In Max Barry's twisted, hilarious and terrifying vision of the near future, the world is run by giant corporations and employees take the last names of the companies they work for. It's a globalised, ultra-capitalist 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 trainers. Hack goes to the police - but they assume that he's asking for a subcontracting deal and lease the assassination to the more experienced NRA. Enter Jennifer Government, a tough-talking agent with a barcode tattoo under her eye and a personal problem with John Nike (the boss of the other John Nike). And a gun. Hack is about to find out what it really means to mess with market forces.
Described as 'a wickedly funny satire on globalisation and marketing hype', this novel will certainly be enjoyed by readers who like a lot of action and shooting underpinned with wry self-knowing humour. It's not so hard to imagine the world run by giant American corporations where entire continents are described as USA countries and where everyone changes their name to that of their country. Marketing is the only career to have in this free market paradise and this is the bait John Nike and John Nike use to persuade Hack Nike (a lowly merchandising officer) to shoot teenagers to establish 'street cred' for a new line of trainers. Hack's conscience leads him to confess to the police who offer to do the job for him, and thus starts a nightmare of chase and betrayal. His unemployed girlfriend discovers the means to destroy the giant corporations, but she too has her price. Meanwhile top Government agent Jennifer is onto him and so is her ex, who is on his own mission of madness and will stop at nothing, even killing his own daughter, to satisfy his ambitions. You can't help but smile as the bad guys fall over their own foibles and the good guys get it wrong a lot. The innocent and the incompetent do manage to float to the top but there are passages of violence in the book, although they have a kind of comic-book reality. Altogether, a clever and entertaining futuristic farce. (Kirkus UK)
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: 5th February 2004
Dimensions (cm): 19.4 x 12.6 x 2.4
Weight (kg): 0.28