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This is Rage: A Novel of Silicon Valley and Other Madness

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  88 ratings  ·  36 reviews
This is the story of Investors, Bankers, and Operators in Silicon Valley and the variation on real they’re creating for our consumption.

This is the story of a disgraced shock jock turned Internet radio phenomenon and how he becomes the catalyst he never imagined being.

This is the story of two entrepreneurs-turned kidnappers-turned anti-heroes.

This is business in the Twenty
Paperback, 530 pages
Published October 8th 2013 by Story Plant, The
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This is such a profound, evocative, thought-provoking novel, that it is difficult to just dot down a few thoughts on it. Why I wanted to read it? Because if America coughs, the rest of the world gets pneumonia, and I wanted to know how it happens.

What can happen if two disgruntled IT people, two cousins named Dennis Swerlow and Sam Kisinski, decides to kidnap one of the biggest players in Silicon Valley, Daniel Steyer, and hold him for ransom. Not to take the money and run, but to start their ow
Sabrina Roblin
Apr 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate to receive a pre-release copy of Ken's book, This is Rage. It's a page turner that gives you a look behind the curtain of how corporate business operates in America. As I was pulled through the non-stop action, I received an education on how business, politics, the media, banking and the financial markets are intertwined and impact each other through intentional actions, mishap, and unforeseen twists of fate, genius and hubris. I highly recommend it whether you have a passion for ...more
Gene Vecchio
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a great, multi-layered story. It's a fascinating trek across the media, technology, and boardroom landscapes, filled with revealing characters that are all too real. I had the fortunate opportunity to grab an early manuscript. As I was reading, I could not help but think that I have met these characters in my own corporate travels. I recognized their massive egos, intense obsessions, and hair-raising misdeeds. Ken has written not merely an exciting novel, but an insightful treatise on th ...more
Dan Sherlock
Apr 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A real “RAGE-turner”…

I felt fortunate to have gotten an advance look at my friend Ken's newest endeavor and I was immediately hooked. After working alongside Ken for almost 10 years, while reading this fictional story, I found myself having flash backs to times of immense pressure in the corporate world. Those times often inspired an addictive dark humor which left you wanting more and to come back for the next day in the real-life dramedy that can be found in corporations. "This is Rage" takes
Apr 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
NOTE: I have known Ken for over 10 years, and he allowed me to read a prerelease copy of his book.

WOW – This is the first time a book has made me exhale in shock, laugh out loud and feel true economic fear, all in one chapter.

Prepare yourself for a rollercoaster of a read, page after page. This is Rage unfolds as a tour de force storytelling exploring current day crisis around corporate profit, the death of employment, technology and politics.

This book challenges the status quo as it plunges h
Aug 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is Rage: A Novel of Silicon Valley and Other Madness by Ken Goldstein is a Storyplant publication and was released in October 2013. I received a copy of this novel from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

"You kidnapped two of the most important rising star technology executives in the world, but you never meant to, it just kind of happened. You accidentally shot one in the leg, that would be Stephen J. Finkelman- and by the way, listening audience, that is breaking
May 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Clint by: Ken
Having known Ken for well over ten years now and his penchant for storytelling in business I was still surprised that he would attempt to write a novel, much less that he would carry it off so well with his debut work This is Rage!

The novel weaves a tale of corporate intrigue and political action set in the heart of modern corporate America -- Silicon Valley.

If you've ever wondered how Silicon Valley operates, This is Rage will take you on a "behind the scenes" tour and connect the dots with the
Johanna Wise
May 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Having lived and worked in Silicon Valley for almost 25 years, I was a bit skeptical about how Silicon Valley life would be characterized in This is Rage. In general, I find that novels which accurately portray a culture tend not to be particularly exciting, and those that are exciting are often not true to life.

This is Rage negates my previous experience. The story line kept me riveted and the characters’ personalities and motivations can regularly be found in Silicon Valley. It was a fun and
Jess Ivy
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am honored to have had the opportunity to read a pre-release version of "This Is Rage" from my dear friend and mentor Ken Goldstein - and am so happy to be giving it FIVE STARS all the way!

