Jennifer Government by Max Barry

Jennifer Government by Max Barry

Jennifer Government

This is another dystopian story (of a kind, maybe not pure dystopian) in which corporations rule the country. In this book (2003) the USA has a limited government, with no taxes and very little say. The corporations rule. In particular, people can subscribe to one of two customer loyalty cards. These two card companies both have a large number of corporations as their members. People that buy from shops allied to one of the card companies are lured away by staff from the other card company. Something close to a war ensues between the loyalty card companies.

That’s the companies. Then there are the people: Hack Nike, who works for, yes, Nike, is asked by two colleagues to come and work in their department. Because he doesn’t read the small print on his new contract, he doesn’t realize he’s just signed up to kill 10 people. The idea is that by killing people that had just bought a pair of limited edition Nikes, others will believe these Nikes are so special, that they will also want to buy them. The ultimate marketing stunt.

Hack decides to tell the police, who then offer to carry out the killings for him, at special reduced rate given that order is for ten people at the same time. Well, that tells you about the sort of book it is. It’s odd, but funny.

Jennifer Government is a woman working for the government. She’s hired to find out who is behind the killings. She’s after John Nike, the man that hired Hack Nike, who she also knows from a previous job. She prefers to do things her way and even when her boss puts her on leave, she does not give up.

A few too many people are involved in some way (I got a little lost), but in the end, all comes together in a series of direct attacks between the loyalty card companies.

I enjoyed reading the book as the story had some interesting, original ideas. It’s dystopian because some of the main characters start to think that life in Europe, where there are still taxes, might be better than that in USA (and allied countries). They don’t act upon it in any important way, though.

Rating: 4/5

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

11 Responses to Jennifer Government by Max Barry

  1. I read this book when it first came out with a book club I belonged to. I gave it 4/5 too although I don’t remember an awful lot about it now as I’ve read hundreds of books since. It’s a good idea for a book though from what I do remember.

  2. Hmm. This sounds sort of interesting, but I get the sense that you didn’t love it or hate it, it was just “eh, it’s good” with a slight shrug of the shoulders? I think I’m much more caught up in your overview of Feed the other day (which I put on my wish list, so if my bookshelf breaks it’s your fault :)), but I think I might pass on this one?

    • leeswammes says:

      I liked Feed better. I don’t know about JG. I liked reading it, but got a bit lost with all the running around of different people. Maybe if I had concentrated better I would have liked it (even) better. Still a good read, but if you want to choose, choose Feed.

      If your bookshelf breaks I’ll come and repair it, shall I? 🙂

      • I think I’ll stick to Feed, thanks! And yes — the bookshelf is near breaking point, so once Feed comes in I’m sure it will bust through!! You’ll need to make plans on your schedule to come by and fix it!! 🙂

      • leeswammes says:

        Oh dear, I’m not so good at fixing book shelves when push comes to shove. How about, you give me some of your books before the shelves break? 😉

  3. Pingback: Dystopian Challenge « Leeswammes's Blog

  4. Tes says:

    I’ve seen this book around the shelf int the book store but I haven’t pay much attention to it. Thanks for the I feel that it sounds very interesting.

  5. I have heard such good things about this book, and I agree–it sounds super interesting!

  6. Dominique says:

    I’ve heard great things about this one, it sounds really interesting. I’d like to give it a go.

  7. Pingback: Book Review: Lexicon by Max Barry | Leeswammes' Blog

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