Jennifer Government

Jennifer Government

Book - 2004
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In Barry's twisted, hilarious vision of the near future, the world is run by giant American corporations and employees take the last name of the companies they work for. Hot on the trail of John Nike, an executive from the land of Marketing, is agent Jennifer Government, the consumer watchdog from hell. Taxation has been abolished, the government has been privatized, and employees take the surname of the company they work for. It's a brave new corporate world, but you don't want to be caught without a platinum credit card--as lowly Merchandising Officer Hack Nike is about to find out. Trapped into building street cred for a new line of $2500 sneakers by shooting customers, Hack attracts the barcode-tattooed eye of the legendary Jennifer Government. A stressed-out single mom, corporate watchdog, and government agent who has to rustle up funding before she's allowed to fight crime, Jennifer Government is holding a closing down sale--and everything must go. A wickedly satirical and outrageous thriller about globalization and marketing hype, Jennifer Government is the best novel in the world ever. In a corporate-governed future world where people take the last names of the companies they work for, merchandising officer Hack Nike tries to get out of a contract that requires him to shoot teenagers, a situation that results in his unwitting involvement with an agent who is out to get Hack's employer.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 2004, ©2003
Edition: 1st Vintage Contemporaries ed
ISBN: 9781400030927
Characteristics: 321 pages ; 21 cm


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Jun 23, 2017

It's hard to take a futuristic novel about privatised mass consumerism seriously when the author's imagination couldn't see past Betamax technology. However Trump wants to use coal so who knows. Come to think of it, I have always been cross that I never got to have a CB handle and must strut ironically into meetings in my leisure suits. I must build a time machine to live the drug fueled insanity of the 70's as an adult just to find out why. Like, can you imagine how much hepatitis and toe fungus grew in those yellah shag carpets? And Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, how does one account for the Pacer, Nixon, Hee Haw, eight tracks, and disco?

One quarter of the story is spent on the fascinating premise of corporations achieving almost total freedom from regulation and the privatization of schools, jails, roads, water supply and nearly everything. In short, the end of the road on which we travel. The other three quarters are spent on an action thriller story of the type easily viewed on TNT any Saturday. It is disappointing that it wasn't structured the other way around.

Apr 17, 2017

A good near future quasi-cyberpunk dystopian tale of corporate rule. In the world of the book all roads are tollways, you're named after the company you work for, only a small portion of the world isn't ruled by two competing corporate conglomerates, and labor laws and unions are a distant memory.

In many ways it's a several hundred page long kick in the pants to strict libertarianism and the idea that privatization of everything will somehow make the world better. Really an interesting read and has a very Snow Crash and Robocop sort of tone to it.

Jabberwock12 Jun 23, 2016

Starts out great but just isn't all that by the middle to end. Kinda cheesy to be honest. Jenn Govt. is Donald Trump's utopian vision.

Nov 23, 2014

It's a fun romp through a near-future dystopia where corporatocracy has succeeded in making ethics a line item in everyone's departmental budget. Lots of possibilities emerge at the illogical extreme, and this story is ready to play with them. Trigger warnings include a failed rape scene, a child in peril, and rampant carnage. Also overuse of the Briticism "meant to". But it creates a convincing world through a compelling cast of characters, while making fun of every side of our current consumerist reality. I heartily enjoyed it.

Oct 03, 2013

This book doesn't sound so much of the future as it does the present and past (just read the historical account of America's first Treasury agent, B.G. Jayne, reads similar to this novel).

markjbarton Sep 09, 2013

First....I'm so glad that the Hudson Library carries books like this! Edgy, different, slightly controversial!

That being said. Here's the review I wrote on Amazon:

"Well, I finished it only because after half-way I was on a quest. An interesting premise but Max, were all the characters necessary? (in the acknowledgments you say Carolyn convinced you to cut a major sure she didn't suggest cutting 5-6?) Too much meandering from city to city, disjointed, needs tightened up. (Did Max have a quota on cities+companies+products+characters to mention?) Max, you published this in 2003 (10yrs ago) so how about going back and taking another stab at it? Clean it up, reorganize it. It's good... but could have been great. An "OK" (fast) weekend read (or maybe a long flight)."

mrmervis Jul 09, 2013

Very good read. Fast, engaging and familiar themes about government and big business.


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