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The Knucklehead of Silicon Valley

4.51  ·  Rating details ·  51 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Comedic-spy thriller examines Silicon Valley's unbridled innovation culture.

Ralph Gibsen isn’t your typical spy. In fact, he may not be a spy at all. He's lumpy, blundering and abysmal at chatting up the fairer sex. Yet, he is attracting a significant amount of attention from the intelligence community. After all, as a 30-year Silicon Valley mainstay, he can phish your pas
Paperback, 354 pages
Published October 25th 2019 by New Galleon Press
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Average rating 4.51  · 
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G. Vachon
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing

This book reads like it is a true crime novel. Things in the story are scarily possible in our world today. Ralph is a character that is believable, and likeable; one that could be the guy sitting next to you on the plane.

There is a lot of technical details in the book that add to the realism of the storyline, but can be a little bit hard for someone who is not in the business. However, one can skim some of the details, and still get the story and not be lost. I had this same kind of issues wit
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely devoured the book. The plot is fresh and smart. It pulled me in right away. Ralph is a likable character and can be anyone you come across. Probably the guy you met last evening in your neighbourhood or the guy you sat beside on your last airplane ride. The very thought it makes my adrenaline rush!!!
With Ralph travelling around the world you too get to taste different cultures, social norms and confront different relationships. The situations he lands on is as fun as they are adventur
Brenda Rose
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ahh, I so enjoyed the book! Loved the mix of Ralph's world wide exciting professional high-tech travel and adventures combined with his grass roots home-body down-to-earth personality and lifestyle. Ralph has some of the most interesting acquaintances, friends, enemies and crazy characters that he intertwines so creatively throughout the story. Fiction, yes...but could some of Ralph's story be real? Had me thinking hard, worrying a bit and giggling out loud within each chapter. Makes me want to ...more
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fun book. It is less plot-driven and more vignettes that the author somehow manages to piece together into an enjoyable book. Many of the vignettes come across as events that actually happened to the author, which is unbelievable and makes me want to ask him questions while flipping through my dog-eared pages. Another cool thing was learning something of the Silicon Valley ethos. I recommend this for anyone who enjoys "every-man hero in over his head" stories and wants to learn more about ventur ...more
Tim Martin
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you like high tech, spy thrillers and some comedy - this is the book for you. The adventures of Ralph - a clumsy, international man of mystery will not disappoint. And, you might learn a little bit about venture capital along the way.
Charlotte Newman-West
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Loved this book. An easy, funny, joyous read that feels so true and possible it's scary! The storyline is highly credible and is made all the better by the self-depricating character that is Ralph - a great antidote to the usual 'perfect' heroes in spy thrillers. Congratulations Craig! ...more
R. Edward
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This a great adventure in what some would consider a mundane world of VC lending. If you like Walter Mitty or Tin Tin you will love Ralph! Hold on as this page turn(er) is a quick reading journey of espionage, foreign relations and some business ideas.... Or is it ?!? Enjoy !
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A Hilarious Ride Through Silicon Valley and Several Continents

What happens when a bumbling venture capitalist stumbles upon a plot to take over the world involving military technology and foreign governments? Read this book and you will find out how. Ralph Gibson, the protagonist, is a lucky oaf that has done quite well in the realm of technology and venture capitalist. He is middle-aged and somewhat out of place in Silicon Valley, which is a haven for people nearly half his age. Despite his ch
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My favorite books create characters that stay with me long after I’ve finished reading. Ralph is one of those characters. On a flight this week I wondered who might be a victim of mistaken identity. When a stranger approached me at a conference, I wondered who this spy worked for. When someone pitched me tech for social good, I thought, what would Ralph do?

