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House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Then Tell You the Time Paperback – 5 May 2005

3.3 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Business Books (5 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446695017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446695015
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.9 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

This highly intelligent and deeply funny debut memoir skewers a segment of the economy that nearly every white-collar worker has learned to fear and loathe: consultancies. . . . His reconstructed dialogue from within his (unnamed) firm and from his time serving clients is alone with the price of admission. "Publishers Weekly
""

A more entertaining book about business is unlikely to appear for a long time. "Economist.com""

Exceedingly smart and funny ... Kihn's breezy, Jay McInerney-inspired writing renders the damnable daily life of the management consultant precisely, often hilariously. "Salon.com"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A dark but bitingly funny behind-the-scenes look at the consulting industry in the tradition of Liar's Poker and Monkey Business

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This unusual, entertaining business book covers one man's experience working for an unnamed, but top-line consulting firm. Author Martin Kihn tells unvarnished stories about working with clients who mix ambiguous problems with political infighting. The consulting firms he describes come off as unbalanced organizations with barely functioning teams and aged political hierarchies. Then there are the bleak working conditions and long weeks of travel, described in ways that completely dispel the glamorous myth of the globetrotting consultant. Throughout, Kihn keeps the story moving and funny, even though he sometimes gets too caught up in his own cleverness. Now and then, he seems to restrain his real opinion and the resulting conclusion seems flimsy compared to his other material, but soon he gets back to deflating jargon and popping myths. Even though it is an additional rock being hurled in the hailstorm of consultant bashing, we recommend this funny, informative book to anyone working with consultants or considering a consulting career.
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Format: Paperback
From someone who works in this industry, Martin Kihn has hit a lot of nails on the head in the mode of 'Snapshots from Hell' and 'Liars Poker'.
If you are thinking of becoming a management/ strategy or technology consultant read this book before making that decision.
Kihn lifts the lid on the self serving consulting firms, their inability to proffer little more than repackaged data and the clever use of a language and culture to protect their vested interests and hideous cultures.
Companies run by partners and VP's, whom a large proportion are sociopathic and driven by personal greed. Men and women prepared to sacrifice their home lives, health, relationships and quality of life (universal payback) for the Babylonian mirages of money, vanity, status and ego ..
This book is funny and dark too. .. Kihn (former MTV writer and Columbia MBA) joins Booz Allen Hamilton in New York and injects the book with a fresh ironic wit to make his points. His depth of insight is valuable as well as his ability to extract some of the more dysfunctional elements of an industry built on intellectual snobbery, stabbings and shamings. The book is thought provoking and although not written in a moralizing style it contains Kihn's values that are good. He empathises with those would may lose their jobs in the companies the consultants work with. He explains the truth of the devaluation of humanity within this sphere as people are fired and the game is to survive, and not look over your shoulder and consider those whom you have trampled on to do so.
Two other core truths Martin Kihn exposes are
1. Consultants actually don't know much. Therefore there is a series of cover ups and masks used to hide this fact and it is a game of manipulation via smoke, mirrors, vocabulary and image.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I haven't seen the TV series this book inspired but as professional writers will have been involved it's probably more fun. Nonetheless this is a useful insight into a professional world people tend to misrepresent (consultants lie and lie and lie...)
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Format: Paperback
Martin Kihn is an able pen!

I like the book: I have been a strategy consultant/case leader at a big-name firm for nigh on five years now, and I must say that the book is quite correct in its description of what it feels like to be a strategy consultant.

The book is still current/relevant today: consulting is one of the few types of enterprise the commercial model of which hasn't changed since the first Partner began pimping out younger rent-a-brains to client organisations for a fat premium.

The book is very entertaining: it is well written, wonderfully funny - with a juicy sense of irony and the absurdity of business life - and very observing about human nature.
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