Jennifer Government

Posted on March 5, 2012 by Jack Kelly
Tags: readings

Like I said in my previous post, I’ve made it through a couple of books. One is Jennifer Government, written by Australian author Max Barry. It’s set about 20 minutes into the future, in a world where corporations run rampant. People take the last name of the company they work for, the police and the NRA are little more than guns for hire and Nike is testing a new marketing strategy that involves killing a few people who buy their products.

Jennifer, a government agent (i.e., “Jennifer Government”), manages to secure funding from the families of those killed by Nike and spends most of the novel trying to find justice. There are four or five narratives running concurrently, but it somehow works.

As the novel progresses, things get crazier. Kinds start wearing corporate tattoos, corporations arm themselves, Burger King and McDonald’s have a shoot-out and somehow the madness is reined in just before the end. Most of the story is powered by personal vendettas than high-minded principles, which fits a world where everything is for sale.

It reminds me a bit of Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother, in that it sounds a little far-fetched, but not much. Jennifer Government is a bit more a caricature than Little Brother, but it’s still an entertaining read, and a warning.

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