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This is Rage: A Novel of Silicon Valley and Other Madness Paperback – October 8, 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I loved it. Ken Goldstein's debut novel, after several years of working as a start-up advisor and corporate executive, is accessible and very funny in its own way. Moreover, it brings up some controversial questions involving the morality behind business dealings." - At The Inkwell


"This is Rage by Ken Goldstein is a fascinating and dark look into the underbelly of life in the dog-eat-dog world of high-tech loyalties, deceits and the seduction of money and power that permeates the world of those with clout. It also embraces the rebel in us all through Kimo, proving that one voice can be heard, whether we like what its saying or not." <5 of 5 stars> - Tome Tender Book Blog

"This is a thriller novel based in the very real world of Silicon Valley, with many of the behind the scenes details and secrets that actually occur being shown between these pages." - Dew on the Kudzu

"This Is Rage is both a fun and erudite read--the author's fine education pokes through in many sentences loaded with intellect and amusement." - ForeWord Reviews

"Satire is one of the most difficult feats to pull off in writing.  It can easily tip over into such hostility and mean-spiritedness that it becomes a chore rather than a joy to read.  Ken Goldstein deftly walks the line, skewering the industries he knows well while propelling the reader on a roller-coaster ride of intrigue and providing heroes to cheer for." - Booksie's Blog

From the Inside Flap

  • "I worked with Ken Goldstein at Disney:  and since I knew he could write, I encouraged him to do just that, to write a novel.  As impressed as I always was with him as an executive, I'm equally impressed with what he accomplished with a pen (or maybe a computer.)" - Michael Eisner, Author of Working Together and CEO, The Tornante Company
  • "This is Rage is that rare book - a fascinating, fast-paced, really smart thriller. Part action/adventure story set in the wilds of Silicon Valley, and part insider's exposition of some of the major inner workings of our contemporary economy and of the secrets of today's High Tech 'Masters of the Universe" - Ken Goldstein succeeds in making this a debut that will make your heart race - even as it gives you plenty to think about." - Naomi Wolf, Author of Give Me Liberty and The Beauty Myth
  • "Ken Goldstein knows the ins and outs of Silicon Valley - the customs of the land and where the bodies are buried. I would read anything he wrote, non-fiction or fiction, set on that fascinating terrain." - Will Schwalbe, Author of The End of Your Life Book Club
  • "Given Ken Goldstein's pedigree as a major internet CEO whose vision has significantly shaped today's digital world, it's no surprise that his first novel takes us on a thrilling front-of-the-coaster rocket ride through the Valley of Silicon. While This is Rage is surely required reading for all high-tech and deal-savvy action/thriller fans, it is an absolute crystal ball for radio broadcasters who are still scratching their heads as to the future of their industry." - Mitch Dolan, Former President, ABC Radio Station Group
  • "Ken Goldstein has written a modern-day blockbuster! Smart, insightful, and engaging, the story takes us on a thrill ride through the circus-like madness of corporate American, the media, and government. It reveals with stunning clarity the inept and all-too-sinister characters that inhabit these worlds. You cannot help but think that Goldstein has had a front row seat and used his real life experiences to masterfully weave a fictional narrative that enlightens as much as it entertains. A must read." - Gene Del Vecchio, Author of Creating Blockbusters! and Adjunct Professor, USC Marshall School of Business
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 530 pages
  • Publisher: Story Plant (October 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611880718
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611880717
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,488,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Shelley F. Fishkin on September 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a lively and engaging book by someone who knows Silicon Valley inside-out. The world of tech start-ups might seem an unlikely setting for a simultaneously comic and suspenseful crime novel/action story/thriller, but Ken Goldstein has pulled it off. He writes with the nuanced inside knowledge of someone who has spent over a decade in that world--and with more confidence, flair and energy than one might expect in a debut novel. It's hard to put down.
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Apart from being twice as long as remotely defensible, this book contains NO interesting insights about the "inner workings of Silicon Valley," but lots of lola-granola aging hippie mantras with no relevance to Silicon Valley or any other aspect of the real world. NO, CEOs of publicly traded companies would NOT join their disgruntled low-level employees in a parking lot "walk-out"/Woodstock strike from work, nor would five million people across the country. NO, Boards would not consider, or reject, mergers "for the national good." NO, the initial tabling of a potential corporate acquisition would NOT cause an iconic CEO with 30 years tenure to "resign in disgrace." NO, most mergers cannot be wildly successful without a single lay-off. NO, most corporate stagnation problems cannot be solved by miraculously pulling a rabbit out of a hat within a few days of discovering that your core proprietary product has been hijacked and reverse engineered. NO, even moderately talented people in Silicon Valley do not remain unemployed for 4.5 years and end up homeless. NO, when two companies are considering merging, it does not take a Stanford professor or a stroke of genius to consider that if A can't acquire B, maybe B can acquire A. This doesn't even touch the totally inane and absurd plot, or the childish caricatures of Howard Stern and Sarah Palin (wittily dubbed Sally Payne for total secrecy). I was looking forward to an experience-based expose of how high-level deal financing and SV politics work, but I would have learned more from Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. Does not hold a candle to Kurt Anderson's Turn of the Century, or Den of Thieves, or Bonfire of the Vanities, or Po Bronson's The First 20 Million is Always the Hardest, or anything by Michael Lewis. The only "Rage" you will experience is when you realize you slogged through the whole 530-page book for nothing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is Rage: A Novel of Silicon Valley and Other Madness: In the style of Carl Hiaassen and Tom Wolfe, first time author Ken Goldstein shows a sharp eye for a well researched story involving the various players in the tech boom. It's sharp eyed, comical, and enlightening. Couldn't turn the pages fast enough!
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This story takes pace in Silicon Valley, CA, but could be any tech oriented locale. The characters were not very well developed and we found it difficult to know the real motivations for much of the action (or inactivity) that takes place during three week period of kidnap, murder, extortion and unlawful flight.
The author does make some moralistic arguments regarding the treatment of employees by the tech industry managers, bankers, investors, and angels, but uses sooooooo many words that I was tempted to skip over much of the rhetoric. Much of the timeline is spent in a private jet on the tarmac in military installations and the reader is kept waiting for something to take place to move he story forward. It moves slow.
One of the main characters is a somewhat failed reactionary talk show host who somehow becomes a hero in the final resolution of the kidnapping. I found it very hard to believe that any media type could even be involved in the way the author relays it. We also have one FBI agent (only one) , a congresswomen (only one), and the Chairman of the Board of the company that the kidnapped victims founded playing major roles. I didn't think that the real world would be as uninvolved as the author moves the plot forward.
THis book could have been much more successful if the author had used half the words he asked us to slog through. The story and characters did hold my interest at times but in the end it just did not seem believable.
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I had great hopes for this book, and I was at first pulled in by an interesting story. I do think think there was some very good character development. However, the increasingly improbable chains of events were first frustrating, then annoying. I think he tapped into some interesting issues around the responsibility of a company to its employees. But I ended being disappointed with neat little package we were handed at the end. I have been through too many "mergers and acquisitions" myself to understand the fixation of the story on never letting people go in a merger. I just don't see that issue as tapping into some kind of national angst. Maybe I missed something...
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Format: Kindle Edition
"Tell me your worst fear," posited Dadashian, the melodrama unavoidable.

