Monday, July 2, 2012

The Corporation - by J. F. Gonzalez - Just enough truth to make this frightening

4 of 5 Stars

Since meeting JF Gonzales, last Summer, at Horror Saturday, at the York Emporium in the quite community of York, PA, I've gone from never having read one of his books to now posting my 4th review of one of his works.

It all started when I asked what he would recommend for someone new to his writing.  His quick recommendation was Primitive which turned out to be one of the best books I read in 2011.  Second, only to Stephen King's 11/22/63.

Since that time,  also read and reviewed Clickers and Clickers II: The Next Wave, the later co-writen with his friend, Brian Keene.  Both excellent escapist fare.  And I plan on reading the 3rd and 4th entries in that series before years' end.

Needless to say, when it was time to make the June selection from the Kindle Lending Library through Amazon Prime, and I saw The Corparation was available, I jumped at the opportunity.

The idea of the "corporate Zombie" has been around quite a while.  Working in the IT Support field, I see this type all the time.  I'll get a call from someone in the company, on vacation, who can't get to their company mail and needs to have problem fixed immediately.  My thought at that point is to forget about the company for 5 minutes and go do something fun with your family.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  It's evident that JF Gonzalez knows the type, as well.  He's just added a few extra elements to take that company-centric mindset and twist it into something more evil or even demonic.

Michelle Dowling is looking to re-enter the work force.  She'd rather work as an artist, but when the opportunity comes for her to work for the Corporate Financial Consultancy Group, at a very good wage and unheard of benefits, she's quick to accept the position.

Michelle's boyfriend, Donald Beck, MD, is involved with a solid medical group in the Lancaster, PA area.  Neither one of them has any idea about how twisted their lives are about to become.

More and more people are burying themselves in their work, forsaking family, friends and themselves.  It's been going on for a very long time, but seems to be more prevalent in recent years, particularly as Corprate Financial takes on more and more clients.

Each story about how companies are coercing workers to do more and more on their own time, bringing them back from Vacations, Sick Days, Retirement and basically keeping them from having a life just made me more and more angry.  I had to keep repeating, "It's only a book, it's only a book".  But it's really just an extension of what's been happening in the corporate world more and more every year.  Do more with less, screw the worker, outsource this to China, outsource that to India.  All so the pockets of the CEO, the Board of Directors and the Investors are lined with cash, this at the expense of the working class.

True, The Corporation is a work of fiction and there is certainly an element of the fantastic in JF Gonzalez's story, but it's the ring of truth that adds a good deal of horror to the tale.  I dare you to read this and not get more than a little angry about the way things are.

While checking on where you might buy The Corporation, I stumbled over the following quote from JF Gonzalez that I thought was interesting...

"Actually, when I wrote that book, I wasn't consulting (I am now). Much of the background of the book was gleaned from working with consultants and high-end corporate types. And yes, they were like a cult. It was kinda creepy. Much of that mind-set influenced the book, including your personal life, which is a big no-no in my book. I'm constantly surprised by how many times people open their personal lives at work and then are shocked when it slaps them upside the head later when it is used against them for something stupid. I have always made it my mission to never really much of anything about my personal life in any kind of day job I have taken. "

If you want a book that's likely to grab you, shake you, maybe even beat you up at bit, then get your copy of  The Corporation from one of my favorite writers, JF Gonzalez.  Available in a variety of formats from numerous resources, including

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