Odd Child Out

Odd Child Out
Odd Child Out by Gilly Macmillian

The Western Star

The Western Star
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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

THIS IS RAGE BY KEN GOLDSTEIN

This is Rage: A Novel of Silicon Valley and Other Madness by Ken Goldstein is a Storyplant publication and was released in October 2013. I received a copy of this novel from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

"You kidnapped two of the most important rising star technology executives in the world, but you never meant to, it just kind of happened. You accidentally shot one in the leg, that would be Stephen J. Finkelman- and by the way, listening audience, that is breaking news, which is how you ended up at this hospital in Salinas, California, which was accurately reported by one of my callers on yesterday's show. Now you are surrounded by FBI agents, backed up by police from five area counties, and you think somehow this ends okay for you."

Dennis Swerlow and Sam Kisinski are two men just wanting to succeed. So far, they haven't had much luck, so they decided to kidnap a wealthy company owner to ransom him for enough money to start their own company. This plan goes awry and the men wind up kidnapping Steven Finkleman and Calvin Choy, two star CEO's of Envisionlink.

Enter Kimo Balthazer, a washed up radio talk show host. He just happens to be at the right place at the right time, and becomes an internet radio sensation thanks to his managing to open communications with the kidnappers.

Meanwhile, an attempted merger between Envisionlink and Atom Heart Entertainment, a merger of old and new money, is put on hold. Employees at Envisionlink worried about layoffs and the direction the company has gone since they obtained an IPO, begin to walk off the job, this causes the stock market to react, causing politicians to get involved, along with the FBI, and Kimo's long time producer and countless other disgruntled employees all over the country.
Everyone begins posturing to make the outcome of this work out in their best interest, while the country, tuning in to Kimo's radio show, are actually rooting for the kidnappers and show no empathy for the two super wealthy CEO's being held at gunpoint.
In fact, this situation is all but forgotten in the wake of walkouts and the stock market issues.

This novel is a wild ride. Many have obviously taken the novel at face value and read it as a crime thriller. That's fine, but I thought this novel screamed SATIRE. Tongue in cheek, parody and a searing look at big business in America.
The author knows his stuff. He sees human nature, the nature of business, and system's major flaws. The major gap between employees and the CEO's, the role the media plays in our lives, the attitude of the average American toward big business and the complete burn out they experience. The ineptness of law enforcement, the Washington politicians that are totally out touch, and the obvious lesson that business has no conscience. When all is said and done, did anything really change? Was a new precedent set?
There were so many things happening at once in this novel. At times it was just a little too busy. Too many events and too many people getting involved. It was also a healthy 500 + pages long.
This was a really unique novel, written by someone obviously attuned to both sides of the coin, and turning it into pure entertainment. No punches were pulled. People were portrayed quite honestly, making the whole thing seem very plausible. I could see something like this really happening.
I could recommend this book at all lovers of fiction, faction, satire, and thrillers.
Overall this one gets an A.


This is Rage: A Novel of Silicon Valley and Other Madness by Ken Goldstein is a Storyplant publication and was released in October 2013. I received a copy of this novel from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

"You kidnapped two of the most important rising star technology executives in the world, but you never meant to, it just kind of happened. You accidentally shot one in the leg, that would be Stephen J. Finkelman- and by the way, listening audience, that is breaking news, which is how you ended up at this hospital in Salinas, California, which was accurately reported by one of my callers on yesterday's show. Now you are surrounded by FBI agents, backed up by police from five area counties, and you think somehow this ends okay for you."

Dennis Swerlow and Sam Kisinski are two men just wanting to succeed. So far, they haven't had much luck, so they decided to kidnap a wealthy company owner to ransom him for enough money to start their own company. This plan goes awry and the men wind up kidnapping Steven Finkleman and Calvin Choy, two star CEO's of Envisionlink.

Enter Kimo Balthazer, a washed up radio talk show host. He just happens to be at the right place at the right time, and becomes an internet radio sensation thanks to his managing to open communications with the kidnappers.

Meanwhile, an attempted merger between Envisionlink and Atom Heart Entertainment, a merger of old and new money, is put on hold. Employees at Envisionlink worried about layoffs and the direction the company has gone since they obtained an IPO, begin to walk off the job, this causes the stock market to react, causing politicians to get involved, along with the FBI, and Kimo's long time producer and countless other disgruntled employees all over the country.
Everyone begins posturing to make the outcome of this work out in their best interest, while the country, tuning in to Kimo's radio show, are actually rooting for the kidnappers and show no empathy for the two super wealthy CEO's being held at gunpoint.
In fact, this situation is all but forgotten in the wake of walkouts and the stock market issues.

This novel is a wild ride. Many have obviously taken the novel at face value and read it as a crime thriller. That's fine, but I thought this novel screamed SATIRE. Tongue in cheek, parody and a searing look at big business in America.
The author knows his stuff. He sees human nature, the nature of business, and system's major flaws. The major gap between employees and the CEO's, the role the media plays in our lives, the attitude of the average American toward big business and the complete burn out they experience. The ineptness of law enforcement, the Washington politicians that are totally out touch, and the obvious lesson that business has no conscience. When all is said and done, did anything really change? Was a new precedent set?
There were so many things happening at once in this novel. At times it was just a little too busy. Too many events and too many people getting involved. It was also a healthy 500 + pages long.
This was a really unique novel, written by someone obviously attuned to both sides of the coin, and turning it into pure entertainment. No punches were pulled. People were portrayed quite honestly, making the whole thing seem very plausible. I could see something like this really happening.
I could recommend this book at all lovers of fiction, faction, satire, and thrillers.
Overall this one gets an A.

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