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Who is JENNIFER GOVERNMENT, And How Does She Know George Clooney & Steven Soderbergh'!

Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

The boys over at CHUD ran this story over the weekend, and it looks like we both got mailed the same bit of info. Funny what you learn when you read, and especially when you get a hold of material before it hits bookstores. In this case, “Cinephile” sent us the following effusively enthusiastic e-mail:

Hey there!

I got a hold of an advance copy of a book by Max Barry called "Jennifer Government." I don't know if you've already heard anything about it, but the book is simply awesome. Darkly satiric and often hilarious, with a voice much like Chuck Palahniuk at his best (i.e. not like his last 3 books). The best part is, according to a blurb on the back of the cover (and confirmed on the author's website), the film rights have been optioned by none other than Soderbergh and Clooney's Section Eight Films!

Anyway, thought it was something that was right up your alley, and you might like to know about it, if you don't already. The novel is due out in January. Below is the synopsis from the back cover, and I've attached the cover art as well (would make a KILLER teaser poster if they keep the art!)


"In Max Barry’s twisted, hilarious vision of the near future, the world is run by giant American corporations (except for a few deluded holdouts like the French); taxes are illegal; employees take the last names of the companies they work for; The Police and The NRA are publicly-traded security firms; the U.S. government may only investigate crimes if they can bill a citizen directly. It’s a free market paradise!

Hack Nike is a lowly Merchandising Officer who’s not very good at negotiating his salary. So when John Nike and John Nike, executives from the promised land of Marketing, offer him a contract, he signs without reading it. Unfortunately, Hack’s new contract involves shooting teenagers to build up street cred for Nike’s new line of $2,500 sneakers. Scared, Hack goes to The Police, who assume he’s asking for a subcontracting deal and lease the assassinations to the NRA.

Soon Hack finds himself pursued by Jennifer Government, a tough-talking agent with a barcode tattoo under her eye and a rabid determination to nail John Nike (the boss of the other John Nike). In a world where your job title means everything, the most cherished possession is a platinum credit card, and advertising jingles give way to automatic weapons in the fight for market share, Jennifer Government is the consumer watchdog from hell."

Author Biography

MAX BARRY is an Australian, for which he apologizes. He is the author of the cult hit Syrup, although he spelled his name "Maxx" for that novel "because it seemed like a funny joke about marketing, and I failed to realize everyone would assume I was a pretentious asshole." He was born on March 18, 1973 and lives in Melbourne, Australia, where he writes full-time, the advantage being that he can do it while wearing only boxer shorts.

I read SYRUP at the recommendation of the delicious Marla Singer, and Max Barry strikes me a lot like Ben Elton as a novelist. In particular, STARK has a lot in common with Barry’s first book. Let’s see if he can take it up a notch with this new entry.

Clooney and Soderbergh think so, and based on what they’ve got coming out this fall (SOLARIS and CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND), I’m inclined to think they know what they’re talking about.

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 11, 2002, 6:29 a.m. CST

    Aye, but...

    by Monkey Lover

    Are Nike and other such companies gonna allow the piss to be taken out of them in a Hollywood movie? Books are one thing, but movies are different. Unless they can somehow work some sponsorship product placement in there.

  • Nov. 11, 2002, 6:55 a.m. CST

    Get me a copy of that book!

    by AchilleJones

    It sounds wickedly great! Dont' get me wrong, I'm a capitalist pig like the rest of you. But the storyline sounds like a good one. Kind of like a Rothbardian nightmare...

  • Nov. 11, 2002, 11:11 a.m. CST

    Speaking of Ben Elton...

    by Lujho

    ... Elton was one of the people behind the TV show "The Young Ones". You know what recent show has been compared to "The Young Ones"? "SPACED". And you know who said in a recent DVD column that he would be reviewing the "SPACED" DVDs? Moriarty. **** So anyway, I'd really like to read those reviews. Not that I need someone telling me how great SPACED is, but I just like reading Mori's reviews. **** Jennifer Government sound intriguing, too, especially considering the people who've bought the rights.

  • Nov. 12, 2002, 6:27 a.m. CST

    Jennifer Government...sounds like the star of a 6th grade educat

    by CoolDan989

  • Nov. 12, 2002, 6:50 a.m. CST

    this book sounds fucking brilliant

    by snowyowl

    This sounds like an awesome book... the blurb alone had me laughing my ass of... It should make a good movie, if they keep the tone dark and satirical (and if they don't take the "message" too seriously.)

  • Nov. 12, 2002, 9:12 a.m. CST

    Humpy Smurf

    by Glass

    I didn't want to laugh at you but I did.

  • Nov. 12, 2002, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Sounds cool....BUT!

    by Robey-T

    Please, please, please....NO JULIA ROBERTS!!!! No charisma, asymetrical nostrils & a serious donkey-face when she laughs. No matter what role she plays it screams "Movie Star". Just by reading the synopsis this film needs serious actors/actresses... not "Stars".

  • Nov. 12, 2002, 3 p.m. CST

    Sounds OK

    by WeedyMcSmokey

    Yeah, I'd be into this fer sure. Sounds like Brazil, but less subtle. Oh, can I be introduced to Budwieser Big-TIts? Hmmm. I guess, that technically could still refer to a man.