REVIEW: Evening Herald (Ireland)

Valerie Cox
21st August, 2003

It's the future in the USA - the corporate culture reigns, with employees taking the name of their company as their surname.

This is satire at its very best - though frighteningly accurate in capturing the heartless reality of the business world. The latest marketing plan hatched by John Nike and John Nike is to hold off selling the latest top model of Nike trainer to increase desire and then release them at US$2,500 a pair.

This brings lowly merchandising officer Hack Nike into the coveted world of marketing. Hack doesn't have the wit to read his contract, and quickly learns that he has agreed to shoot buyers of the shoes to increase their street cred.

(And the profiteering police assume Hack is subcontracting them to carry out the killings!) This is an incredibly clever concept by author Max Barry, a former marketing lecturer who, he says, "Came to his senses."

The worrying fact is that the ridiculous future he suggests, where emergency services refuse to send out an ambulance to a dying girl until they have a credit-card number, does not seem all that implausible.

This new world does not exclude women - whether we should be thankful for this or not is another thing! Jennifer Government (guess who she works for!) is on the trail of Hack Nike. An excellent read, already being developed for film in conjunction with Warner Bros, this is one of the superior offerings of 2003.