Ken draws on all his resources - his hard-won knowledge of the Silicon Valley tech scene, his experience navigating the boardroom, and his thorough understanding of economic ecosystems in the US to craft a masterful thriller that will create fans for years to come. It even has some ruthless politics thrown i
Aug 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When a plan to kidnap and ransom the return of a powerful corporate money maker goes awry, the two bumbling kidnappers find their hands full when they end up with the co-CEOs of one of Silicon Valley’s shining star software companies. Meanwhile, a has been radio talk show host who has insulted and cursed his way out of the last in a long line of opportunities, struggles to redeem himself on the internet, if only for his own sanity. Through an act of fate, or just a case of being in the right pla ...more
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A gun in the first act always goes off in the third. And this one goes off with a resounding BANG! TIR is layered, thought-provoking, and cleverly written. It unfolds like an origami sculpture, exposing new depth and intricacy with every carefully exposed and deliberate fold.

TIR has a language that is concurrently articulate, witty, smart, and accessible. It takes us into the world of the Silicon Valley board room where the archetypes finance, innovation, entertainment, politics, culture, and s
Mark Laudenslager
May 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was afforded the opportunity to read a pre-release of This Is Rage. Through the well developed characters and story lines, this book takes you on an educational insane journey of the inner-workings of Silicon Valley, and intertwines this with real life issues and perspective on the impact of business, finance, capitalism, and government.

The author, Ken Goldstein, has the "Gift of the Pen". He entertains, educates, and raises sobering emotions in a heartfelt journey of introspection in the liv
Jul 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable yarn about how people relate to corporations, set in today's Silicon Valley.

The situations and characters are wonderfully exaggerated for effect, and the language is often operatic in its over-the-top-ness. The core conceit might not hold up under the weight Goldstein puts on it (that white-collar employees in Silicon Valley can inspire a national walkout over job security in the face of corporate mergers), but it sort of doesn't matter - Goldstein captures the essence of the moder
Kate Zentall
May 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read an early, unedited version of This Is Rage, and even in that relatively rough stage it was hard to put down. Yes, we're inside Silicon Valley, and Goldstein knows what he's talking about, but in the end it all comes down to a gripping story and a collection of characters -- complex, ornery, original -- that make a thoroughly compelling read. It's based on all-too-possible realities, and one can only watch in fascination and horror as the tale unfolds. Great storytelling all around. ...more
Tom Marcus
Jun 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed Ken's first novel. I've worked in Silicon Valley for years, and Ken's ear for dialogue is right on target. In the spirit of Bonfire of the Vanities, Ken has written an action-packed story about a botched kidnapping (not a spoiler; this happens very early on) that ripples through the entire Silicon Valley ecosystem and also catches the eye of a burned-out shock-jock. With national exposure supplied by the newly-energized jock, the battle lines are drawn. ...more
Aug 11, 2013 marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: netgalley
I really wanted to like this book more, but it started out speaking above my head and I was pretty much lost from that point on. Not the fault of the book or the writer, this just wasn't a book written for me. Not star'ing it due to that reason.

ARC courtesy of The Story Plant, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
ARC Review: This is Rage by Ken Goldstein It's difficult to classify this book. I guess the closest would be to call this a financial suspense thriller, with social commentary deftly infused into each page.
I have to think a bit about what I want to say before writing up a full review. It was definitely a very interesting read. 
Sep 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing

“Tell me your worst fear,” posited Dadashian, the melodrama unavoidable.

“Nuclear winter, followed by impure drinking water, global starvation, and mass untreated surgical needs, plus permanent damage to the earth’s ability to heal,” said Choy.

“As it pertains to business,” rephrased Dadashian.

–This is Rage, by Ken Goldstein

This is Rage: A Novel of Silicon Valley and Other Madness lives up to its subtitle, delivering all the madness of the Valley and then some. This novel is fun
Viviane Crystal
Oct 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Once upon a time employers and employees believed they were working as a dedicated team. Each depended on and was loyal to the other in good and bad financial times. But somehow the plot went awry when profits, sales, stock values, mergers, and executive privilege replaced the security of united effort. Now lives are so much dross when the schemes for more money prevail! Sound like a fairy tale, a piece of contemporary fiction? It is and it isn’t – welcome to the world of Silicon Valley, a world ...more
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery

Silicon Valley is a different kind of place, built on brains and money. There are Investors, the guys with mega-millions who make deals and mergers while attending parties and whose lives are consumed with strategies and one-up-manship. There are Bankers, who make the connections, supplying the grease to the wheels of commerce. Finally, there are the Operators, those with the brains and creativity to create new technological ideas that can make millions if they catch on.

