©2003 Max Barry; (P)2003 Books on Tape, Inc.
"Wicked and wonderful....[It] does just about everything right. Fast-moving, funny, and involving." (The Washington Post Book World)
"Funny and clever....A kind of ad-world version of Dr. Strangelove. [Barry] unleashes enough wit and surprise to make his story a total blast." (The New York Times Book Review)
I "read" The Company and truly enjoyed it. This was not enjoyable. There was no lightheartedness fun in this book. One of the reasons I chose it was because The Company really made me laugh. I expected the same. Maybe I shouldn't have. The concept is there, the farreaching idea is there -- but its just not good enough for me to rate it any higher than 2 stars. And that my friends is being generous.
The plot is clever and fast-paced. The narrator was very good but the female voices sounded a bit funny. Overall, I would recommend this book. I work on the computer most of the day and this was an enjoyable audiobook to listen to. I work in the marketing field and it's not too far off the mark on how bizarre advertising think can get!
Imagine a drama mixed with suspense; throw in a splash of action and a main character that looks good in a skirt and you have this novel. Jennifer Government makes you wonder who done it, and how did he do that. In addition, you will want to share this book with friends and family, but I highly recommend you tell them to buy their own, as you will never want to give up your copy. This book is a modern day classic and Max Berry deserves all the accolades we can give him.
I'm sure there's a message to get, but the humor in this gets in the way of the message being too heavy handed. Characters were wonderful and the situations histerical. To see were Max has taken this, visit http://www.nationstates.net/.
stay at home mom
I admit I didn't get very far into this book, though I was very interested after having played Mr. Barry's online game and reading the concept behind the story. I was so disappointed! After a while I couldn't listen anymore, it just hurt. The narration was monotonous and dull and the characters were flat and uninteresting. I've read better stories by 8th graders!
Well written and narrated, a story with a meaningful message of what will happen if we allow the the unchecked power of the ultra right in this world and country. At the same time Max Barry uses humor, and an intriguing story, to help you forget for a little while the brutality of puppet Shrub and his Masters.
“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.” ― Dr. Seuss
The topical premise of corporations taking over and running society with the goal of profit above all else, including human life, should have been quite intriguing. The book's presentation of privatized police and schools was utterly horrifying, but the story didn't really put forth much of a message to me. Although not quite as blatantly presented in this novel, corporations have already taken over, and it doesn't take much research to find out what many of them are doing out in the world when it comes to human and environmental exploitation (and, yes, even the taking of human lives). Another reviewer said it was preachy, but in a failed effort to be funny and absurd I found it didn't go far enough with it's message of the possibilities of all-powerful corporations.
Of course, that in and of itself wouldn't make for a bad book; however, it was just plain boring. Don't get me wrong: I was looking for a prophetic, cautionary tale delivered in an entertaining and humorous style, but this was a cheesy detective style potboiler with a tedious plot and uninteresting characters with little or no redeeming qualities. No one was likable or sympathetic (except perhaps Jennifer's daughter), and the humor fell flat. I'm giving it two stars for a good idea and the attempt (albeit, a failed one) of it's message.
This is an enjoyable story, but the theme of capitalism and marketing taken to the nth degree and even the idea of privatized governments and police services were all done first, better, and with much more humor in Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash.
Nearly every single character is taken advantage of in some way and most are so beaten down and pathetic that it almost doesn't seem to matter who wins in the end. I had no sympathy whatsoever for Jennifer herself. Sure she gets the bad guys, but only because she makes that goal a higher priority than her own child.
I'm not saying Jennifer Government isn't worth the listen, but if you like it then I highly recommend Snow Crash.
I enjoyed the reader and I liked the world that was presented. Like many stories they float around a small group of characters bumping into eachother. But this was done well.
I enjoyed this book
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