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The Dinosaur Club: A Novel Hardcover – June, 1997


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"Soil" by Julie Kornegay
Drawing on elements of dark comedy and modern dysfunction, Kornegay’s novel is about the gravitational pull of one man’s apocalypse and the hope that maybe he can be reeled in from the brink. See more

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This hilarious novel of corporate guerrilla warfare takes you right into the belly of the beast. When the rising young generation of officers at the Waters Cable Corporation shift into hyper-greed mode, they target for early retirement all the middle and upper level executives who had the bad taste to reach age 50 and make a decent salary. But Jack Fallon isn't going to take it: he organizes his paunchy coevals to resist and they fight to keep their jobs and take back control of their destinies. More than a comic excursion, though, The Dinosaur Club is a novel for our time, a well-observed drama of late-20th century capitalism in America.

From Library Journal

At age 49, Jack Fallon discovers that his life is plummeting out of control. In one fell swoop, his wife leaves him and corporate downsizing threatens his livelihood. Always the warrior, Jack organizes other fiftyish management employees to fight their ruthless corporate leaders, and the "Dinosaur Club" is born. Working against formidable odds, the Dinosaurs engage in hilarious hijinks and serious espionage to foil their chief executives. What Jack does not count on is falling in love with Samantha Moore, legal counsel for the corporation. Torn between assisting the Dinosaurs and representing the corporation, Samantha finds her code of ethics challenged. An Edgar Award winner (Tarnished Blue, Dutton, 1995) and seasoned author of grittier works, Heffernan is masterly in examining the scruples of corporate downsizing with a discerning eye and blends levity in his cauldron of good and evil. Highly recommended for public libraries.
-?Mary Ellen Elsbernd, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Hts.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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"Soil" by Julie Kornegay
Drawing on elements of dark comedy and modern dysfunction, Kornegay’s novel is about the gravitational pull of one man’s apocalypse and the hope that maybe he can be reeled in from the brink. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 303 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Co; 1st edition (June 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068814988X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688149888
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,087,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 27, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The premise got me interested in this book -- an executive leads a group of his employees in thwarting the corporation's plan to push them out one way or another. In the first chapters, I realized this was a true male fantasy -- middle-age protagonist and Vietnam war hero can still lead others, take on the organization, and win the sexy brainy young colleague. Nothing wrong with a good fantasy -- if it's well-written. This one is cliched writing throughout, and the convenient plot details make it too farfetched (this sort of fantasy needs the element of possibility.) I kept reading only to see how the plot plays out (unbelievably). The best part, and also the truest, was the depiction of the corporate executive being humiliated by the company in order to encourage resignations from the group targeted to be downsized. Also good, and original, was the hilarious chapter in which we learn the strategy that the protagonist's mother uses to insure she won't be "downsized" from the retirement home for lack of funds. If only the rest of the story had had this ingenuity. Not the story I hoped it would be.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By cmuhle@earthlink.net on January 26, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There is no easy way to resize a company and many execs take the easy way by combining the need with greed. The affected are helpless unless they reach into their guts to find determination, courage, craftyness and imagination.
When Jack Fallon's life falls apart at both ends of his commute, he finds the craftyness and courage to confront his probelms with work and wife. Anyone ever confronted with either can relate to what happens as Fallon leads his co-workers and himself out of desperation but it ain't easy to fight executive and wifely greed at the same time.
I've worked for thirteen companies at the executive level, in marketing and with legal staff and I can't believe Heffernan hasn't also - that's how real his stuff is as he touches all the bases of divorce, its impact on the kids, a new love, being over fifty in the workplace, shallow management, aging parents, product defects and insider manipulation. Can Fallon cope with all this? I read The Dinosaur Club in one saession to find out...and so will you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 27, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A jocose but pointed fable from Heffernan (Corsican Honor, 1992, etc.) pits aging executives against impatient young guns whose corporate strategies don't put people first. Jack Fallon's wife Trisha suddenly walks out on him after 24 years of more or less blissful wedlock. Badly jolted but stubbornly on the job as VP at Manhattan-based Waters Cable, the 49-year-old suburbanite learns through the grapevine that Carter Bennett, the company's unscrupulous young CFO, may be eyeing him, his senior associates, and their sizable pay packages as candidates for the big business equivalent of extinction. Instead of going quietly, Jack and his fellow targets resist the layoffs with preemptive strikes launched through a so-called Dinosaur Club they've organized. While their low-intensity revolt disrupts Carter's master plan to force as many older workers as possible from the payroll before instituting a mass dismissal, he presses on with a campaign of attrition. His presumed accomplice in this effort is Samantha Moore, a comely thirtysomething attorney who's been detailed to provide for a downsizing that won't result in a storm of discrimination suits. Increasingly disturbed by the nature of her big-chance assignment, Samantha eventually joins forces with the insurgents. In the meantime, Jack is being led a merry chase by the spouse from whom he's separated. The Vietnam vet nonetheless finds time to keep top management at bay and fall in love with clever Samantha, who returns his affections. The mechanics of how he and his over-the-hill gang turn the tables on their would-be tormentors will afford considerable comfort to those who believe age, experience, and cunning can overcome youth and enthusiasm almost every time. An enormously entertaining yarn that puts the concept of human resources in an arresting new perspective. (Film rights to Warner Bros.) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 29, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Okay, the problem might be caused that the author did not have too much experience in making living in corporate jungle, he could only use imaginary thought-to-be or scenes he saw from the big screen to make up the make-belief story. If Fallon realized that he's gonna be a pink slip receiver and tried to fight back with his old bunch in his sales department, he should take the fight from an urban guerrilla war angle, since he indeed has some experience with the VietCong. But instead sneakily fought back for his own survial and those of the others, he did things so obviously and so stupidly by sending all of them a T shirt printed with dinosaurs and wore them in the gym publicly; giving plastic dinosaur toys digged out from his garage. What's going on? Was he stupid or something? His divorce lawyer warned him not to have new relationship during a vicious divorce process, but he could not help asking Samantha to stay over the weekend at his house. Was he stupid or what? I've never read anything so one-sided like Fallon's daughter who seemed to lack of any common sense and only trusted her mother. Was this a 7-year-old girl's IQ instead of a college student? If Fallon was a smart guy who was smart enough to win the corporate war, he should do everything subtlely but instead he threatened the dry clean guy if they refused to fix his shirts' lost buttons, he would break their shop's windows. A guy like Fallon would never be impossible to survive the VietNam war thirty years ago, and definitely would not survive the purge of the corporte war thirty years later. A very very stupid and totally focusless novel except Heffernan's writing style. Going-nowhere plots and scenarios, half-developed characters and happenings, ridiculous and superfluous corporate probes.Read more ›
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