REVIEW: Book Magazine

Kevin Greenberg

Barry's weird, hilarious second novel, already optioned as a film by Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney, is set in a futuristic world where big corporations have wrested power away from government through sheer enterprise, where America is a global franchise and employees take the name of their companies. When Hack Nike, a lowly merchandising officer, is approached by two reptilian marketing execs, the Kafka-esque duo John Nike and John Nike, to carry out a contract, he weeps with joy and signs without reading it. But when he learns too late that the contract requires him to kill a dozen or so consumers as part of a scheme to promote Nike's new $2,500 "Mercury" sneakers, Hack suddenly finds himself in a horrible predicament. A searing look at the perils of deregulation and unfettered trade, this book tells a thoroughly modern tale in the tradition of George Orwell and Aldous Huxley.