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Company Man Mass Market Paperback – March 7, 2006
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“Finder expertly doles out the suspense” ―Kirkus Reviews
“A thriller like this rides on its characters, and Finder creates full-blooded ones here. As in Paranoia, his understanding of byzantine corporate politics is spot on, and the novel's pacing is strong, with steady suspense.” ―Publishers Weekly
From the Back Cover
CRITICAL PRAISE FOR JOSEPH FINDER AND PARANOIA
"There's a new John Grisham in town!" - People
"Jet-propelled. . . this twisting, stealthily plotted story...weaves a tangled and ingeniously enveloping web...[with a] killer twist for the end." -The New York Times
"A built-for-speed thrill ride . . .Mr. Finder, who has written nonfiction about the intelligence world, brings an authoritative-seeming knowledge of trade-craft to his fast-paced, first-person tale of techno-espionage . . . edgy and knowing." - Wall Street Journal
"Riveting. . . Perhaps the finest of the contemporary thriller novelists, Finder is an expert on suspenseful storytelling that is at once slick and substantive. . . . You may think you've read one mystery too many. Find Finder and you'll think again." - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"The archetype of the thriller in its contemporary form...real escapist pleasure." - The New Yorker
"This year's first contender for Page Turner of the Year is Joseph Finder's Paranoia . . . a terrific tale . . . riveting. . . The corporate thriller just got an upgrade." - USA Today
"Paranoia is a cleverly nuanced suspense story....Fresh, original and without cliché, this is a cerebral, contemporary thriller that ends with a wrenching twist followed by a supple extra turn." -- Boston Herald
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That story line was a little lengthy for the quick conclusion it received. Because I liked Nick from the beginning, I wanted him to get away with, well, just about anything. I think that is a skill of a good author: the ability to create a character that the reader roots for regardless of whether the character's actions are in line with society's morals and our legal system. That twist made the book fun to read.
Still other subplots went on and on even though I felt they were unnecessary to the overall plot. Audrey, the detective who was out to get Nick, led this horrible life, but the plot just went nowhere. I felt like her story took too much time and should have been cut significantly. Overall, the pacing was fantastic! This was a thriller in every sense of the word. There was lots of suspense, red herrings, and mysterious actions to keep me wondering what was going to happen. There were some huge twists in the end that made this read well worth it!
These books are easy reads and highly enjoyable! Such a great weekend read!
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Joseph Finder is carving a niche for himself as the guy who writes thrillers based in the world of corporate business. Granted, he hasn't been as successful as John Grisham, who did more or less the same thing in the world of attorneys, but he is successful nonetheless. Company should do little to dent his growing reputation. The plot is solid and the characters are reasonably well fleshed out. The pacing is steady in the first half while all the pieces are put into place and then it kicks into high gear for the second half right through to the climax.
While I enjoyed this book, I won't pretend that there is no way it could be better. The characters are well portrayed but none of them are original and some are outright clichés. The first 150 pages or so are solid but could probably do a better job of grabbing the reader. It doesn't become a "page-turner" until the second half. All that said, I truly enjoyed the book and did not find its relative weaknesses detracted from my enjoyment of the novel very much at all.
I recommend Company Man to anyone interested in a good thriller. Another novel by Finder that is well worth checking out is Paranoia, possibly Finder's finest corporate novel to date.
I had several problems with this book:
1. Finder seemed determined to cram as much religion as possible into this book, and his attempt came off as hamhanded and forced. It may have had something to do with his rather weak plot, but could easily have been left out. Instead, I found myself annoyed by each preachy section, where again Finder wanted us all to know he reads the Bible.
2. I was offended by his uneducated portrayal of Bipolar Disorder. If you plan to read this book, which I don't recommend, keep in mind that not all people with bipolar or borderline personalities are driven to extreme behavior.
3. Finder's resolution of this book was so obvious that I had figured it out halfway through the book. Not only that, the progression of connections made in this story--one in particular--is absurd at the least.
4. Finder's amateurish resolution of the female detective's marriage problems was cheesy and tired, reminded me of a bad short story I wrote when I was about 14.
A couple of positives:
1. Finder's pacing is pretty good; even though this book was disappointing I did finish it, which I give him 2 stars for.
2. Finder does his research, at least enough to sell his story.
As I've quoted many times, "There is no greater thief than a bad book."