"Nuclear winter, followed by impure drinking water, global starvation, and mass untreated surgical needs, plus permanent damage to the earth's ability to heal," said Choy.

"As it pertains to business," rephrased Dadashian.

-This is Rage, by Ken Goldstein

This is Rage: A Novel of Silicon Valley and Other Madness lives up to its subtitle, delivering all the madness of the Valley and then some. This novel is funny, smart, long (a 530 page thriller), and perhaps the polar opposite of that other recent release making a Silicon statement, The Circle. This is Rage's plot sounds unbelievable but somehow works: at a party where investors, bankers, and engineers mingle ("Conversation as a conduit for data extraction...") a pair of well-meaning, success-seeking entrepreneurs kidnap leaders of a powerful company, hoping either for ransom money or some start-up capital (are these two things that different, after all?). A washed-up radio host picks up the story, and the sort of mass hysteria that only today's social media makes possible ensues.

The story here goes where The Circle didn't: straight to the money. The book starts with a prospectus, and many of the chapters begin with a stock ticker. Although This is Rage takes place in Silicon Valley, Goldstein doesn't want us to forget that "the Street" makes the Valley tick. As much as any character in the novel is concerned with the safety of those who have been kidnapped, their company's precious stock price is always sitting heavily on everyone's shoulders, acting as the ultimate guidance and true leader.
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