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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, provocative and highly original
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...
Published 19 months ago by Verena Ahnert

versus
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 16 months ago by Ann Brown


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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
This review is from: Saying Goodbye to Verena: What is Your Life Worth (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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1.0 out of 5 stars Painful and dull, 4 July 2014
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This review is from: Saying Goodbye to Verena: What is Your Life Worth (Kindle Edition)
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.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting idea, 23 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Saying Goodbye to Verena: What is Your Life Worth (Kindle Edition)
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 economic qualifications had little idea of economics. I would have been happier if the end was much closer to the beginning. Not recommended.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not interesting at all, 8 May 2013
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This review is from: Saying Goodbye to Verena: What is Your Life Worth (Kindle Edition)
I gave up half way through as it was repetitive, dull and tedious. Read chapter 1 then skip to the end.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book is different from any other I have come across, 3 May 2013
Let's face it - you need a certain level of intelligence to digest this book. It is not for dummies. But if you possess the required faculties and have a social conscience, I defy you to remain untouched by it! What is most scary, and what haunted me for the longest time, is that the author makes a very convincing case for just how utilitarian life is these days. I'm surprised that this book hasn't hit the mainstream media so far. The issues it raises touch virtually everyone and the way in which they have been presented is entirely unique. This book is screaming out for a large scale debate. I have never come across a book quite like it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Because she can, 2 May 2013
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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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3.0 out of 5 stars An OK holiday read, 24 April 2013
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This review is from: Saying Goodbye to Verena: What is Your Life Worth (Kindle Edition)
A bit long winded and slightly boring, stuck to it whilst on holiday but wouldn't have read it at home.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, 13 April 2013
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This review is from: Saying Goodbye to Verena: What is Your Life Worth (Kindle Edition)
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. Virtually the whole book is set in a cafe. The two characters talk about their opinions on the meaning of life. I have mixed feelings about this book. Probably would not have bought it if I had known what it was like. (Just my opinion - others may love it)
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