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Cash Out: A Novel Paperback – October 9, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

A former reporter turned Silicon Valley speechwriter, Dan Jordan is just days from cashing out $1.1 million in FlowBid stock. The money will enable him to leave a job and a company he despises and build a better life for his family, somewhere on a beach. But as he limps from a doctor’s office following a vasectomy, he’s abducted by three elfin but enraged IT geeks, who blackmail him. Soon after, a thuggish stranger throws him through a glass door into a supermarket freezer. Both attacks threaten his dream and even his wife and kids. Debut-novelist Bardsley, a former reporter turned Silicon Valley speechwriter, succeeds grandly in making Silicon Valley a place of intrigue and dangerous head cases and hard cases. Even Jordan’s neighbors are grotesquely demented and creepily scary. FlowBid is a spectacularly toxic corporate zoo fueled by narcissism, hubris, self-aggrandizement, mendacity, and lack of scruples. A careening plot, plenty of action, outrageous bad guys, an otherworldly milieu, and many laughs make Cash Out a must-read for crime lovers with a taste for the bizarre. --Thomas Gaughan

Review

"A wild romp of a book ... In this world where making quick money is all the rage, it's quite dead-on." (Bookreporter.com)

"Bardsley is smart about Silicon Valley culture,." (Publishers Weekly)

"Succeeds grandly in making Silicon Valley a place of intrigue and dangerous head cases and hard cases.  ...  A careening plot, plenty of action, outrageous bad guys, an otherworldly milieu, and many laughs make Cash Out a must-read for crime lovers with a taste for the bizarre." (Booklist)

"A satirical romp. ... A crazy ride through the corporate pressure cooker, filled with lust, ego, greed and dreams of escaping to a simpler, more balanced life." (Metro)

"A funny expose of life on the darker side of the Silicon Valley entreprenurial world." (Sedge Thomson, West Coast Live)

Cash Out is one of those novels that begs for more adjectives: relentless, madcap, polished, lean, vivid, warped, original, horrifying and hilarious in equal measure. It’s like the spawn of mad monkey sex between Charlie Huston and Duane Swierczynski. Which is a good thing.” (Marcus Sakey, award-winning author of The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes and The Amateurs)

“A psychotic head-scratcher in the best possible way. Bardsley’s story is wild, unpredictable, and totally original.” (Los Angeles Book Review)

“A tense, satirical black comedy that will leave you with paper cuts from anticipating what’s on the next page and an aching gut from the laughter.” (Frank Bill, author of Crimes in Southern Indiana)

“Greg Bardsley’s writing walks on the wild side, with street swagger and a switch-blade in the sock. His short stories are an internet sensation, there’s style and there’s substance and a great big dollop of skill. Utterly unique and head-and-shoulders above his peers.” (Tony Black, author of Truth Lies Bleeding)

“Wow and wow again. CASH OUT gets the 3-E merit: Excellent, enthrallingand with a wicked elegance. I loved it.” (Ken Bruen, best-selling author of The Devil [Minotaur] and other books)

“A cold heart is beating in [Greg Bardsley’s] prose, one that suspects there’s nothing much good to say about people. Still…you can say it with a sly wink that lets everyone know we’re all in on the same grim joke. Bardsley gives us the wink and delivers the black punchline.” (Charlie Huston, best-selling author of The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death and The Shotgun Rule [Ballantine], as well as the Henry Thompson trilogy and the Joe Pitt casebooks)

“Bardsley’s work will be around a long time. He forces you to remember. … My prediction: As soon as the novels start rolling out, Bardsley will be as big as Palahniuk. But the critics will like him a lot more.” (Anthony Neil Smith, author of Hogdoggin and Yellow Medicine [Bleak House])

“Bardsley’s writing always makes me laugh and long for more. His characters are outrageous… yet beneath their antics and quirks are kernels of people we recognize from our everyday lives - or would, before Greg let them run wild. CASH OUT provides a delicious romp… I loved every minute of it.” (Rachel Canon, author of The Anniversary [Random House] Rachel Canon, author of The Anniversary [Random House] Rachel Canon, author of The Anniversary [Random House] Rachel Canon, author of The Anniversary [Random House] Rachel Canon, autho)

