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Saying Goodbye to Verena: What is Your Life Worth [Kindle Edition]

Ivy Turow
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

Can anyone’s life be reduced to an economic equation? What if it can?

Stella and Verena have been the closest of friends since Cambridge. Outwardly successful and expensively dressed, they regularly meet up for Caesar salads at the Landmark Hotel. But this lunch is to be their last.

In a cold, businesslike tone, Stella announces that the sum of her life is worth more in death than by staying alive. And she assures Verena that by the end of the afternoon, she will agree with her. Will you?

With a chillingly rational argument, calling on thinkers from Foucault to Dawkins, moral theory to game theory, this book claims there is no place for ethical individuals in corporate society. If this is true, what are the consequences?

Product Description


"This is a most unusual and powerful book, combining vivid and convincing
characterisation with deep analytic skill - a modern Platonic dialogue,
exploring some of the darkest corners of the moral (or submoral) world of
modern finance and its human as well as social and political cost.  It
needs and deserves wide attention, and puts the question to us as to
whether we are, as individuals and as a culture, prepared to take the steps
we need to take in order to free ourselves from a literally lethal set of
practices and assumptions." *- Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury
until Dec '12


“This is a very thought provoking book which challenges the corporate culture of the 21st Century global economy.”
Lord Griffiths of Fforestfach

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 652 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Acorn Independent Press (15 Jan. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #323,395 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, provocative and highly original 30 Jan. 2013
At first glance, this is the tragic story of a friendship: a young woman announces to her best friend that she has decided to take her own life and that she intends to leave all her worldly possessions to her friend. Devastated by her experiences in the workplace, she is convinced that by committing suicide she will do more good in the world than by staying alive.

What sets this book apart is the way she justifies her decision: suicide to her is a rational, not an emotional choice, the choice of a deeply moral human being who sees no way to survive in a corporate world characterised by greed and by the complete lack of decency, integrity and compassion. To make her case, she draws on a wide range of economic and social theories and presents a watertight argument, which, in its radicalness, leaves you shocked. The conclusions resonate for a long time and make you question your outlook on life. Gripping, provocative and highly original - this book is a must for any socially and politically conscious reader.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Explaining why the system works as it does 27 Jan. 2013
Although at first sight this book seems to be one of those currently fashionable rants about life in multinational corporations, it soon develops into something much more than that. The author cleverly avoids the traps of self pity and complaining. Instead, she analyses systematically the reasons how "the system" (i.e. western capitalist societies) rewards particular types of behaviour that our parents and teachers have taught us to despise. By application of economic theory the author shows why the good guys seldom win in big companies, and why hard labour is not as highly rewarded as the apologists of the system tell us it would.
Good writing style combined with a broad knowledge in social sciences makes this book interesting for economists and non-economists alike. The latter may be surprised by the strict logic and the conclusions that follow consequently. For those with an economic education the conclusions are straightforward, and the big picture that emerges is new and perhaps surprising. The apparently authentic personal experiences of the author make this book an excellent read for anyone who wants to make sure that life in big companies is not for those who believe in the good in man.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking 23 Jan. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Breathtaking. I learned and re-learned so much from this. For about a page at the beginning it seems to go down the well trodden path of "chick lit", but Turow quickly tuns it all on it's head. Our heroines quickly embark on a fierce debate about decency, honour, integrity and the value of life. With a distinctly "old fashioned " voice Turow echoes the great victorian women writers of social comment but skilfully brings it all up to date. From designer goodies to the financial collapse of the western world Miss Turow leaves no stone unturned in her argument. The financial "experts" who are trawled out at every opportunity, better watch themselves. I learnt more about "the System" and "the Man" (Please forgive the crude hippy slang but nothing else will do) in these 200 pages than any amount of Newsnight punditry. "What is your life worth" is an apt sub title to the book. I defy you to disagree with Miss Turows conclusion. JONATHAN PISTONE
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3.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking but flawed 14 Mar. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book really irritated me, which is odd, as I agreed with much of it. Stella's thoughts matched many of my own, about the poor state of so much of the world, particularly the business world. It is hard to review it without giving away details of the story, but I will attempt to describe my frustration...

She had such arrogance. She had fallen for the pursuit of material toys, but then seemed unable to give them up, other than by suicide. It seemed absurd to me that she would not consider other solutions and also not consider her selfishness and arrogance towards her friend Verena. She was fixated on her career to the exclusion of all else.

My other criticism is the highly complex description of economics and philosophy theory, which I found heavy sometimes, and certainly not the way anyone would talk to their friend.

However, much as it frustrated me, I did get some value from the thought processes it provoked. I would say, buy it and judge it for yourself. I think perhaps the author is having a rant on a pet subject... I think she could have found a more constructive way to do this, which might have spurred readers (at least those of us who might agree we are 'mutants') to decide to do their bit to change the world!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Because she can 2 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is brilliantly bleak. Ivy Turow has really nailed the spirit of our era. Even to those of us who know the material professionally (game theory) the material is presented from a surprising new angle. I particularly enjoyed the chapters The Game and The Law of Critical Mass. I really do hope many people will read this book. There is a lot of comfort to be had from it, despite its sadness.
The young really do have it hard these days. Many struggle with hopelessness. Friends of mine are apologizing to their parents for not marrying or having children because they just don't see how they can manage it in this day and age. So this book is really important for our time. It captures the emotional pain, the consumptive madness, the ubiquity of power games, lacking solidarity between people, etc. I also loved the "Because I can (be)!" the "mutant" and "on button" terminology. I shall borrow them. This book defies genres and is different from anything I have come across. I hope Ivy Turow writes more books.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Painful and dull
Painful and dull. I gave up after reading half of the book. Came back to it after a month and few pages in decided to delete it off my kindle.
Published 14 months ago by Iva
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting idea
I was rather disappointed as the idea could have been developed in a more fruitful way. The main character was very contradictory and inconsistant and for someone with multiple... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Amazon-Kunde
1.0 out of 5 stars Not interesting at all
I gave up half way through as it was repetitive, dull and tedious. Read chapter 1 then skip to the end.
Published on 8 May 2013 by Mrs S Howard
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is different from any other I have come across
Let's face it - you need a certain level of intelligence to digest this book. It is not for dummies. Read more
Published on 3 May 2013 by Penelope Jones
3.0 out of 5 stars An OK holiday read
A bit long winded and slightly boring, stuck to it whilst on holiday but wouldn't have read it at home.
Published on 24 April 2013 by Ann Brown
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay
I read this book on holiday but it was a bit heavy going in parts. Full of philosophy. I lost it in places. A good idea for a book but very little plot. Read more
Published on 13 April 2013 by Book Lover
1.0 out of 5 stars ten per cent in to it.
Don't like the way it is written.she is supposedly having a chat with her pal about her big plan but it's too unreal. Read more
Published on 13 Feb. 2013 by sukie
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