Ilona Andrews's Reviews > Jennifer Government

Jennifer Government by Max Barry
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's review
Jul 01, 2011

Interesting book. A blistering satire on corporate culture, the book is written with a sparse, sharp style. It flies by. I read it while on the plane - I don't enjoy flying - and it took me right out of the shuddering cabin and into the world of corporations, advertisement, and violence.

In the future, corporations rule the world, at least in USA and Commonwealth. Last names are abandoned in favor of employer names: John Nike, Lisa Disney, Michelle McDonalds and so on. Jobs are everything. Hack Nike works in marketing and he hates his. Then, on a chance trip to a different floor, he is approached by an executive who offers him a new position with a contract in a small print. Hack signs the contract without reading and the executive explains his new position to him. Nike is about to unveil their new line of shoes and to generate some street cred, Hack has to go to a local mall and shoot twelve teenagers for their shoes. Hack realizes he's screwed, and the book hits the ground running.

As I said, I've inhaled the book. At the core it's not about Hack but is about Jennifer Government and John Nike, the man she deeply hates. Now that several days have passed, I can point out a few problems with the narrative: Jennifer is a bit of cliche, there are perhaps too many viewpoints, and the action seems a bit confused, but while I read it, none of that mattered. Check it out if you get a chance.

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