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Severance Package

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  1,297 Ratings  ·  210 Reviews
Jamie DeBroux's boss has called a special meeting for all "key personnel" at 9:00 a.m. on a hot Saturday in August.

When Jamie arrives, the conference room is stocked with cookies and champagne. His boss smiles and tells his employees, "We're a cover for a branch of the intelligence community. And we're being shut down." Jamie's boss then tells everyone to drink some champa
Paperback, 264 pages
Published May 27th 2008 by Minotaur Books
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Severance Package is a wickedly adrenalized, pulsating, page-turning piece of pulp. Like seriously, wtf? Everything is exquisitely exaggerated and unleashed in comic technicolor. I would love to have seen this as a graphic novel actually (or a slick Tarantino cinematic production), since so many of its best characteristics are both visceral and visual.

This novel IS NOT grounded in realism, flirting much more with parody and noir. And what can I say? I loved it! It's bloody and ridiculous. Unbel
Nov 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Brandon by: Kemper
Shelves: fiction, 2012
Getting called in to work on a saturday? That is the worst. Getting called in to work on a Saturday and being told that you're a front for a secret government counter-terrorism unit? That's.. interesting. Getting called in to work on a Saturday and being told that your office is being shut down and you're all going to be killed? Well, is it too late to take a sick day?

Swierczynski gives us the third installment in a sort of Philly-based unofficial crime trilogy. I say unofficial because it doesn
Mike (the Paladin)
Oct 14, 2009 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 27, 2008 rated it did not like it
There's been a terrible mix-up. Author Duane Swierczynski seems to have submitted this screenplay to a publishing house, and it somehow got printed and marketed as a book.

Rife with cliche, Severance Package is about a wimp whose boss decides to kill his company. Cheesy, comic-book violence prevails, which I guess is supposed to be both fun and shocking.

Maybe it's because I just finished a *real* violent book reading with literary value (Murakami's Wind-Up Bird Chronicle), but Severance Package
Jun 15, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime, 2008
Make sure to read this thing in one sitting. It wouldn't be quite as effective otherwise. Recommended for anyone looking for a BATTLE ROYALE-like rush.

Sep 15, 2011 rated it did not like it
Interesting premise that descends into an unending orgy of violence.
Apr 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
There's a cliche that pops up in cartoons and old slapstick comedies. A character with a ball and chain 'round his/her ankle stuffs said ball into a cannon, lights the cannon's fuse and shoots himself/herself over a wall. Well, you can't do that in real life---they already proved it impossible (and extremely dangerous, obviously) on "Mythbusters". But you can do it reading a book.

That book is SEVERANCE PACKAGE by Duane Swierczynski. Do you want to taste the power of great storytelling? Cleanse
Kelly Hager
Dec 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
David Murphy has called a mandatory Saturday meeting for his key employees. Everyone's pretty pissed about this (who wants to work on a SATURDAY?!) but that's before they get there. When they arrive, they learn that the elevator's been disabled, there's a bomb on the stairway exits and they have two choices: drink poison for a fast, painless death or get shot in the head (which may be fast and painless or may not. Hard to tell).

A blurb on the back says that this book "begs for the next Tarantino
Sep 04, 2008 rated it liked it
I love gallows humor. And Duane Swierczynski delivers. It's film noir meets TV's The Office, with a healthy dose of superfluous bedlam. The plot requires one to suspend disbelief, but it's over-the-top funny. Talk about taking fluid rounds (after-work drinking) a step to far, Duane does it with great style. I wonder if he'll be at B'Con 2008 and can I buy him a beer?

Now I'm the girl who likes Jason Statham, Sam Jackson, and Frank Miller movies. Duane's novels have the feel of graphic comic-book
Jul 06, 2016 rated it did not like it
Not much of a story here and what little there is was exremely cliché...
Aug 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
By now you've read all the adjectives describing Swiercynski's latest creative spin on mayhem: graphically brutal, uber-violent, twisted, and over-the-top. And yeah, it reads like a comic book - or at least like Frank Miller's remarkably distorted gore fest in film: "Sin City". But I couldn't help feeling that in Swierczynski's beautifully warped mind "Severance Package" is his idea of a love story - a totally off-the-rails dissection of love gone bad in ways that we mere mortals could never con ...more
Jason Brown (Toastx2)
May 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
James Adams
Feb 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: d-j-popsugar
This book is nuts.
The premise is nifty. Your boss calls you in for a weekend meeting, then proceeds to tell you and your co-workers that the office was a front, it's been shut down, and now he has to kill you.
From there, it gets weird. Like, "psychotic Russian gymnasts doing a routine down twenty flights of stairs to outrun a cloud of sarin gas" kind of weird. That's not a metaphor, it's an actual example from the book.
The action is non-stop, brutal, and often ridiculous. One person performs an
May 07, 2010 rated it did not like it
I bought this book while I was extremely frustrated with my place of employment and because the author’s last name is barely pronounceable (like mine). One reviewer on the cover leaf stated that the book begged to be the next Tarantino movie. I thought it would be a fun read.