All three groups are at
Shannon L. Gonzalez
Jan 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is Rage: A Novel of Silicon Valley and Other Madness

By Ken Goldstein

This is Rage takes an in-depth approach at explaining a complicated business and the cogs of the wheels that make the clock work behind the curtain appear facile. In a world of technology sometimes the human perspective gets lost in the bits and bytes. It gets lost in the grand scheme of science and what that can do for us as it takes over us. This isn’t exclusive to Silicon Valley; the current business model of all corpor
Sep 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
"This is Rage" was written by a business friend of mine, a long-time media and technology executive who had always wanted to write a novel. Well, I bought it, I felt I had to, and there it sat on my shelf of unread worthies. I picked it up, thinking I should at least sample it before I ran into Ken again at a conference, and two hours later I had whipped through a hundred pages. Yes, it's a page-turner from the outset, and funny along the way. We begin at one of those awful Silicon Valley cockta ...more
D.j. Meister
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
When I began this novel, I thought it might be too "inside the bubble" to be interesting to those outside Silicon Valley. I have to admit it started a bit slow and the characters seemed a bit too caricature. But as it unfolded, it evolved into a somewhat idealistic and thought-provoking story about the modern tech workforce, power, ego, and the optimism of the valley - and those who exploit that optimism. It also extended the Silicon Valley microcosm to the modern tech workforce at large.

The boo
Neal Goldstein
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is Rage is a corporate thriller that informs as much as it entertains. Comparable to Tom Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities in its broad scope and piercing satire, This is Rage is also a surprisingly deep look at the business world; Goldstein is clearly someone who's "been in the trenches" of American business, specifically in the Silicon Valley. His bankers, operators, and investors talk high finance as colorfully and convincingly as David Mamet's shady real estate salesman talk sales in Glen ...more
Oct 27, 2013 rated it liked it
I had great hopes for this book, and I was at first pulled in by an interesting story. I do think think there was some very good character development. However, the increasingly improbable chains of events were first frustrating, then annoying. I think he tapped into some interesting issues around the responsibility of a company to its employees. But I ended being disappointed with neat little package we were handed at the end. I have been through too many "mergers and acquisitions" myself to un ...more
Aug 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have known Ken Goldstein for over 15 years, and was honored to receive one of his first prints. WOW! Never knew he was a wonderful writer.

Ken does an exceptional job, bringing all his characters to life.
The book does not disappoint! It takes you on a wild adventure, full of twist and turns, right up to the end. If you ever wondered how Silicon Valley works, This is your book. "I really wouldn't be the least bit surprised, If Hollywood came knocking."

Defiantly one of my top reads of the year."
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ken Goldstein obviously knows the business world and weaves an impressively detailed backdrop for his story. Although to call it a backdrop does not give it enough credit. The world of high powered business almost becomes a character of its own and is deepy interwoven into the story. The action is fast paced, with rich characters that I'd love to see again in a follow up novel.

What is surpising is the depth of what I call the novel's soul. This story has veins of thematic morality running all th
Jun 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: nook
The story was interesting, but not engrossing. Unlike some stories, I never really knew what the next twist or turn might be--perhaps because each was somewhat contrived. I was most bothered by the occasional long stretches of third person passive voice. This made the opening especially cumbersome to work through. It's a style; just not my style.

I work in high tech, but not Silicon Valley. I found the description of the ethos and pathos of the Bay Area intriguing, but I wondered how true it is o
Stewart Halpern
Sep 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"This is Rage" is the "Bonfire of the Vanities" of our times!
Goldstein's novel is a passport into an idiosyncratic world that is thoroughly entertaining and outrageous, but also shockingly close to reality.
Having been a digital entertainment company executive as well as Wall Street analyst/banker, I can say from first-hand experience that he nails it completely with this can't-put-it-down satirical thriller.
Sep 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A thriller that reveals the machinations of Silicon Valley. I thought it was both entertaining and educating. This is a book that keeps you thinking days after turning the last page.

This Is Rage creates a clash between old media and new media, boardroom and employee, business and politics. Ken weaves a great story that has me wondering where this marriage between media and technology is taking us.

I'm sure I will read it again!
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Ken Goldstein advises start-ups and established corporations in technology, entertainment, media, and e-commerce. He speaks and teaches frequently on the topics of management, leadership, and creative destruction.

His first book, This is Rage:A Novel of Silicon Valley and Other Madness, was published in 2013 by The Story Plant. It was a bestseller and adapated for the stage and podcast. His second

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