Jennifer Government

Abridged / Go to Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Max Barry

Narrated By: Patrick Frederic

Publisher: Random House (Audio)

Date: January 2003

Duration: 4 hours 53 minutes

Summary:

Jennifer Government is Here to Help!

In Max Barry's twisted, hilarious vision of the near future, the world is run by giant American corporations (except for a few deluded holdouts like the French); taxes are illegal; employees take the last names of the companies they work for; The Police and The NRA are publicly-traded security firms; the U.S. government may only investigate crimes if they can bill a citizen directly. It's a free market paradise!

Hack Nike is a lowly Merchandising Officer who's not very good at negotiating his salary. So when John Nike and John Nike, executives from the promised land of Marketing, offer him a contract, he signs without reading it. Unfortunately, Hack's new contract involves shooting teenagers to build up street cred for Nike's new line of $2,500 sneakers. Scared, Hack goes to The Police, who assume he's asking for a subcontracting deal and lease the assassinations to the NRA.

Soon Hack finds himself pursued by Jennifer Government, a tough-talking agent with a barcode tattoo under her eye and a rabid determination to nail John Nike (the boss of the other John Nike). In a world where your job title means everything, the most cherished possession is a platinum credit card, and advertising jingles give way to automatic weapons in the fight for market share, Jennifer Government is the consumer watchdog from hell.

Jennifer Government is the kind of novel that can become a byword--a Catch-22 for the New World Order, a satire both broad and pointed, deeply funny and disturbingly on-target.

Genres:

  • Rick O

    I had high hopes for this book about capitalism taken to an absurd degree. The characters were interesting, and the plot was amusing. But it felt over-abridged -- like some jump-cut music video version of a story. It was good, and worth a listen, but I am left wondering if I should go pick up an original unabridged copy to get what was left out.

  • Caimh McDonnell

    I love this book. It's a clever satire, inter-mingled with a fast-paced almost trashy crime novel. Having read it previously, the audio book reminded me just how goood it was. It makes some great points about the way modern society is heading but makes them in such a snappy entertaining way as to avoid any preaching. A delight from start to finish.

  • JK

    I enjoyed this satirical future novel, which like all good satire is very close to the truth. The book is pretty funny and I certainly plan to look out for other books by this author.

  • Anonymous

    Couldn't get through this book. I sent it back before I finished it. It was an interesting concept but it just lost me.

  • Cheryl G

    Great futuristic story. Keeps you guessing, even when you think you've figured it out. Well read and well written without being too corny.

  • Terry Croyle

    Good audiobook; would have been harder to read, I think. Very clever twists and turns of the story intertwined with social commentary. The latter makes the story sometimes preachy but, at the same time, there is a dark truth about our near future that should make us all pause before we plunge into the corporatized future. The story reminded me of a variation of a very well-written book called "Oryx and Crake," by M. Atwood, which I would highly recommend.

  • Nestra

    Jennifer Government is a somewhat intelligent and thought provoking look at the dark side of capitalism that sucessfully avoids what could potentially be a serious and severe mood setting by frosting the plot in sheer hilarity. The story line lacks any real depth and the characters are plastic cutouts at best, but believe it or not, that synthetic veneer is a good part of what makes this book so good. The dialog between characters is incredibly funny and the narrator delivers the characters of John and John Nike perfectly. Underneath the comedy though is a not so subtle poke at capitalism and consumerism in the modern world. Good little book, just don't expect it to blow your mind.

  • Anonymous

    I loved this book. I actually wish that it was available in the unabridged version. It is very well written. It is an amazing piece for Barry and I am excited to read his others!

  • Ken Crosson

    Neither well-conceived nor well-written, this novel is set in a reductio ad absurdum of free-market economics. Comes off more as a left-wing diatribe than entertainment. Had it been a movie, I would have walked out.