Although I read the whole thing and was intrigued from the cover to the last page, I was by no means impressed. Mixed metaphors, bad puns, lame one-liners... This book reads like a conversation with some college student tel
Jan 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: novels, crime-noir
Perhaps the best way I can describe this book is to say it's as if Swierczynski reverse-engineered a movie that was Die Hard meets The Bourne Identity meets The Expendables. Wasn't that a novel? No? Well then write a novel based on the movie. It is non-stop mayhem with characters taking Rocky like punishment and then continuing to perform superhuman feats. So it has the flavor of a comic book and of grossly unrealistic but nonetheless entertaining action movies. Strong elements of parody, as wel ...more
Aug 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Duane Swierczynski is an author that dispenses with characterization and relies almost exclusively on dialogue and swift action to carry the reader through the book. In essence, and if this book is any indication, he's a pulp writer. And if you're into this style of writing than you've come to the right place.

John Locke fans (and yes, I'm one of them) would say that the dialogue is not as good as what the Donavan Creed novels deliver. Locke too dispenses with characterization and description and
Seizure Romero
Jul 09, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: shite, fiction
Another GR reviewer wrote:
"There's been a terrible mix-up. Author Duane Swierczynski seems to have submitted this screenplay to a publishing house, and it somehow got printed and marketed as a book."

...and she is dead on. I like Swierczynski's sense of the absurd, and this book had the potential to be really fun in a day-at-work gets all crazy-ass psycho-violent sense. It did not live up to that potential, however. The separate story threads never really come together in a worthwhile fashion and
Ajeje Brazov
Prendete una delle peggiori sceneggiature di film d'azione della "The Asylum", ci aggiungete un "pizzico" di banali luoghi comuni e poi una dose corposa di cazzate ed infine conditela con una dose "generosa" di sangue e sudore ed eccovi servito: "Uccidere o essere uccisi" Duane Swierczynski!!
Inutile perdita di tempo e di carta... e poi la copertina? Non c'entra nulla con la storia ahahahah
Jun 16, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
Shallow but I enjoyed it anyways. Could have done a bit more plotwise & with the characters since both were very thin. But the hook (being trapped on a floor with your coworkers and having to murder your way out) was enjoyable enough that I didn't really care. That being said, the last 2 pages totally wrecked this book. I'm willing to stretch my disbelief only so far but when things are impossible/don't make any sense (but for the shock value), the whole thing is cheapened.
Kelli Lee
Aug 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
All I can say is Duane Swierczynski does it for me. I enjoy his novels. Severance Package, like the rest of his books, would make for an excellent movie. A movie that would fit perfectly with the styles of Quentin Tarantino.
Craig Pittman
Jun 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Whoa! What a thrill ride! Enjoyed this book from start to finish.
Jul 05, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Bloody and Tarantino-esque. Guys will like this. I liked it ok.
Sep 05, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Fast, funny suspense. Best cover quote ever: "Ever want to kill your boss? Well, the feeling is mutual."
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Murphy, Knox and Associates is another financial firm in downtown Philadelphia. It's a small company with a big secret - it is a front for an intelligence agency. They secretly work to defund terror. But, there's more than that even. And when the really deep stuff goes off the rails, it's determined that the staff - civilian dupes or entrenched agents - must be liquidated.

The guy at the top has a plan to get the job done but... things go wrong. Terribly wrong. Especially for Jamie who is just a
Tal M. Klein
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I recently revisited this book and can attest it is still as poignant today as it was upon its release. A perfect blend of corporate hubris dark satire and black ops action thriller, Severance Package is gripping (I read it cover to cover in one sitting both times). Highly recommended!
Oct 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Another quick read. Either I'm reading these too quick one after the other or this one wasn't my cuppa. The weakest ending so far.
Still a fun book, just might have to give this author a break for a bit.
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was incredibly fast-paced and exciting!!! There were a few times my guesses were wrong..and I LOVE that. This is definitely a good summer vacation read!
Travis Hartman
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Massive fan of Swierczynski and Severance Package is one of his best. It's a cool idea executed brilliantly and would make a kick ass action movie. I burned through this in two sittings.
Mar 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Good beach read. High adrenaline factor. Some good twists.
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Duane Swierczynski is an American crime writer who has written a number of non-fiction books, novels and also writes for comic books.
More about Duane Swierczynski...