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Paranoia [Mass Market Paperback]

Joseph Finder
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 23 2004
It was only a prank: diverting cash from Wyatt Telecom's executive slush fund to throw a retirement bash for a member of the loading dock crew. But when corporate security catches up with Adam Cassidy, a low ambition junior staffer at the high-tech behemoth, they call it something else: embezzlement, to the tune of nearly $80 grand.

Ruthless CEO Nick Wyatt is impressed by Adam's scheming, and offers him one way out-take on the role of a rising corporate hotshot and infiltrate Wyatt's rival, Trion Systems. His mission is to get close to Trion's legendary founder Jock Goddard, and his ultra-secret "Project Aurora," and report back to Wyatt.

With Wyatt pulling the strings and a dramatically improved identity, Adam is set up as Trion's new boy genius. Suddenly, he's got a sweet new Porsche, a closet full of $1,500 suits, and even a lovely lady who thinks he's a dream. But it's all just a mirage, because Adam is about to learn that nothing is what it seems and that it isn't paranoia...everyone is out to get him...

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Is it too early to declare Finder's fifth novel (after High Crimes) the most entertaining thriller of 2004? Probably, but it will be a surprise if another suspenser proves as much sheer fun as Finder's robust tale of corporate espionage. Narrator Adam Cassidy's trip to hell begins when he charges to the company an unauthorized, very expensive party for a retiring blue-collar laborer at their place of work, Wyatt Telecom. Caught, low-level staffer Adam is given an offer he can't refuse by monstrously slick and wealthy CEO Nick Wyatt: penetrate rival high-tech giant Trion Systems and get the goods on Trion's killer new products, or face a battery of felony charges. Adam accepts the deal, and days later he's at Trion, along with false credentials that persuade Trion that he was a key player at Wyatt Telecom, rather than a cube-squatting shlub. Finder presents Adam's thrust into Trion as the scary, grand adventure of a stranger in a strange land, as Adam must contend with a new corporate culture and a host of envious enemies, particularly once he's tapped to be Trion founder Jock Goddard's personal assistant. As Adam comes to admire, even to love, Jock, the demands by Wyatt for ever better intel grate all the more. But if Adam refuses, prison awaits, and anyway he loves his big new salary and perks, not to mention his new, lovely Trion bedmate. Adam's love/hate relationship with his bitter, dying dad and his fragmenting friendship with a pal he's left behind add texture to the relentless suspense, punctuated by tense cloak-and-dagger scenes as Adam steals secrets from his new bosses. A first-rate surprise ending packs a wallop. This novel is the real deal: a thriller that actually will keep readers up way past their bedtimes.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Adam Cassidy, low-level employee of Wyatt Telecom, is bored. So he cracks the corporate accounts to give a nice old guy who works on the loading dock a retirement party to equal a board-of-directors bash. Threatened with embezzlement charges--the wingding cost $78,000--and worse by Wyatt's security chief, Adam starts to BS and so impresses Nick Wyatt, the company's SOB founder, that Wyatt makes an offer Adam can't refuse: be a spy at Wyatt's biggest competitor, Trion. It's a stretch becoming a credible young hotshot, but Adam gets well placed at Trion and soon becomes founder Jock Goddard's golden-boy advisor. All the while, he is moling through Trion's cyberguts to find out about a top-secret, earthshaking innovation that Wyatt wants to steal. In the upshot, nothing is what it seems, not even the babe, supposed to be deeply involved in Trion's hush-hush project, whom Adam gets involved with. Finder's last novel, High Crimes (1997), was filmed; he has sold this one to the movies, too, and, judging from its cute dialogue, cardboard characters, shopworn settings, hackneyed developments, and copious product placements, already written the screenplay. If this proves to be, as its hype hopes, "the first blockbuster of 2004," surely it'll be nothing but a doorstopper by 2005. Acquire with caution. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Strength is the insider view Nov. 20 2013
By Cee Ess TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was an enjoyable read for me mainly because I've work in a large corporation and could relate it to the culture aspect that was depicted. Finder adequately captured cube farm monotony and IT culture, which I find fascinating.

