Catherine Schaff-Stump's Reviews > Corporate Gunslinger

Corporate Gunslinger by Doug Engstrom
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it was amazing
bookshelves: science-fiction, thriller

I should clear the air by mentioning that I received a copy from this author because I know him.

Engstrom's Corporate Gunslinger is a treatise on capitalism run rampant in the Iowa insurance industry of the near future. For those of you who don't know, Des Moines, Iowa is one of the insurance capitols of the western world, and the political commentary of something this nuanced is significant. In the dystopian world Engstrom creates gunslingers who solve problems for corporations against claimants by showdown. In short, if you don't agree with the settlement of the company, you can choose to fight for your life against a representative of the company.

Enter our main character Kyra. Kyra has chosen the life of a gunslinger because she is in over her head with debt. Student loans and compound interest has put Kyra on the edge of becoming a wage slave, a literal slave whose life will be spent in the service of others as human collateral, to do with what someone pleases. After all, if you fail in capitalism, you get what you deserve, right?

Kyra grapples with the morality of gunslinging while doing the job. The internal tension of the book demands you pay attention. Engstrom's book is a commentary not only on capitalism's effect on the individual, but also on the entirety of society. There's a lot in this book: real friendship, skill and pride at expertise, but undercutting it all is the false and hollow system that devalues human life and worships the all might dollar.

I'd say this might be one of the most important science fiction books to come out at this time, given its savvy sense of perspective as we teeter on the edge of our own version of systemic failure.

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Reading Progress

July 21, 2020 – Shelved
July 21, 2020 – Shelved as: to-read
August 16, 2020 – Started Reading
August 16, 2020 – Shelved as: science-fiction
August 16, 2020 – Shelved as: thriller
October 19, 2020 – Finished Reading

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