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Mocking the euphemisms of business speak is as easy as shooting fish in a designer barrel. But Kirn also takes on the corporate world's weirdly mystical and paranoid side, its rhetoric of personal empowerment and its messianic devotion to gurus. "Business is folk wisdom, cave-born, dark, Masonic, and the best consultants are outright shamans who sprinkle on the science like so much fairy dust," declares Bingham. (This doesn't stop him from working on his own book about "the transformational journey of one mind wholly at peace with its core competencies.") Meanwhile, his junket becomes progressively more surreal, complete with an evil nemesis as well as a mysteriously powerful firm called MythTech that's working behind the scenes. And what's worse, someone seems to have stolen his identity, assuming control of his credit cards and his all-important miles.
Is this model consumer being tracked as he makes his purchasing decisions, like an elk tagged by wildlife biologists? Or is he merely losing his mind? The ending answers these questions perhaps a little too neatly, but Kirn's disturbing satire packs a mighty wallop nonetheless. The writing is as sharp as a tack, punctuated by character sketches as brilliant as they are quick. Bingham and his ilk are modern nomads, dispossessed of physicality but not quite of their bodies. His simulated environment is not mimicking an actual place but replacing it--and that, to the author, is the scariest part of Airworld: "This is the place to see America, not down there, where the show is almost over." --Mary Park
Up in the Air is now a major motion picture starring George Clooney, Jason Bateman, and Anna Kendrick, and directed by Jason Reitman. Enjoy these images from the film, and click the thumbnails to see larger images.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
some of the subplots really make the book drag. it's one of the few books that I've never finished. it's too bad, loved the movie.Published 21 days ago by Sean O'Neill
surprisingly dark, depressing, despondent and a tad incoherent. My bad for assuming that there would be some semblance to the popcorn movie.Published 3 months ago by Andrew Werden
It got tedious, but that is because his life was tedious. I think that was the message. I was glad to finish it.Published 4 months ago by Mary B Olea
Zero stars for this dreadfully dismal, atrociously boring book. A complete waste of time except for the gained knowledge that I won't peruse any of the author's other work. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Jeff Smith
Normally I have a hard time reading the book version of a story if I see the movie version first, but I liked the movie so much- it is one of my favorite movies- that I said I need... Read morePublished 11 months ago by lyle larue
I liked this book. If you spend any amount of time up in the air you will too.Published 13 months ago by Fred Henry