“Greg Bardley’s writing is so good it’s criminal. The guy has style. And a wicked imagination. And nobody has more fun with his characters than Mr. Bardsley does.” (Al Riske, author of Precarious and Sabrina's Window [Luminis])

“Greg Bardsley. Remember his name. Mark my words, he’s gonna be huge.” (Jedidiah Ayres, Ransom Notes: The Barnes & Noble Mystery Blog)

“Irreverent, surreal, utterly original. Bardsley is a genre unto himself.” (Keith Rawson, editor of Crimefactory magazine)

“Greg Bardsley is one of the funniest writers, period. Someone once asked me to describe Greg’s writing and all I could come up with was it’s like being stuffed into a gag bag full of razor blades and getting tossed into the gibbons cage at the zoo.” (Kieran Shea, author of "The Lifeguard Method" [Ellery Queen] and other stories)

“Cash Out is a wonderful combination of the bizarre, hysterical, and gruesome. Bardsley is a rising star in the world of crime fiction.” (Mark Richardson, author of "Tattoo Woman" and other stories)

“Succeeds grandly in making Silicon Valley a place of intrigue and dangerous head cases and hard cases.” (Booklist)

“Takes readers on a journey that has been described as a cross between ‘The Hangover’ and ‘Office Space.’” (New York Times)

“A wild romp of a book.” (Bookreporter.com)

“Smart about Silicon Valley culture.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Hilarious. . . A fast-moving page turner with zany plot twists that you won’t want to put down.” (Portland Book Review)

“The valley is so weird that it would be tough to come up with fiction that is more outrageous than the valley’s reality. Bardsley … gets that, and he’s artfully turned the weirdness to his advantage in his debut novel, Cash Out.” (San Jose Mercury News)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Original edition (October 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062127713
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062127716
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,793,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Greg Bardsley is the author of the novels Cash Out [2012] and The Bob Watson [forthcoming] from Harper Perennial.

He has worked as a Silicon Valley speechwriter, a newspaper reporter and a global communications leader. His ghostwriting for high-profile business executives has appeared in Newsweek, USA Today, and the Financial Times. His short fiction has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. The State University of New York recently included his short story, Crazy Larry Smells Bacon, in a national reading program for ninth-graders. His debut novel, Cash Out, was listed by The New York Times as one of five notable novels written about Silicon Valley.

He lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
Cash Out was a super fast read and the story was really enjoyable. Whenever I put the book down, I found myself anxious to pick it back up and find out what happens next. Before I knew it, the story was over and I was left with vivid memories of a great story.

I am a Bay Area local who has worked in several high tech startups, and so I found it very easy to identify with the main character. He makes some really stupid decisions throughout the story and that caused me to reflect on my own imperfections.

I normally read a lot of serious books, but a friend recommmended this to me. It was really nice to indulge in this fiction.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John Williamson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Corporate speechwriter Dan Jordan is not a nice guy. In fact, one might say that he's quite unlikeable, a somewhat sneaky corporate cretin, whose start-up stock options can net him a small fortune plus if he can make it through the three days that follow where we first encounter him in the beginning of this tale.

Cash Out is author Greg Bardsley's debut novel, but his writing is not new to this reader, as he's been publishing short stories on the 'Net for a few years now, so there's some familiarity with his topics and style. His writing is not predictable, but enjoyable when one is in the mood for a fast read that isn't there to beat the reader with some social conscious or another, and we all need a break like that from time to time.

Some anti-heroes can be quite likeable; our protagonist Dan Jordan is not in that category. As this tale begins, we find him being prepped for his vasectomy, and there's perhaps some brief male empathy there, but it doesn't last long. Dan is a vested employee of FlowBid, a Silicon Valley startup that has gone through some wild growth in that landscape occupied by Google, Facebook, NetApp and others, and is enjoying the benefits of the second Internet boom. His master plan is to let his stock options vest and cash out for a million plus, then drop his two-week notice on them like a bombshell.

