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This is Rage: A Novel of Silicon Valley and Other Madness Paperback – October 8, 2013
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"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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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.
Our story unfolds during a posh garden party held at the sprawling estate of wealthy tech investor Daniel Steyer in Atherton, one of the Valley's numerous upper upper class hamlets and a byproduct of its excess. In attendance at this Sunday afternoon gala are the upper echelon of the tech industry: high stakes investors, wheeler dealer bankers, corporate execs and founders, a.k.a. "the operators," of the hottest high tech companies, and others such as lawyers and academics who as Goldstein quips, "... were not in the club." Also present and "working the room" are no shortage of wannabes who have aspirations of becoming the next rising stars. It is the unorthodox actions of a few ambitious wannabes that start a chain reaction of events and which propel the narrative on its inexorable course.
As you grapple with motives and remedies you will encounter characters who, though they represent familiar archetypes, are sufficiently enigmatic so as to make them colorful and intriguing: an all but washed up shock jock radio talk show host who strives to re-invent himself in cyberspace, impatient high roller investors in search of their next big pay day, corporate executives at risk of losing their grip, a vain politician with a hidden agenda, an FBI agent who is a bit past his prime and so on. Odds are, it will take you a while to figure out who among this cast of complex characters you are supposed to like.
Drawing from his own experiences in having served in executive roles in high tech and media, Goldstein exquisitely weaves into the narrative detailed descriptions and insights into the political chess matches and dysfunctional behavior which, not infrequently, characterize corporate board meetings, high stakes negotiations, employer-employee relations, market reactions, public relations maneuvers and so on. This rich context coupled with the undercurrent of satire makes for a read that is at once strikingly real and thought provoking. For instance, you might find yourself pondering just how the global high tech capital can continue to live up to its reputation for changing the world for the better when too many of the Valley's movers and shakers live in their own narrow minded self-serving worlds? After all, as described early on in the novel the various factions that make up the so called Tech Triad--investors, bankers, operators--don't understand each other very well, and like and respect each other even less.
The suspenseful plot will keep you riveted from beginning to end. Will the powers that be make the right decisions in the interest of the greater good? Who will keep them honest? The resolutions just may surprise you. "This is Rage" is a must read for suspense junkies, techies, wannabes and cynics a like. Not to be missed.