At times it seemed like the notion of paranoia was being forced into the main character. That could have been build up a bit more in the beginning to convince reader's that this was an organic character trait of Adam's.

Some of the reviews I read commented negatively on the misuse of grammar and the ending. Those weren't issues for me. Adam spoke exactly in the way that someone his age would, and grammar wouldn't necessarily factor into that. And as for the ending - I took it for what it was, and enjoyed the fact that Adam was completely dumbfounded by it after all of his own underhandedness.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very fast paced, many twists and turns! April 18 2005
By Andrew
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I really enjoyed reading Paranoia. It was one of those books that I just couldn't put down once I started. Its about a young man, working as a low-level corporate blue-collar type. One day, he throws a party for a friend, using his company's funds, and this gets him into a lot of trouble. His company blackmails him to become a spy for their biggest rival. This is when things get interesting...
The book has a shocking twist that I didn't see coming. The author is great in the way he makes all the tiny details click in the end, when the truth is revealed. This is a skill that many authors lack.
The only downside to the book, in my opinion, is the ending. It leaves off with the main character not making a decision about his future, which in a way is good, as it lets the reader's immagination fill in the blanks. But for me, the ending was a bit weak. But overall, Paranoia is certainly worth reading!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Ending March 16 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Loved the book right up to the end when the main character is just walking away. Where was he going and what happens to him?? I could accept this ending if there was a sequel to give the reader some closure as to what this character ends up doing. The poor ending was a total disappointment and would stop me from recommending this book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book!!! Jan. 8 2006
I started Paranoia 2 days ago and finished all 503 pages this afternoon. I love Adam Cassidy. He's risk-taking, he's charming, he's very funny and the perfect main character to keep me from sleeping.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, What A Book! Feb. 6 2005
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
All I can say that this book is excellent, unput-downable from the very first sentence. Read it. You won't be disappointed.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Makes the Patterson Boys Look Like Hemingway July 15 2004
This is a 4-star plot burdened by 1-star writing. Other few-star reviews have already pointed out the weaknesses of the writing, and i concur. I would actually get angry as i read, seeing such a fabulous plot idea wasted away. Wait for the movie.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good, lightweight summer read July 15 2004
The writing and character development are just good enough to keep this novel interesting. The premise that a high-tech company can transform one of its low-level slackers into enough of a whiz-kid to fool another high-tech firm into hiring him may seem a bit unlikely. If you assume that our slacker hero, Adam Cassidy, is really a natural con artist unaware of these talents until forced by happenstance to find his true calling, then it seems more plausible. The fact that the phony resumé he is provided paints him as a major contributor to one of his former employer's key programs makes it understandable that a rival firm would take him aboard.
Once inside his new employer's place, the machinations and subterfuges he employs to gather the information he's after make for exciting times, indeed. Along the way, of course, he elevates his standard of living several levels, runs afoul of various mysterious and nasty characters who threaten his mission. and meets and beds a stunning babe, all for the sake of espionage.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pop eye candy. July 1 2004
While Joseph Finder's "Paranoia" is a formulaic thriller (complete with a hard to buy premise), populated with stock characters, needless cliches and many too many lucky coincidences, I could not help but enjoy it.
It is pop culture eye easy reading Silicon Valley techno-espionage plot with built in momentum.
Underachiever deluxe, Adam Cassidy is forced into going to work for his employer's biggest rival as a corporate mole.
Adam is placed in the midst of a dangerous maze on his double-dealing mission filled with encrypted messages, blind drops and key tracking devices. Naturally his peculiar sense of justice kicks in as he finds "a home" at his new company.
"Paranoia" provides an interesting and wickedly amusing look at corporate culture from the cube farms to the executive conference rooms...and the high-tech shoptalk and buzzword lend credibility.
In fact, Adam's voice, outlook and situation will captivate anyone who has been a wage slave.
Like the John Grisham novels, Adam is a naive and ambitious young guy enticed by temptation...and we observe how he comes to terms with it.
A harmless is fun while it lasts, but leaves no lasting impression.
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