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5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining & Clever fiction!
Jennifer Government is a fictional novel set in a world where free markets have been taken to the extreme & the only rule is: make as much profit as possible. Barry establishes a number of clever & entertaining characters - such as Jennifer Government, the title character, who is a government agent set on bringing wrong-doers to justice, John Nike the egomaniac hell-bent...
Published on Dec 2 2008 by J. Tupone

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Want to Know Why It's Easy to Buy This Book Used?
Max Berry must be an idea man because this book certainly begins with a great idea. In fact, the best part of the book was the blurb that I read in the New York Times article listing this as a recommended summer read.
Perhaps Berry wants the readers to realize that it is possible to be more than the ads-on-the-moon style society we seem to be slouching toward...
Published on Nov. 13 2003 by edanyluk


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5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining & Clever fiction!, Dec 2 2008
By 
J. Tupone (Saskatchewan) - See all my reviews
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Jennifer Government is a fictional novel set in a world where free markets have been taken to the extreme & the only rule is: make as much profit as possible. Barry establishes a number of clever & entertaining characters - such as Jennifer Government, the title character, who is a government agent set on bringing wrong-doers to justice, John Nike the egomaniac hell-bent on being number one at any costs & a number of characters who have become disillusioned with the world they live in & their role in it, such as: Buy Mitsui, Hack Nike & Claire Sears. There is even a woman pushing the boundaries of reason named Violet with no last name since she's unemployed. And there's even a Texas hick who finds himself temporarily out of a job before he becomes the unwilling pawn in a international conspiracy to reap chaos; an "innocent" guy in the wrong place at the wrong time, all the time.

Jennifer Government is a highly entertaining novel that pokes fun at the idea that free markets will solve all of our problems. It's highly absurd in most respects, but it's satire & is supposed to be absurd, funny & push the boundaries of what is reason: it's fiction, not fact.

Being a strong proponent of free markets & liberalization myself, I found a lot of humour in this book. It's a fun tale that takes a look at what happens when we let extremists make the rules without any checks & balances. The book is an incredibly fast read despite being a little over 300 pages. I'm a slow reader who often finds myself having to take frequent breaks & can only read or a period of an hour a day. This book was difficult to put down due to it being so entertaining & easy to read.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Want to Know Why It's Easy to Buy This Book Used?, Nov. 13 2003
By 
Max Berry must be an idea man because this book certainly begins with a great idea. In fact, the best part of the book was the blurb that I read in the New York Times article listing this as a recommended summer read.
Perhaps Berry wants the readers to realize that it is possible to be more than the ads-on-the-moon style society we seem to be slouching toward. However, such wisdom isn't imparted with weak characters, predictable plot development, and boring dialogue. Another reviewer hit the nail on the head when he/she noted that for all that this is a disappointing book, it will be a great movie.
If you still must read it, do some good and support your local library. Sales of this book will only encourage more mediocrity.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It takes 320 pages to kill this premise., April 4 2004
By 
Keith Whitener (Handsome Ville, USA__Population: Me) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Jennifer Government (Paperback)
The premise for this book is that in the future business is the most important thing. A person has a first name and their last name is the name of the company they're working for. The NRA is like an army, the government's investigations are privately funded by citizens, and a guy that works for Nike decides that if some customers are killed sales will go up. To me, that seemed enticing. So, I got the book and read 320 pages of someone ruining a good premise. It's almost as though Max Barry came up with this idea just so he can mess it up.