If you’re a frequent traveler, you’ll love this book.
If you are interested in the technology industry, you’ll love this book.
If you root for
Tracy Burns
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
With a storyline that seems both beyond comprehension and absolutely possible, and characters that are as relatable as they are deceptive, Vachon’s debut novel is sure to capture the attention of an intellectually curious audience. The writing is quick and humorous and immediately pulls you into Ralph’s complicated world.
Stella Ofarrell
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good fun

Really enjoyable read. Funny and thrilling all in one.
Ralph is a believable character who bumbles along from one calamity to another. Looking forward to more capers.
Brian Lewandowski
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fun. Fascinating. Technologically intriguing. In these days of confusion, misinformation, and obfuscation, this book leaves you asking but knowing. Is there a Deep State or there people who just are lucky?
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing

This book. I can't get over how awful and yet how perfect a spy Ralph is. I also loved the descriptions of the interpersonal dynamics of Silicon Valley. This book was entertaining all the way through.
Favorite side character was easily Tommy the barbor. Where the author came up with him, I don't know. He was a hoot.
Scott Salter
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved it! Full of twists and turns and a shocking and thrilling set of events at the end left me wanting the sequel now. Great read to get away from your hectic life and laugh at someone else’s ridiculous set of ironic and unexpected circumstances. Also a bit eye opening of the possibilities that are or could be happening in your own battle for personal privacy. Can’t wait for the next one from Vachon!
Alan Snow
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very good and interesting book, really one for the tech heads.

The story centres on Ralph Gibsen, a Silicon Valley JV funder who may have developed a tool that could influence people patterns in many ways.

Many people think he is a spy, he wonders if he is a spy, come of his “friends” are involved in intelligence but whether he is or isn’t he ends up in all sorts of strife and gets by with a little help from his friends.

The book took a bit of getting in to because it had a bit of text book about
Lisa Sventer
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
May 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-reads
Did you know there was a "Spy* Scale"?

Spaced out along one end you've got Black Widow, Ethan Hunt, James Bond, Dick Tracy, and Jason Bourne; letting nothing and no one impede the mission objective. Down the other end, you've got Austin Powers, Maxwell Smart, Johnny English, and Inspector Gadget.

The most dangerous category, however, is somewhere within the meddling middle. That's where you may find Ralph Gibsen.



Our MC is not your typical spy ~ in fact, he may not be a spy at all, if
Richard Cohen
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An irresistibly engaging and laugh-out-loud read.

Following in the footsteps of his bumbling, blundering antics, I fell madly and deeply in love with Ralph. A fun, fast-paced and thoroughly entertaining adventure that offers insights into the subcultures of Silicon Valley and the far-flung corners of the world it converges with. Where will Ralph go next? And what will be his first farcical faux pas?
Waigumo Wanjiru
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I knew I was enjoying this book when I bought the audio version of it almost halfway through the book. This thrilling book will take you to the technology world and back to normal life in a smooth transition. I am not tech-savvy but I found it easy to read and got in the groove.

Nothing makes a good book like a good plot twist. This is what you should expect in this book. It will take you to the edge, reel you back and leave you second-guessing. I hope this is the thrill you need. The characters
Carrie Drazewski-Keller
This is a laugh out loud techno thriller! You will fall in love with the characters and find yourself learning about the life of a Silicon Valley spy...I mean investor. Ralph may just be the new spy character you have been looking for all your life!
Nia Dragin
Originally reviewed on Cyn's Workshop

Hate to say it, but I think The Knucklehead of Silicon Valley was simply not my cup of tea.

Now, just because it was not my cup of tea does not mean I hated it. I did not, but I did not love it either. Honestly, I found this novel rather dull in the end. That is my problem with the novel; it just bored me.

Non-Linear Storytelling
The premise is interesting, but part of what hindered my enjoyment of the novel was the jumping back and forth between timelines. The
David Mauz
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great books have unforgettable characters and there are several here in Knucklehead. I really enjoyed diving deeper into the Tech-world and the machinations of venture capitalists. I learned something while laughing my butt off.
rated it did not like it
Oct 10, 2020
Tobey Fitch
rated it it was amazing
Mar 25, 2020
rated it it was amazing
Jun 12, 2020
Dennis O' Shea
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May 05, 2020
rated it it was amazing
Dec 22, 2019
Natalie Hodgins
rated it liked it
Feb 21, 2020
rated it it was amazing
Feb 12, 2020
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The character of Ralph Gibsen, the protagonist of The Knucklehead of Silicon Valley isn’t based on the author G. Craig Vachon.

Not in any way.

Sure, they both are big, goofy-looking lummoxes, and they are married to beautiful, smart women that could have coupled more advantageously.

And yes, Ralph and Craig are both overly lucky, Silicon Valley-based venture capital investors living on the beaches ne

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