Dan writes the speeches for Stephen Fitzroy, FlowBid's CEO, but he's pulled a sneaky maneuver by sending a BusinessWeek reporter some very incriminating e-mail messages "without attribution" that will expose his boss as the ruthless philanderer that he is.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Deborah V VINE VOICE on January 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Cash out refers to the stock options that Dan Jordan is going to cash out of and get over a million dollars to start a new life with his family. With three days to go until "cash out" we first meet Dan at a bar with his friend as they toast his coming vasectomy. With three days to go Dan has his vasectomy, is kidnapped by a bunch of IT nerds who threaten his financial security by telling him they can get him fired before his options vest, he has to deal with his sociopathic neighbor, and more. It is hard to get into some of the specifics without creating spoilers.

The book is a fun read. The characters are quirky. The plot is interesting. The writing is good. Will read more by this author definitely!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Matthew C Bentley on July 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not many books make me laugh and grin while reading them but this one sure did. Good job , Greg!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James M. Fitzwilliam VINE VOICE on October 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Coming from a background in technology myself, and having a least one acquaintance who escaped from Silicon Valley and the dot coms, I found Cash Out to be an enjoyable read and its premise believable: An employee of a tech startup whose company stock is about to become actually worth millions, who just wants to exit the rat race with his wealth and return to some semblance of normal life. Except that some of his career mistakes are coming back to bite him, and might even be grounds for forfeiture of his shares -- perfect material for blackmail and intrigue.

One plot element I particularly liked was the ending. Without giving away too much, while reading the last few chapters, I found myself increasingly wondering HOW the hero would manage to dodge/escape all of the traps set in his path, and what ingenious surprise ending the author would devise... Well, sometimes the biggest surprise of all is when you are EXPECTING a surprise and then... there is no surprise. You'll have to see what I mean when you read it.

There are many comedic elements in the book, but the antics of the attention-demanding neighbor were my least favorite. The neighbor character is supposed to be the comic relief, and a kind of anti-hero sidekick, someone who actually DOES help the main character, but does so almost in spite of himself. Honestly, the neighbor is a scuzzball, and though he is intended to be funny, I found his behavior so distasteful and over-the-top that it was hard to laugh at it. Still, other reviewers have remarked specifically that they found the same passages hilarious, so it's just a matter of taste, and your mileage may vary. There is plenty of other more elevated humor in the book to enjoy apart from the neighbor character's nausea-inducing slapstick.

Overall, Cash Out is well written and a fun read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James N Simpson on January 14, 2013
Format: Paperback
This isn't really a humorous book, I didn't find myself laughing out loud at any stage, but reading it is a lot of fun. It's not realistic if that's what you're after, it's simply a light, enjoyable read full of eccentric (so yes a bit over the top to be believable) characters. I found this to be a nice break after reading a lot of darker or heavier subject matter books, sure it doesn't have anything I'll remember six months down the track, (well except maybe upper decking, you'll have to read this to find out what that is), but it certainly entertained my mind for the time it took to read, which is all you can really ask for with a novel. Fans of Carl Hiaasen's environmental passionist get even characters like Tilly, will love the neighbour Crazy Larry who has a similar outlook on those making heaps of money at the expense of others, or those who follow him.

When Dan Jordan takes the reader along for his vasectomy, he assumes this is going to be the worst thing that he's going to experience that day, or even for the rest of his life. He's wrong, it's not long before he's kidnapped by a bunch of out of work IT nerds who tell him if he doesn't follow their plan of vengeance they'll get him fired with what they know about him. He has three days before he can convert his options into company shares which will give him around $1.1 million. If he gets fired before then though, he gets nothing. Then when some big bald guy throws him through a supermarket freezer door after attacking his recently operated on area, he knows he's in some real trouble.
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