Dexter and it's not a bad comparison. Office politics abound in this novel/handbook by a contract killer about his final job before he retires at the ripe old age of 25. He explains everything from how brewing the perfect cup of coffee is the instant gateway to trust and access to how to get in touch with your inner shadow warrior. There's a little bit of everything here and our narrator is constantly spouting movie ...more
Keith Nixon
John Lago is not your average intern. He’s actually a highly trained stone cold contract killer who infiltrates multinational corporations and government agencies to eliminate heavily guarded executives for Human Resources Inc, his shady employer. The FBI believes HR Inc is responsible for the deaths of over 100 corporate figureheads across the US.

Kill Your Boss opens with Lago explaining that the book you’re holding is an unofficial survival guide for new recruits to HR Inc. Being a contract ki
Very original and impossible to put down, I blew right through this.
 For starters I'm going to say that the way I found out about this book is that I'm an avid Dave Franco fan. Meaning, anytime he books a role I go about my research for the project and what kind of character he'll play. A few months ago he booked "The Intern's Handbook" for a film adaption. Note: it's also completely different from any other role he's played, but he'll kill [pun] it.

So, I had to check out the material and character. To which brought me h
3.75 stars - (I need more than 5 stars to differentiate these books.)

Quick, entertaining read with a killer set-up. I like the conception of the story: a black ops company is set up to train young killers who work as interns because interns are invisible. The title references the unauthorized handbook written by the main character as he works on his last internship (assassination). It's prefaced by an FBI letter and broken up by FBI recordings, so it's essentially a look at an FBI file. That's w
I would like to thank Goodreads and the First Reads program, Simon & Schuster, and Shane Kuhn for the ARC.

5-stars for me... that is high praise because it ends up grouped together with the likes of The Power of One. So, maybe it's a 4.5 and I rounded up for the freshness and creativity. What a fast-paced enjoyable read. Does it read like a script in some parts? Yes, but that's ok for me. It will lend itself well to a movie for sure and if it hasn't been optioned yet, I have no doubt it will
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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.
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