CHECK IT OUT ON AMAZONThank You For Smoking meets House of Cards in this fast-paced, sharp satire about the business world. After aspiring novelist Francis Scanlon is expelled from a prestigious graduate creative writing program, he is forced to become a spin doctor at the Prock Chocolate Corporation while he awaits the publication of his masterpiece. But Francis’s expectations of easy money and literary glory are thwarted by a paranoid boss determined to run him out of the company, a charlatan writing coach, a snarky reporter, a sanctimonious public health crusader more Goebbels than Gandhi, an oily U.S. Senator with presidential aspirations, and a radical Muslim cleric with absolutely no sense of humor. As the story unfolds in San Francisco, Washington, New York, Krakow, Mumbai, Jakarta, and a series of lush equatorial corporate jet refueling stations, Francis is swept up by market forces and transformed from pretentious literary cliché to reluctant executive to master practitioner of the black art of corporate power-politics. The story ends up, rather unexpectedly, as a surprisingly sweet romantic comedy as well. A unique exploration of the way business, politics, career trajectories and interpersonal relations intermingle, Corporate America is a smart, literate comedy that deftly blends bone-dry satire, high ideals and bad taste without ever showing its seams.
Jack Dougherty lives in Charlottesville, Virginia with his lovely wife Victoria (another wonderful writer) and their young kids.
Jack Dougherty skillfully leads the reader through very different worlds; the scholarly literary (The Enigma of Dilemma), the corporate business (Prock Chocolate Corporation) with a slight touch the political (Senator from Rhode Island, John Hoyne), showing the parallels of competition and corruption in order to achieve success.
The author does this beautifully with some of the best writing I have ever come across. The story can be explained best in the author's own words:
"It's funny how fate conspires to send us down paths we never imagined. You think you have your life mapped out--you have your dreams and plans, you train for a career--but the universe steps in and turns everything upside down."
As Francis Scanlon struggles, with the man he always imagined himself to be with the man he becomes as the story unfolds. He weaves in and out of very different worlds with enough of a conscience to make him appealing yet callous enough to fit in, compete and ultimately succeed in Corporate America.
The reader is sure to laugh out loud often, (my husband is still complaining I woke him up) while being unable to put the book down. As well written and funny as Corporate America is, the story line is far from superficial and the author tackles important issues beautifully.
The characters grow and entertain as they consume substantial amounts of cigarettes, alcohol and a bit of Prock Chocolates. The book depicts the locations with vivid imagery, sounds and smells from San Francisco, Washington, New York, Krakow, Mumbai, all the way to Jakarta.
The story has its fair share of surprises and just enough romance to make it very human. This is a book I could easily imagine as a film someday. I look forward to many more wonderful works from Mr. Jack Dougherty.