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Head Case [Kindle Edition]

Jennifer Oko
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99
 
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Book Description

As one reviewer states: "HEAD CASE is an enjoyable gem of a mystery, and more...There are drug-dealing grannies, pill-popping celebrities, Russian mob bosses, eccentric ex-Soviet chemists, feuding roommates, faltering friendships, bad bosses and a rat named Raskolnikov - so how can you not have fun?"

HEAD CASE is a new, exciting and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny mystery from an author whose work has been called "SIMPLY RIVETING" by The New York Times and "SHARP AND FAST-PACED" by Publisher's Weekly. It's like Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones meets Carl Hiaasen's Nature Girl (with a dash of Janet Evanovich's One for the Money) as Olivia embarks on a postmortem quest to deconstruct the remarkable events that lead up to her mind-altering death.

A comic satire of the influence of the psychopharmaceutical industry on American life, HEAD CASE takes Olivia and her estranged friend and roommate Polly Warner on a collision course involving ethically challenged executives, spotlight-hungry celebrities, third-rate mobsters and drug-dealing babushkas. A smart and savvy page-turner, HEAD CASE explores the meaning of personal relationships, emotional intelligence, and mental health while taking the reader on a synapse-stirring, neurotransmitting rollicking ride.


Editorial Reviews

From the Author

HEAD CASE was originally set to go to press with a large commercial publisher in early 2009—cover created, pages proofed and all—when suddenly the publisher canceled about half of its titles because the economy was tanking and the market for new fiction was going down with it. HEAD CASE was one of those titles. They reverted the rights to me, and I spent the next year revising the manuscript some more. 

After a few more attempts to sell it to another publisher ("Endearing!" they said. "Flawlessly written!" and then passed, for want of famous authors and guaranteed hits), I stuffed this labor of love into a virtual desk drawer. 

But then... the world started to change! 

After reading story after story about once conventionally published authors having lots of fun (and occasionally great success) in the brave new world of digital self-publishing, I realized that an eBook would be the perfect publishing platform for this somewhat unconventional book. 

I hope you will check it out and enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it!

THANK YOU!

About the Author

Jennifer Oko's first book, Lying Together: My Russian Affair (written under her maiden name, Jennifer Beth Cohen), was published in 2004 and received numerous positive reviews. The New York Times Book Review called Lying Together "riveting" and twice named it an Editors' Choice. The San Francisco Chronicle raved, saying it was "a heady cocktail" and "a quick, juicy read."

Her second book, a satirical novel about morning television news entitled Gloss, was a Marie Claire "pick of the month" in 2007 and chosen as a "hot summer read" by USA Today.

Currently working as a freelance writer and media consultant, Jennifer is a "recovering" journalist and award-winning television news producer. A graduate of Columbia University's Journalism School, her career has taken her across the country and around the world. She now lives with her husband and two young children in Washington, DC.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1160 KB
  • Print Length: 235 pages
  • Publisher: Jennifer Oko (February 6, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AR3H8BY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,502 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One one more thing... January 11, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
...without repeating any of the reviews above, let me add to them. I started off with this book having a preconceived idea about what it was going to be about. Let me tell you that from three pages in I had already done a mental double-take multiple times. That is when you just say, "Whaaaat...?"

And it was an idea that I have never read before. The closest storyline would be Memento and that was a crazy, wild and fun story. THIS...oh my. Oh oh oh my. All I can say is that if you don't put ALL YOUR OTHER BOOKS AWAY and read just the FIRST chapter you are NUTS; you will find yourself going and going and I will just say it now --your welcome!

This is the most fun I have had reading in a long time. It is a FUN and unique read. Its a strange book in that its such a light read but with dark undertones that make it delicious. I loved this. Highly recommend.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Head Case is an enjoyable gem of a mystery, and more. January 19, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Head Case is an enjoyable gem of a mystery, and more. Our narrator, Olivia Zack, starts the book dead and things go backwards from there. Olivia takes us hopping and skipping through time as she gradually unravels how she came to be no longer eligible for the census. She relives all the mistakes she made along the way in true neurotic New York girl fashion and brings us along for the ride. There are drug-dealing grannies, pill-popping celebrities, Russian mob bosses, eccentric ex-Soviet chemists, feuding roommates, faltering friendships, bad bosses and a rat named Raskolnikov – so how can you not have fun?

Olivia is a likeable and appealingly flawed character -- the whole story hinges on her flaws, really. She is witty and, if not wise, a touch more perceptive and self-aware in death than she was in life. This is apparently a perk of being dead and it adds an extra layer of goodness to the book – you experience still-alive Olivia alongside post-mortem Olivia providing DVD commentary track about her past actions. It is deftly done.

Head Case also takes satirical aim at the aforementioned celebrities, as well as drug companies, the news media, and our over-medicated society with a pill for everything. The notion that, of course, everyone is in therapy and, of course, everyone pops a pharmacopeia of mood-altering pills to get through the day the way Olivia and her friends do is puzzling to me, but the author makes both the good and bad of that way of being relatable even to readers who live lives unmediated by anything stronger than caffeine.

