Paranoia Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook, CD
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The first jet-propelled thriller of 2004... Go along for the ride... twisting, stealthily plotted.- Janet Maslin, The New York Times (1/15/04) This year's first contender for Page Turner of the Year is Joseph Finder's Paranoia... It's as if he has taken Sun Tzu's Art of War as a blueprint to concoct a terrific tale... It's riveting stuff... The corporate thriller just got an upgrade.USA Today (1/29/04) Masterfully told and thoroughly engrossing... - People Magazine. Here it is, readers, the perfect thriller for the post-Enron/Martha Stewart era. - New Orleans Times-Picayune (1/25/04) Provides more chills than any ghoul with a chain saw. - Entertainment Weekly (A-) This novel is the real deal: a thriller that actually will keep readers up way past their bedtimes. . . . Relentless suspense . . . A first-rate surprise ending packs a wallop . . . The most entertaining thriller of 2004.- Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Don't start this book at 8:00 p.m. or you'll be up all night. Finder's latest is a fun read with a hip narrator, an engaging story set in a world rarely seen in thrillers, and great suspense. Highly recommended.- Ronnie H. Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, Library Journal (Starred Review)One of those all-too-rare but absolutely unforgettable books that rewrites the rules for contemporary thrillers. Finder's loyal fans have long known what a terrific writer he is, but with Paranoia he has written what is destined to be a classic of suspense fiction. Paranoia is a knock-out - a fresh, original and compelling novel that is impossible to put down.- Daniel Silva, author of The Confessor. The real thing - a sleek, hip and fast-paced thriller that gets its hooks in you from the very first page. It's a terrific combination of nail-biting suspense, great characters with depth and real heart, and a fresh, original voice. - Lisa Scottoline, author --Various --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A fresh and addictive corporate thriller. First of Joseph Finder titles on audio in the UK.See all Product description
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Adam Cassidy, a junior product line manager in the consumer electronics giant Wyatt Telecom, pulls a prank involving the impersonation of a company VP, hacking into Wyatt's proprietary database, and illegally disbursing seventy-eight grand to fund the retirement bash of some unsuspecting (but grateful) shmoe on the loading dock. Cassidy is looking at 55 years of prison time, minimum, unless he plays ball with the company CEO, Nicholas Wyatt, who proposes a scheme to insert Adam as an espionage mole into the heart of Wyatt's biggest competitor, Trion Systems. There's evidence that Trion has initiated a super-secret project, and Cassidy's redemption is to find out what it's all about - or else.
To transform Adam into the marketable Whiz Kid that he isn't, he's intensively prepped by Nicholas Wyatt's personal "executive coach" and provided with a totally fictitious but very impressive CV. Launched into Trion for a job interview, he's subsequently hired. Through apparent luck and circumstance (and with info fed to him by his Wyatt handlers), Adam quickly becomes the special assistant to Trion's CEO, Jock Goddard. Cassidy is now in a perfect position to feed Wyatt intel on Trion's secret project, "Aurora".
As befitting an espionage thriller, author Joseph Finder divides his book's ninety-three chapters into nine parts based on spy terminology, and which mirror the plot's evolution: The Fix (a person is blackmailed into being an agent), Backstopping (establishing an agent's cover), Plumbing (a covert operation's support assets), Compromise (detection by the opposition), Blown (exposure of an agent or operation), Dead Drop (hiding place for clandestine messages), Control (pressure exerted to prevent an agent's defection), Black Bag (illegal entry to obtain intelligence material), and Active Measures (operations that'll affect another nation's policies or strategies).
PARANOIA paints a cynical portrait of corporate business practices and ethics. Indeed, Cassidy is almost an anti-hero since he isn't exactly burdened with moral scruples. He regrets his original stunt only because he got nailed, and his role at Trion because the alternative is so much worse. That is, until he decides that Goddard is the most decent human being he's ever met - the loving father figure he never had. Is Adam developing a conscience?
Even at 400+ pages, PARANOIA is one of those books one wishes would never end. The action is taut, the dialogue clever, the plot darkly comedic, and the ending deliciously twisted (though perhaps not unexpected). My only complaint - a minor one - is that the last chapter, and indeed the very last line, is so lacking in closure for the Cassidy character that I looked to see if my copy was short a couple pages. (I intended to query the author, but hadn't saved his email address.) It only works if there's to be a sequel. But, looking at the author's publishing history, sequels don't seem to be his style.
I suggest PARANOIA would make an entertaining film starring Ben Affleck as Cassidy, Donald Sutherland as Goddard, and Tim Roth as Wyatt.
His story, told from Adam's viewpoint, almost takes a snapshot of modern, business environments - it's almost like standing, invisible, next to the water cooler listening to the juiciest office gossip. I thought that the style in which this was written was the real hook for me, I thought it was effortlessly written with a real gritty style that reminded me a little of Elmore Leonard. The characters are very well drawn and are consistent. I too found it predictable - but I honestly didn't care that much as I enjoyed reading it so much. Definitely a 'one more chapter' kind of book.
Another thing I liked about this book was that it gets cracking straight from the off and doesn't let up until the final line of the book. I could have read this if it were twice as long. I will be definitely reading more of Finder's work.
An excellent thriller, recommended!
The main character Adam is rumbled for misappropriating his employer's expense account to give a decent retirement party to a colleague, because he thinks it's a poor do that the boss is just letting him go after decades of loyal service.
The "big cheese" gives him an ultimatum - either face jail for embezzlement, or go undercover to work for a rival firm, to report back on a top-secret project. Obviously Adam goes with the second option - with a double-edged sword - if he fails his quest, he will go to jail for fraud, one way or another!!
He is not really qualified for the role he needs to secure at the rival company, which is all part of the challenge - he has to blag things at every turn. He is given all the material trappings (swanky new apartment, flash motor and designer threads) so that he "looks the part" and he is the envy of his friends, who are still stuck in more humble jobs. Before long he is bedding the beautiful woman, who is also involved in the secret project. The connotation is that he probably would never have been able to pull her in his previous incarnation, but she is falling for him under false pretences - he may be genuinely falling in love with her, but if she discovers what he is up to she will think he has just been using her. He also finds that he rather likes his new boss - who is a bitter business rival of his old boss. His father (who is an invalid and has always worked hard in an honest job, but never made any money) has his suspicions that Adam's new found career success is not all it seems. This all makes you think about the temptations people face, where status, wealth and success triumph over moral values.
I would like to interject that I lent this book to a friend who is an IT consultant and he said that some of the "techie" stuff in the book is not farfetched. But if you are not a techie, the story is interesting and compelling nevertheless.
The plot is gripping and keeps you on edge, rooting for Adam to get away with each challenge and obstacle he faces.
And there is a brilliant twist towards the end. Some people would say that the final conclusion to the story is a bit weak, and I cannot say any more about that without spoiling the plot, but it did not matter to me - it is like being on a really exciting journey and then finding the destination isn't that exciting but you have enjoyed getting there.
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