In Max Barry's twisted, hilarious and terrifying vision of the near future, the world is run by giant corporations and employees take the last names of the companies they work for. It's a globalised, ultra-capitalist, free market paradise! Hack Nike is a lowly merchandising officer who's not very good at negotiating his salary. So when John Nike and John Nike, executives from the promised land of Marketing, offer him a contract, he signs without reading it. Unfortunately, Hack's new contract involves shooting teenagers to ...
In Max Barry's twisted, hilarious and terrifying vision of the near future, the world is run by giant corporations and employees take the last names of the companies they work for. It's a globalised, ultra-capitalist, free market paradise! Hack Nike is a lowly merchandising officer who's not very good at negotiating his salary. So when John Nike and John Nike, executives from the promised land of Marketing, offer him a contract, he signs without reading it. Unfortunately, Hack's new contract involves shooting teenagers to build up street cred for Nike's new line of USD 2,500 trainers. Hack goes to the police - but they assume that he's asking for a subcontracting deal and lease the assassination to the more experienced NRA. Enter Jennifer Government, a tough-talking agent with a barcode tattoo under her eye and a personal problem with John Nike (the boss of the other John Nike). And a gun. Hack is about to find out what it really means to mess with market forces.
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A fast-paced entertaining dystopia - scarily plausible! Highly recommended.
Mar 20, 2007
The Greatest Business Satire, Ever!
In a world where everyone takes the name of their employer as their last; taxes are illegal; the NRA and Police are privately traded security firms? The world is run by giant American corporations (except for a few deluded French holdouts) it?s a market free paradise.
Nike is about to launch a new marketing campaign, one that will have killer appeal.
Hack Nike, a Merchandising Officer, one day happens to cross two executives from Guerrilla Marketing (both called John Nike), who offer him a new job. Hack foolishly signs a new contract without reading the small print. Then he learns that his boss, John Nike, wants some teenagers killed as part of an exclusive product promotion and Hack's job description includes sniper duty; gun down ten people who buy $2,500 Nike Mercurys - And gain the product some street cred. Later, having subcontracted the murder spree to the privatized police (who, in turn, hire the NRA to carry out the hits), Hack finds his life ruined by his bad judgement and others' incompetence, and things get worse when he attracts the attention of Jennifer Government, a field agent with a barcode tattoo...
Hack becomes responsible for the death of hapless teen Hayley McDonald's; he and two top Guerrilla Marketing executives, both named John Nike, are soon pursued by the ruthless Jennifer Government, a former advertising executive who is now a federal agent with a personal axe to grind - and preferably to sink into the cranium of her hated ex, one of the John Nikes.
Rapidly paced, well constructed, and written with panache, this futuristic novel is a change of pace for Australian author, Max Barry. Jennifer Government is a serious novel. Based in the near future it displays the social consequences of a fully privatised society; a world in which you have to give your credit card number before calling an ambulance, even when someone lies dying in the street, where victims of crime have to pay the police to investigate, and no one learns first aid for fear of being sued.
As books go, this one, apart from having me in suspense all the way through, showed me a satirical eye to marketing. The reason I liked it so much other than it infringing on the use of corporate names and portraying them in such ?evil? ways was the way in which Barry emphasises the way in which Corporate America rules the world, its indicative of the world, now. This book is full of wit, sassiness and delivered in such a way that you end up really feeling for these characters as if you really knew them and of course a hatred for that evil psychopath [VP] John Nike.
?Jennifer Government will leave you feeling as if Harry Potter never existed?
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