Book Review: Jennifer Government - Max Berry

by @edent | #

Jennifer Government - Max Berry

A human eye, beneath it is a barcode tattoo.
The world is run by American corporations; there are no taxes; employees take the last names of the companies they work for; the Police and the NRA are publicly-traded security firms; the government can only investigate crimes it can bill for. Billy NRA is finding out that life in a private army isn't all snappy uniforms & code names. Jennifer Government, a legendary agent with a barcode tattoo, is a consumer watchdog with a gun.

Most episodes of Black Mirror can be summarised as "What if X - but too much?" Max Berry's novel is basically "What if Capitalism - but too much?"

It's a quick and silly novel. Definitely doesn't take itself too seriously. Characters are either menacing, stoic, or cowardly - with very little nuance. Most plot points are telegraphed in advance, and - for all the excess - there's nothing particularly shocking. Just lots of gung-ho rushing around and corporate showdowns.

But, for all that, it's tremendously enjoyable. It takes corporate-welfare and a job-for-life to their logical extremes.

There's a bonus section on Max's website filled with trivia and deleted scenes. Very similar to Jasper Fforde's work - which is also an apt comparison.

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