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CompWare is in serious trouble after a promised merger falls through, so they do what other businesses have done to bolster their public image: They hire a consulting firm to review and streamline their business practices.
But there's something strange about the firm they hire - more specifically, the quirky gentleman who arrives to supervise the project: Mr. Patoff, tall and thin, wearing a bow tie, and with an odd smile that never quite reaches his eyes.
In his first interactions, the consultant asks inappropriate questions and generally seems a nuisance. Over time Patoff gains power to the point where he seems to be running the whole company. He enacts arbitrary and invasive changes to office protocol; he places cameras all over the building, causing paranoia among the workers; he calls employees at all hours of the night; and he visits some of their homes and menaces their families. People who defy the consultant get fired...or worse. The employees of CompWare soon realize they're not just fighting for their jobs: They're fighting for their lives.
The Consultant is a biting workplace satire with the horrific touches only Bentley Little could provide.
Great for the first half, from the halfway point to 3/4 it was just so- so and from that point on I simply couldn't wait for the book to end. If you have invested your interest in a book and have 34 minutes left and could care less how it ended that shows pretty much what I thought of this book. The author seems to have quite a few fans and maybe I just happened to pick a book I couldn't get into on my first go round. I personally do not recommend.
47 of 51 people found this review helpful
I was extremely disappointed in this book particularly because it started out so well. The first half of the book was clever and funny, almost brilliant, but by the time the second half of the book was underway I began to get the distinct impression that the author started writing with no idea where the story was going and never did figure it out, so just descended into self-indulgent absurdity. If you are waiting for the conclusion to figure out what the point of the book is, don't bother - there isn't one. I feel like this could have been a really great book if the author hadn't flaked out.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
It's not just that the narrator has exactly one voice which he lifts a bit for all the women and shoves up his nose for the child.
It's not just that the sex and violence read as if written by an 18-year-old college boy who has never done anything violent or had sex with an actual woman... or anyone.
It's not just that the plot doesn't exist and this is just a simple scenario used as a vehicle for adolescent violence and sex fantasies.
It's not just that the author doesn't even pretend to know anything about his subject. He knows nothing about corporate governance and nothing about American law - or any law; not labor laws, not contract law, not medical privacy law and certainly not about law enforcement.
It's not just that Little clearly knows almost nothing about how real people behave.
It's not even just that the premise is promising and the story starts well - The Consultant is brought in to help a struggling software company turn itself around after a merger falls through and the release of a new program fails. The author does fairly well with the set up details - the pressure of business, the pressures of family and finding good work/life balance - the disruption caused by the demands the consultant begins to exert.
It's that any redeeming characteristic this trash might have had just gets completely buried in stupid.
>>The CEO of the tech company who hired The Consultant signed a contract that apparently surrendered completely all control of the company AND his legal department OKd it AND is BoD permitted it.
>>A consultant in an urgent care center violates patient privacy in the most egregious way possible and nobody even mentions HIPAA laws!
>>Senior staff are forced, with a day's notice, to go on a "retreat" for a weekend to a place with no hot water, no electricity and no communication where unrelated male and female coworkers are housed together in two-person cabins. That's not stupid enough? They are "forced" to hunt and shoot two dogs which are served to them for dinner. And on Monday, not one person calls his or her lawyer, quits h/er job or alerts the media.
>>During a meeting when The Consultant notes that the simultaneous, "coincidental" suicides of two former VPs is a coup for the company because now they won't have to pay their severance packages (What??) AND shows police photographs of the dead men, not one single member of this TECH company thinks to record these or any other outrageous meetings on their damned phones??
When The Consultant is invited to speak to the weigh-in meeting of a lunch hour Biggest Looser competition and, after insulting every woman in the room, insists they strip before they weigh in... and the women just giggle and start to undress, I put it down.
And trust me on this - these are just a SAMPLE of the stupid!
And understand, I'm only on chapter 18. It's a 42-chapter, badly written insult to the intelligence of any adult.
Audible gets this PoS back and I'm disappointed that they even offered it at all, much less as a Daily Deal.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Interesting premise, that became so disgusting and exploitive, I returned it.
Although well performed this book is simply dreadful. Trust me this author is a vain and a poor facsimile of Brett Easton Ellis.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
I rarely, if ever, write book reviews. But this book was so awful, I have to vent. It starts with an interesting premise that caught my attention. But it soon drifts into a story line so predictable and redundant, I easily followed along by listening to approximately the first minute of each chapter. The ending was just ridiculous. It could've been written by a junior high school kid. Perhaps the author intended to write a satire, but this book is so bad I have to wonder if the entire book was really just a twisted joke. I'd never heard of Bentley Little before and now wouldn't touch anything he's written with a ten foot pole. I will be contacting Audible and demanding a full refund. I've been a loyal listener for many years. I always have an Audible book going. This book was an assault on my intelligence and a complete waste of time and money.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful
I am sure there is a metaphor that makes this a revelation to some, but I found it ridiculous. From the beginning it reads like a poor version of Stepford Wives. There is no realism, no logical responses or behavior by either the consultant or the workers.
