Christopher McKitterick's Reviews > Jennifer Government

Jennifer Government by Max Barry
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Sep 27, 10

Read in May, 2004

I really like this book, which is saying a lot because I read it expecting to be able to put it down in a hurry. A really vicious satire on modern global consumerism, sort of a SPACE MERCHANTS for the 21st century.

The story follows a handful of apparently random characters whose lives meet and part weirdly, in a world where everyone’s last name is the company they currently work for or the corporation running the school they currently attend. Jennifer Government is a Jennifer who works for the decaying United States Federated Economic Blocs (which includes Australia, where most of the action takes place), with the UPS code for Malibu Barbie tattooed under one eye (the cover character), a remnant of her first career as an advertising exec. Three pages into the book, we’ve learned that the marketing higher-ups at Nike have produced a shoe that sells for $2500 a pair, except that to drive up consumer interest they haven’t sold any for six months, and now they’re going to dump 400,000 or them on the global market amid a carefully calibrated campaign, and then they’re going to kill a few of the people who buy them, so that the sneakers get street-cred.

Okay, it sounds crazy, but it’s hilarious, and it just gets better. Strongly recommended.
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