- File Size: 766 KB
- Print Length: 375 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: good words (right order); 3 edition (December 12, 2013)
- Publication Date: December 12, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00589W1DM
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #283,484 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$12.95|
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How to Succeed in Evil Kindle Edition
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|Length: 375 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top customer reviews
This is a long novel, and so there's room for a couple of different books that all sort of move ahead in combination.
First, we get Edwin's interactions, mostly in the form of office business meetings, with his nutsy and unstable book of client villains. From trust fund babies with stooopid plans and no skills, to delusional wackos, Edwin handles each encounter with deadpan wit and elegantly disguised contempt.
Second, we get the tragic story of the superhero Excelsior. Sort of a gormless Superman with a shady, cynical, government babysitter/handler, Excelsior is a bundle of neuroses, doubts, and anxieties who does what's he's told to do and bumbles through life killing and maiming as many people as he saves. His Hamlet-like internal monologues are pathetic and touching, often simultaneously. Edwin's manipulation of Excelsior's insecurities mark some of the most penetrating parts of the story.
Then, we get a sendup of Edwin's hench-lawyer, Topper, an immoral, uncouth, unbridled killer shark. Just to drive home the joke/point, Topper is a dwarf. There is an extended trial section, (Edwin sues Excelsior for damages caused by the excessive force Excelsior used in Edwin's office against one of Edwin's clients), that reads way better, and with more legal insight, than anything guys like Grisham write.
There is also a longish section dealing with an Edwin client who wants to start a new Civil War, starting in Lower Alabama. This has a lot of funny lines, but could have been disappeared without much harm.
Finally, there are literally dozens of stand-alone bits that aren't essential, as such, to the story, but certainly reward the reader. Because Edwin is smart, dry, deadpan, and practically built out of irony, his musings can be hysterical. There's his economic theory of villainy; there's a long meditation on why it's essential to wear a perfectly tailored suit; there's an explanation about why revenge is always better than murder, and so on.
The upshot is that this book is a rich stew of elegant writing, critical thinking, satire, and an unnerving message of sorts that calculation, patience, and restraint are the ultimate superpowers. This book was a wonderful find.
(Please note that I found this book while browsing Amazon Kindle freebies. I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)
The Good: Edwin Windsor doesn't want to be a villain himself; he'd much rather make money advising villains. The problem is that most villains are too stupid/proud/insane to apply his advice. Not that the local superhero fares much better, between the government's control over him and the sad fact that, while the laws of physics may not apply to *him*, they *do* apply to the unfortunates he tries to rescue.
The Bad: Rather than wrapping up the various loose ends and revealing the background secrets that have been hinted at throughout, the story just sort of stumbles to a halt amid (frankly unbelievable) suggestions of a sequel. Serious disappointment, considering how wonderful the book had been up to that point.
The Ugly: The proofreading isn't all it should be. Not horrible, but noticeable.
Most recent customer reviews
Haven't laughed this much over a book in a while. Great writing.Read more
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