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Jennifer Government | [Max Barry]

Jennifer Government

The irreverent author of the cult classic Syrup hits his target in this satire on the wages of big capital. In Max Barry's hilarious vision of the near future, the world is run by giant American corporations, and employees take the last names of the companies they work for; The Police and The NRA are publicly traded security firms, and the U.S. government may only investigate crimes if they can bill a citizen directly.
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Publisher's Summary

The irreverent author of the cult classic Syrup hits his target in this satire on the wages of big capital. In Max Barry's hilarious vision of the near future, the world is run by giant American corporations, and employees take the last names of the companies they work for; The Police and The NRA are publicly traded security firms, and the U.S. government may only investigate crimes if they can bill a citizen directly. When lowly Merchandising Officer Hack Nike unwittingly signs a contract that involves shooting teenagers to build up street credibility for Nike's new line of $2,500 sneakers, he goes to The Police, only to be pursued by Jennifer Government, a tough-talking agent with a bar-code tattoo under her eye, the consumer watchdog from hell.

©2003 Max Barry; (P)2003 Books on Tape, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (391 )
5 star
 (114)
4 star
 (147)
3 star
 (96)
2 star
 (27)
1 star
 (7)
Overall
3.9 (155 )
5 star
 (46)
4 star
 (54)
3 star
 (44)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (2)
Story
4.0 (151 )
5 star
 (51)
4 star
 (64)
3 star
 (29)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer Nashua, NH USA 09-06-09
    Amazon Customer Nashua, NH USA 09-06-09 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    78
    27
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    "Delightful"

    A satirical approach to how far society has gone to sell something. Very funny and entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan El Paso, TX, United States 06-10-09
    Dan El Paso, TX, United States 06-10-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    348
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    835
    164
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    11
    0
    Overall
    "Robo Cop without the Robots"

    Very strong plot.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annette M. Stacy Tulsa, Oklahoma 06-08-09
    Annette M. Stacy Tulsa, Oklahoma 06-08-09 Member Since 2014

    onelglbratt

    HELPFUL VOTES
    64
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    257
    42
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    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "Not the best work from Mr. Barry"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Renee Jacksonville, FL, United States 11-03-08
    Renee Jacksonville, FL, United States 11-03-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    47
    14
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    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    "Clever and Interesting Plot"

    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!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cayden 10-06-08
    Cayden 10-06-08 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    2
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    0
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    Overall
    "Government's in the house!"

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew E. Keene, NH, USA 03-30-06
    Matthew E. Keene, NH, USA 03-30-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    105
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Bucket of Laughs"

    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/.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan Good Marietta, GA USA 05-10-05
    Joan Good Marietta, GA USA 05-10-05 Listener Since 2005

    stay at home mom

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Ouch, my ears"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Baker 05-07-05
    Paul Baker 05-07-05 Member Since 2015

    Pavlo

    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    6
    FOLLOWERS
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    0
    1
    Overall
    "Great Escape with Meaningful Warning"

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherry Oakland, CA USA 05-10-08
    Sherry Oakland, CA USA 05-10-08 Member Since 2006

    “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.” ― Dr. Seuss

    HELPFUL VOTES
    57
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    461
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6
    14
    Overall
    "Great idea, poorly executed"

    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.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CT 02-03-15
    CT 02-03-15 Member Since 2013

    I'm a PhD student in Linguistics in California, and I like to be positive (but my reviews maybe don't support that statement). I <3 books!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    9
    2
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    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "God-awful accents, unexamined anti-capitalism"
    What disappointed you about Jennifer Government?

    The story was pretty basic. This guy is like reverso Ayn Rand... has bad feelings about capitalism and monopolies so he wrote a boring story with one-dimensional characters so he could move them around and go, "see?"


    Would you be willing to try another book from Max Barry? Why or why not?

    I am so confused... I loved Lexicon so much. I guess I would try again, but now I'm all nervous. Thank goodness for Audible returns...


    Would you be willing to try another one of Michael Kramer’s performances?

    Not even ever. That guy needs to find a different job.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Discomfort and boredom. Sometimes annoyance.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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