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Jennifer Government by Max Barry
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Jennifer Government (edition 2004)

by Max Barry (Author)

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2,739933,196 (3.59)81
Member:samwilson.id.au
Title:Jennifer Government
Authors:Max Barry (Author)
Info:Vintage (2004), Edition: Reprint, 321 pages
Collections:Want to read, Your library (inactive)
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Jennifer Government by Max Barry

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» See also 81 mentions

English (90)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (93)
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
I played around with the NationStates game for years during high school and off and on in college, I was a pretty poor politician, and my state would expire from non-activity within a few months every time. But it was fun!

The book Jennifer Government was advertised with the game, it being 'loosely' based on the novel and from the same creator. It wasn't until around 2008 that I actually saw a copy in a library and decided to read it.

It's a fast-paced thriller and the whole conception of government and human rights marginalized by capitalism is remarkable. It's by no means a manifesto or call-to-arms, but it makes for a great read. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
This is a world where there are no more taxes and the government has been privatized. The employees take the name of the company they work for (for example - Hayley McDonalds and John Nike) and when they change jobs, their last names change as well. Jennifer Government, well, works for the government. Jennifer is a single mom and a government agent who has to get funding before she can fight crime (if you want your lost loved one found, or a crime solved, you have to pay the government to do it) In this world, the US controls not only the western hemisphere, but also Australia, England and Japan. The plot goes from Australia to London to US and back again trying to chase a cyberterrorist and people who are manipulating the stock market. The book represents capitalism at its worst, and how strange the world really could be.



The book was an easy read. I found it entertaining and the names of the people in the book were humorous. There was a little love story, and chasing bad guys, and in the end there was justice. There were mixed reviews about it on Amazon, and I can see the points those folks make. It moves pretty quickly, and there isn't much time for deep character development, which can leave you confused. But mostly it was entertaining, so I say give it a try. ( )
  JenMat | Jan 10, 2019 |
Corporate distopia! ( )
  akaGingerK | Sep 30, 2018 |
Interesting premise but failed execution. In the future, we're all run by giant corporations in a large free market economy. Things like law enforcement are actually outsourced to private organizations. Companies are willing to KILL people (as in, murder them) to hike their sales. People take the last names of the companies they work for (and change them if they change companies). It seems all and well and fine and we get the glimpse of this future when a young woman is killed at the release of a new product.
 
Then we're off. The story and the ideas behind it were okay. In light of the current election and looking at stories of tax evasion and breaking up big banks and yadda yadda, this seemed like an interesting take on the dystopian future. But it never quite gelled together for me.
 
The author takes us through various viewpoints, switching them between a bunch of characters (including some minor ones). At first I was willing to go along with it but after awhile it got a bit old for me. It also stunted the character development; as in there was just about none or it was VERY predictable. I very easily figured out the identify one of character's father (which wasn't all that important to the overall plot and it was hinted on early) but the predictable plotlines of these characters didn't make for very compelling reading.
 
One thing I particularly didn't like was a female character who started off okay, maybe distant to her boyfriend. Then as soon as they physically separate due to the story plot she just deteriorates from there and her former boyfriend ends up with someone else. I felt sorry for her towards the end until she undertakes a really desperate act and it just felt like the author needed her to be a villain of sorts perhaps to make the guy look better in comparison (and to justify his choice).
 
As a concept it was certainly interesting. I'd say if you were a fan of books like '1984' or 'Brave New World' this is definitely a book to borrow from the library. I didn't regret borrowing it since it was a nice change-up but at the same time I wouldn't rush out to read this either.
 
  ( )
  acciolibros | Feb 11, 2018 |
Is it wrong of me to compare this with Snowcrash and say that it was kinda lame? It feels like it isn't even in the same category. But... dystopian future where the role of government is more or less reduced to the standing of a multinational, where folks are strongly associated with their multinational[s]... Whatever. I vote: don't bother. ( )
  kwerle | Dec 13, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
a funny and clever novel by Max Barry that's set in the ''near future.''
added by mikeg2 | editNew York Times, Rob Walker (Feb 16, 2003)
 

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Max Barryprimary authorall editionscalculated
Schünemann, AnjaÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
With money we will get men, Caesar said, and with men we will get money.
Thomas Jefferson, 1784
... a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.
Thomas Jefferson, 1801
Dedication
For Charles Thiesen
Who really, really wanted me to call it "Capitalizm"
First words
Hack first heard about Jennifer Government at the watercooler.
Quotations
Yes, some people died. But let's not pretend these are the first people to die in the interest of commerce. Let's not pretend there's a company in this room that hasn't put profit above human life at some point. We make cars we know some people will die in. We make medicine that carries a chance of a fatal reaction. We make guns. I mean, you want to expel someone here for murder, let's start with the Philip Morris Liaison. We have all, at some point, put a price tag on a human life and decided we can afford it.
Look, I am not designing next year's ad campaign here, I'm getting rid of the Government, the greatest impediment to business in history. You don't do that without a downside. Yes, some people die. But look at the gain! Run a cost-benefit analysis! Maybe some of you have forgotten what companies really do. So let me remind you: they make as much money as possible. If they don't, investors go elsewhere. It's that simple. We're all cogs in wealth-creation machines. That's all.
I've given you a world without Government interference. There is now no advertising campaign, no intercompany deal, no promotion, no action you can't take. You want to pay kids to get the swoosh tattooed on their foreheads? Whose going to stop you?....You want the NRA to help you eliminate your competition? Then do it. Just do it.
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Disambiguation notice
Also called Logoland in some countries.
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Haiku summary
We're pawns; branding and
money-making reign supreme.
The future? Or now?
(ed.pendragon)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0349117624, Paperback)

In the horrifying, satirical near future of Max Barry's Jennifer Government, American corporations literally rule the world. Everyone takes his employer's name as his last name; once-autonomous nations as far-flung as Australia belong to the USA; and the National Rifle Association is not just a worldwide corporation, it's a hot, publicly traded stock. Hack Nike, a hapless employee seeking advancement, signs a multipage contract and then reads it. He discovers he's agreed to assassinate kids purchasing Nike's new line of athletic shoes, a stealth marketing maneuver designed to increase sales. And the dreaded government agent Jennifer Government is after him.

Like Steve Aylett, Alexander Besher, Douglas Coupland, Paul Di Filippo, Jim Munroe, Jeff Noon, and Chuck Palahniuk, Max Barry is an author of smartass, punky satire for the late capitalist era. It's a hip and happening field; before publication, Jennifer Government (Barry's second novel) was optioned by Stephen Soderbergh and George Clooney's Section 8 Films for a major motion picture. However, the level of literary accomplishment varies wildly among practitioners, from brilliant (Di Filippo and Palahniuk) to amateurish (Besher). This field is so hot, its writers needn't be nearly as accomplished as they'd have to become to break into any other form of fiction.

That said, like many of his fellow turn-of-the-millennium satirists, Barry is uneven. He has a lively imagination and a sharp eye for the absurdities and offenses of hypercorporate capitalism. But, with its sketchy characters and slow dialogue, Jennifer Government will disappoint anyone who believes the cover copy's grandiose claim that this is "a Catch-22 for the New World Order." --Cynthia Ward

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:30 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

In BarryUs 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 Goverment, the consumer watchdog from hell.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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