Rather than introduce a stressful, tense business situation realistically, the consultant is creepy, inhuman, makes inappropriate comments that would immediately terminate any contract. So what transpires from the first pages is smart, relational employees act weak and ignorantly as if the only reason for living is the corporation. I suppose that is the metaphor. If so, it is entirely unnecessary.
17 of 19 people found this review helpful
ICKY, WAS THE PERFECT WORD TO DESCRIBE THE CONSULTANT
When this book came out, Audible put it in the top 20 of the Horror Category. I believe their was a movie or a series coming out about it at the time. Audible than made it a daily deal on April 16th, 2016. The top reviewer for the book at that time was a very trusted Horror reviewer at the time. She was ranked 2nd behind the untouchable AudiblebookReviewer, King of the I got it for free, check my blog reviewer. She gave it four stars and said it was the best Little had ever written. The rating at the time was around 3.9. A lot of people took advantage of the daily deal, including me, sending the book to number one in Horror. I was going to listen to the book, but noticed the ratings were dropping dramatically. The reviews were not good. Today the rating for the book is 3.0. This book was a massive failure, but I paid for it, so this week I finally took it on.
FAVORITE POSITION, MISSIONARY
AS anyone who reads my reviews knows, I either love a book or hate it and I often will not finish a book, I am not enjoying. It is against my religion. I got through five hours, but did not think the book awful. I quit because it was taking too long to come together and I was not invested in the characters. At first I was intrigued, as someone who has worked for Aholes. I even worked for a guy back in the 80's, who was screwing half the office girls and doing what he could to get involved in everyone's sex life. You could do that in the 80's, matter of fact it was kind of expected. This book has an 80's feel to it. At that time, there were a lot of so called motivational guru's who were being employed by companies to motivate their employees. I know one girl back then, who worked for a company, where they all brought pillows to work and spent time in a dark room together. It was fairly common. HBO had a movie that played a lot at the time, that was very similar to this book. It was a sort of horror.
G STANDS FOR GENERATION
In the first five hours, the book had some sex and some gore and it was obvious that it was building up to something probably scary. I was too impatient to listen for another seven hours and maybe, be disappointed in the end. Those people with more patience, might enjoy this. I especially think older people who worked in the eighties and whose company was involved in these silly antics will enjoy it.
I am still following and still respect the now third place, (behind me) reviewer. Nobody agrees with anybody 100% of the time. I don't follow the number one guy anymore, simply because he keeps blowing up my e-mail with his multiple reviews a day, (kinda like I am doing to you today, sorry, I got an unexpected day off and I need to catch up.) I promise after today, I will not do more than two a day.
69 of 81 people found this review helpful
This was a total waste, if it hadn't been a "daily deal" I'd demand a refund. Avoid it and listen to anything else, which will be better.
14 of 16 people found this review helpful
What disappointed you about The Consultant?
The most implausible piece of crap ever. Bentley kept coming up with the most ridiculous scenarios at this office that NO human would put up with to keep a job, but I had had enough when he started to video the use of toilet paper in the women's (and men's) can to cut costs. I skipped several chapters to get to the end, Why? I must be nuts to have stayed with it as long as I did. What drivel!
What could Bentley Little have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?
Burn it.... flush it .....not written it.
What do you think the narrator could have done better?
I don't know how he could keep from laughing out loud at it.
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
Any additional comments?
I wonder about some of the ratings that appear on the site. If they are real. How any one could give this thing 4 or 5 stars is beyond me.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to The Consultant the most enjoyable?
Gosh where do I go begin. They all are great. I think the more absurd/gruesome/weird, the better, and there are countless ones in this offering. <br/>The story, the characters, the concept, all amazing. Contemporary, and believable to the extent that they could be, this is a remarkable book.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Regis Patoff is one creepy dude, and highly entertaining. Some of his most obtuse situations simply make your head shake.
Which character – as performed by Ramiz Monsef – was your favorite?
As above, The Consultant is my hands down fave. Ramiz brings him to life consistently and creepily, with enough of an edge to make him interesting . This was my first experience listening to an offering by Monsef, and it definitely won't be my last.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
The company cafeteria scene was so different that I had to go back and relisten.
Any additional comments?
This is one wild ride. It won't be for everyone, to be sure, as it contains several sexual and gruesome scenes that might be much for everyone ( even I thought some of the references were gratuitous ) but in the context of the story overall they made sense.<br/><br/>One of the best of the year ( in category ) and highly, highly recommended.
38 of 46 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
I enjoyed Bentley Little's Haunted very much so, I had a high expectations of his new book The Consultant. The story starts really well and I enjoyed the first half of the book but, the second half just gets silly and the end was not what I hoped or expected from this Author.<br/>There has been times I have got to the end of a Stephen King book (IT for example) and thought what was that about? Had similar reactions to The Consultant. It is as if towards the end of the book he lost vision of where the story was going.
What would have made The Consultant better?
The author writes in a very predictable way. He could have made the consultant a very dark, mysterious character, but within a few minutes of meeting him, we know he is odd, and he seems to be more like a sinister clown.
What was most disappointing about Bentley Little’s story?
The predictability of it. The gratuitous sex descriptions - these weren't necessary, and the way he took a great idea and made it half-rate and dragged it out.
What three words best describe Ramiz Monsef’s performance?
Ok, but not consistent. You can tell when he stopped for breaks.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
Disappointment and boredom