Jennifer Government Paperback – 3 Jul 2003
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A total blast ... funny and clever (NEW YORK TIMES)
Frightening and funny ... a riotous satirical rant (ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY)
Wicked and wonderful (THE WASHINGTON POST)
The most fun you'll find in a book store this year (TIME OUT, NEW YORK)
Described by Naomi Klein as 'Brilliant and hilarious', JENNIFER GOVERNMENT is a wickedly funny thriller for the NO LOGO generation.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
It's a quick read and easy to digest, but it gives a lot to think about. Is this really a direction the world is turning in, where children go to McDonalds schools and employees change their names as they move between corporations?
The plot is simple but follows a number of different characters as they find their lives woven together through the book. Definitely worth a read, and bound to become a very talked about book.
By page 70 I was looking askance over my shoulder, blushing with embarrassment for the fellow. Full of all these ideas and he can't write for toffee! Goodness me, on a sentence by sentence level this book really is terrible. It started when I got the feeling Barry wanted us to feel emotional at the murder of a teenager, who up until then had been just a selfish spoiled idiot designed purely to make a satirical point. And as the book goes on, it becomes clearer that he does want us to take these characters to heart, even though they're pure cartoons. And the reviewer below who thinks it will make a great film clearly thinks like Barry - it quickly becomes pure Hollywood, with action sequences interspersed with 'character' 'development' and people saying things (I can hardly believe it) like "Goddamnit, Jennifer Government, there may be hope for you yet" with a straight face, and people narrowly escaping death by blazing gunfire then saying quietly to themselves, "Hot damn."
And this is a real shame. Rarely enough, a great conceit comes along and the creator has the intelligence and wit to take it to its logical (or illogical) conclusion - think Being John Malkovich.Read more ›
The backdrop and plot should be known to the readers, but for good measure I will provide a short rehash: the new US (aka The Federated Bloc), *everything* is privatized. The state barely exists and has no noticeable presence or function in the everyday life of the public. Corporations are by far the most visible element in daily life, and some run the functions which government once provided (police, military, courts). People take their surname from their employer. And so on.
A Nike shoes employee, Hack Nike, is tasked to increase the demand for a new brand of Nike shoes (with an extreme sales price and an equally extreme(-ly low) production cost), by having ten teenagers shot when the first store carrying the product opens. He passes the job on (outsourcing) to the Police, which then outsources to the NRA, and from there on, it all goes wrong: The product launch turns into more of a bloodbath than Hack intended, and a mother of one of the victims of the campaign hires a government agent to investigate.
The satirical oppertunity of the book is immense considering its setting in a world where privatization is taken to an extreme; in other words it would be candy for both those pro and anti of the portrayed world.
Unfortunately it doesn't last; you can only go on for so long about describing a radically different political-economic reality without taking an overt point for or against it; the author, wisely so, abstains from this as that would have turned the book into a rant, instead he goes down the humorous road, spiked with satire.Read more ›
The National Rifle Association and the Police provide the firepower for a no-holds-barred competition between the only two Customer Loyalty Programmes left in existence after cross-industry mergers and things get ugly. Corporate politics, a real killer marketing campaign for the latest pair of trainers and some hapless idiots add light relief to the plot which bravely embraces the ridiculous along with the scarily plausible.
I've given the book the full 5 out of 5 and recommend it too everyone, include those not really into futuristic, business or just general books - its a must read.
Before you read the book ask yourself "How far would a company go to sell that dream product?".
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Supposedly a critique of anarcho-capitalism but it turns out it's not that successfulPublished 7 months ago by C.A.
Jennifer Government is set in a worryingly-believable future where the world is run by corporations like Mattel and McDonalds and with public sector services like schools and the... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Book Blog Bird
Excellent read. Really short chapters which means you can leave it and come back to and not be lost or have to start the chapter over again. Highly recommendPublished 13 months ago by Noel Dillon
Been waiting for the Kindle version for a long time and well worth the wait. Set in a fictitious future where the trans-global corporations have more power than governments and... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Ian Woodhead
I read this book years ago and its still with me. The chaoitic pace and fun and funny way to tell a story of anarcho-capitalism or corporatism gone to extreme. Read morePublished 15 months ago by karen voncripps
This book's hero, Hack Nike, is assigned the job of killing 14 teenage Nike customers, in order to build up the rep and street cred of the latest Nike shoe. Heavy-handed? Yes. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Ancient Mariner
First book off Max Barry's I have read. Loved the story and style in which it was told. Rather closer to the way it is than most of us want to believe perhaps?Published 18 months ago by Ian