Book Log – Jennifer Government

Jennifer Government by Max Barry

This book went on and off my wishlist a couple times. I heard about it somewhere as a witty Orwellian satire, and I added it. I later heard there was an online game based on the novel (http://www.nationstates.net/), which I signed up for and was bored by, and thus later I took the book off my wishlist. Then, it cropped up somewhere else as a recommended novel for its smart wit and satire, so I added it back.

I dunno. It was an okay read. There was not a lot of depth or originality to any of the characters. The alternate future was a bit outlandish (Privatizing the government? Just how would that work, and how is that not a paradox?), but with a bit of effort I was able to suspend my disbelief… like Cars: accept the premise, don’t think too hard about it.

I wasn’t bored by it, and early on I knew there wasn’t going to be any big payoff, so the ride was fairly enjoyable. Though I can’t figure out what some of the reviewers “laughed out loud” about.

Max Barry’s other books (Company and Syrup) look like more of the same. As one Amazon reviewer put it, “knee-jerk anti-corporate humor is occasionally funny…” I probably won’t bother.