REVIEW: Dreamwatch

Sharon Gosling


Hack Nike is in a bit of a pickle. He wanted out of his mundane job, but he wasn't expecting to have to murder to do it. But maybe he could sub-contract the task to the Police... just as long as he can keep "Jennifer Government" off his back.

Max Barry's political satire comes at precisely the right time to complement the trend of hard-hitting factual books about corporate America such as Stupid White Men (Michael Moore) and the chilling essay on modern diet, Fast Food Nation (Eric Schlosser). Though Barry's narrative is set in an unspecified future, it's clear to see where the basis for the novel came from - and it doesn't seem too far off the mark.

It's a mystery how the author has managed to avoid litigation due to his use of well-known brand names. For example, in his future, Nike sanctions extreme marketing techniques and doesn't see any problem with killing a few teenagers to increase their market value. Rival companies physically take out their rivals and the government is nothing but a castigated corporation that is unable to do anything without raising the necessary funds first.

Jennifer Government is a brilliant novel - it's funny and intelligent enough to make you think twice about that reward card.

Verdict: 9/10. Funny and cutting by turns, Jennifer Government is an essential addition to any bookcase.