Head Case thus raises some important questions about how we maintain the integrity of our identities in a culture that seeks to pathologize, homogenize and commodify us.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better living through chemistry? December 30, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Satirical and witty, Head Case engages the reader in a fast-paced adventure of two NYC
friends who wade into questionable waters, exchanging prescription drugs with pill popping
celebrities for a touch of their glamor. The girls' misstep quickly becomes a tidal morass beyond
their control, eroding what had been an inseparable bond. As the vortex churns, the protagonist,
an aspiring neuro-chemist, strains from the grave to piece together the mystery of her own murder
as well as the mistakes that unglued a close friendship.
In a style reminiscent of Carl Hiaasen, the tiers of culpability expand from that of a misunderstood
Brooklyn family of Russian immigrants, to their local mafia boss, to the greedy aspirations of a middle
management sales rep and finally, up to the CEO of a pharmaceutical company, desperate to keep his
malevolent empire intact.
Head Case is well-written and fast-paced, the kind of read that makes you less resentful of late night insomnia.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Like Brussels sprouts April 1, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
This review is for the book Head Case by Jennifer Oko. We are introduced to Olivia Zack right after her death. And in a series of flashbacks and current scenes she explains the events, decisions and reasons that lead up to her death. It is an unlikely tale, dealing with superstars, Russian Mobsters, and pharmaceutical companies. Olivia sets up each scene and provides a running commentary on where things went right or wrong and why things happened the way they did.

I went into this book wanting to like it. After all, a ghost is basically solving her own murder. Perfect mix of paranormal and mystery, right? Eh, not so much. The story is told mostly from Olivia and her best-friend/roommate Polly, who is a celebrity publicist. While Olivia flips back and forth between current events and the events that led up to her death, she gives us a running commentary on what and why stuff is happening. I was not a big fan of this. But then, I can not stand the commentary on a DVD either. Who in their right mind could enjoy a movie (or in this case book) with someone talking over all the action and dialogue and basically ruining the feeling of immersing yourself in the story. Not me anyway. I have never really understood the concept of "telling" a story versus "showing" a story, but this one felt very "tell"-y.

Another problem I had was connecting with the characters. I never felt any real connection with them. To be quite honest, I really didn't care that she was dead. Awful, right? I can't quite put my finger on why I didn't like them, but there it is. They just seemed like spoiled, little rich girls who were so used to doing what they wanted and disregarding the consequences. In a lot of instances, I felt they really deserved what happened to them.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
very strange
Published 1 month ago by Pamela Webster
4.0 out of 5 stars really a good read after all!
Initially I started reading this book a few months ago, but couldn't get past the first few pages. It was in my library, and I was looking for a different genre, having just read... Read more
Published 2 months ago by spcl-k
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting concept
A really enjoyable read. I liked the idea and the flow. It definitely worked going back and forth in time. The aunt was a hoot. Not deep, but a fun read.
Published 2 months ago by Valerie Vertz
5.0 out of 5 stars well written and at times seems like a true story
I was skeptical about this book, but it was free, so I got it. I have to say that the author writes very well, and I look forward to reading more books by this author. Read more
Published 3 months ago by melissa
5.0 out of 5 stars Head Case by: Jennifer Oko
This book is probably a good reminder that there are company's and people out there that will do anything to make a dollar including killing, please be careful and look into the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Fagan
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent expose on the corrupt pharmaceutical industry - AND it's a...
At first I thought this was going to be a story about two young women in NYC but it really turned out to be about how marketing has overtaken research in importance to the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by barbn
3.0 out of 5 stars Good reading
Even though you have to keep up with the flashbacks, it is still fun and entertaining. This was a good weekend read.
Published 4 months ago by Danny Garcia
3.0 out of 5 stars What to say...
I knew the ending, since this book starts there, but I guess I was kind of hoping for a twist? It was a good book regardless. It was an interesting read.
Published 4 months ago by c.allen8481
4.0 out of 5 stars Smart , interesting read
I got this book for free after seeing it on the Kindle Buffett list. I did not know the author but the concept seemed interesting. Read more
Published 5 months ago by UBizz
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth your reading time!
I really enjoyed this book. At first I was irritated by the flipping back and forth between time frames, but it soon became inconsequential as I was pulled into the story. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Barbara D.
Search Customer Reviews
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More About the Author

Jennifer Oko's first book, Lying Together: My Russian Affair (written under her maiden name, Jennifer Beth Cohen), was published in 2004 and received numerous positive reviews. The New York Times Book Review called Lying Together "riveting" and twice named it an Editors' Choice. The San Francisco Chronicle raved, saying it was "a heady cocktail" and "a quick, juicy read."

Her second book, a satirical novel about morning television news entitled Gloss, was a Marie Claire "pick of the month" in 2007 and chosen as a "hot summer read" by USA Today.

Currently working as a freelance writer and media consultant, Jennifer is a "recovering" journalist and award-winning television news producer. A graduate of Columbia University's Journalism School, her career has taken her across the country and around the world. She now lives with her husband and two young children in Washington, DC.

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