This story is very convoluted. Each chapter is from the third person point of view of a different character. There's John Nike, whose idea it was to kill the customers, Jennifer Government, whose job it is to arrest him, Violet, a tertiary character that's there just to make the book longer, and many other people. There's too much fluff in this book. There are superfluous characters and sub-plots, but the author has a lucid style that makes reading quick. But quick reading doesn't make up for poor content. Some people might read this book just to see how the premise is butchered, but it's not worth it.
Here's a one-word synopsis of the book: bad. ... run away and don't look back because the physical manifestation of this book isn't attractive to the eye.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nope., Feb. 26 2004
By 
George G. Kiefer (Sevierville, TN United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jennifer Government (Paperback)
Anyone comparing this to "Catch 22" should have read both books. Inventive as it is, it remains a one-gag comedy. That George Clooney has optioned it is telling. Will Jennifer stop him before he thrills again?
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good idea.... poor execution (wrong choice of words, ha?), Aug. 11 2003
By 
"mr_reader_x" (CA United States) - See all my reviews
Great idea and quite special. I'll give him that. However, I stopped 2/3 into the book. Characters are mostly shallow and the plot has little to no depth. I kept asking myself why I keep reading this (when I could read a better book). I concluded that this book can't even have a decent ending. Yes, I understand that the depth of the characters serves a purpose (although painting everyone in the world as stupid and shallow as Max Barry did is probably over doing it) - but a little more color, background information could go a long way.... hey.. maybe I would have finished the book? Or do you need to be 20 something to really enjoy this?
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Overpraised, Feb. 17 2003
By A Customer
This certainly is a cutely updated Orwell, and the ideas are occasionally interesting. For that reason I gave it a star. That was it. The slick marketing and online game, the movie option, and all the hype cannot take away from the fact that the author is a semi-talented amateur. Like a bad puppeteer, you can see the strings here. There is such <effort> in writing that should flow effortlessly, should sing and sparkle with smartass humor but plods in so many places as to turn the mindless, fun read that was promised into way more work than it is worth.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Futuristic World, but a Modern Plot, June 4 2007
This review is from: Jennifer Government (Paperback)
Jennifer Government is a novel that takes place in the future, but still encompasses many of the social and political issues we face today. The privatized consumer-driven setting of the futuristic society provides an interesting, fast-paced, and suspenseful story. The wonders and horrors of a completely materialistic world are explored and revealed to the rim. The best part, though, are the characters' wit and personality. They represent the extremes of humanity. John Nike's ambition, Jennifer's vengeance, Hack's desire for respect, and Billy's simple urge to ski collide for a comedic and satiric plot. Even in a futuristic world these characters realistically portray the deep feelings, emotions, and shallowness of the challenges we each individually face.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It is to laugh..., Aug. 10 2004
By 
John R. Vokey "PsyPro" (Canada (just a bit less insane)) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jennifer Government (Paperback)
Forget the overt, pretentious literary criticism of the previous reviews. Imagine a world in which George Dubya Bush, Wal Mart, and Nike actually win (not so hard, is it? You may already be living it.). Now, imagine trying to be a citizen within it. This is a very funny, serious book, from the initial premise (the insane globalisation that permeates everything, is accepted as normal, and everybody's last name is the company they work for), to the ribald, unbelievable, you wish you would do that if things were like that action that makes up the plot, this is a film waiting for a book deal. As it should be. Read it and laugh, and weep.
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3.0 out of 5 stars You'd think he'd have it down by now, July 13 2004
By 
Daniel E. Donche Jr. (Everwind City) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jennifer Government (Paperback)
Okay. I really don't want to crap all over Max Barry here. But this book was lacking in a lot of areas that I know Max is capable of handling. The thing that got me most is how every time there is a phone conversation, Max still put the dialogue in. How many times can a guy read everybody answer the phone the same way? There wasn't as much cleverness in this one as there was in 'Syrup' either, which would have been cool.
I did like the idea behind this story; I thought it was very original and unique. Everything fits together nicely as far as plot goes, but normally with fiction, when a story has an over-elaborate plot, the characters tend to suffer. Which is what happened. Still, read it. But not while driving.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very Fast, Very Fun, July 7 2004
By 
Emerson Harris (Portland, OR United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Jennifer Government (Paperback)
Barry's work is excellent. 'Jennifer Government' is an excellent novel in which William Gibson meets Dave Barry. A hilarious social satire about the corporate world, Barry's novel succeeds because he avoids the particular slang that permeates Gibson's work. Every phrase in the novel is clear and obvious,and the marketing euphemisms used will make you laugh out loud. And fittingly enough for a novel about marketing to a generation with incredibly short attention spans, 'Jennifer Government' is a quick and easy read that will leave you smiling all day.
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Jennifer Government
Jennifer Government by Max Barry (Paperback - Jan. 6 2004)
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