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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Full Asylum by Michael Isenberg


I didn't plan it this way, but reading this book kinda' fits into my recent mini-007 meme.

Our hero, overqualified software engineer Gimbel O'Hare, is a James Bond fan. The 007 character and his adventures speak to Gimbel's quest for excellence in what he does. In fact, there's a couple times when Gimbel suffers some sort of psychological identity displacement and imagines that he IS Bond...

Oh, wait a minute. The name is Dunn. John Dunn. Not Bond-James Bond. His operative ID and the name of Her Majesty's Secret Service are altered, as well. And Gimbel's not the only guy suffering this fantasy/reality swap. But that's just one element in Isenberg's delightfully absurd satire.

O'Hare works for Byte Yourself, a software company which has jumped from an entrepreneurial start-up into an empire--much to the chagrin of competitors and bureaucrats. Those competitors and bureaucrats have joined forces to bring down Byte Yourself, and Gimbel O'Hare is caught in the middle of it.

Full Asylum weaves together British superspy mania, professional wrestling, paintball and a charming cast of characters in a tale of office politics gone viral. Or should I say, gone pandemic?

Here's a notable line of dialog from a book which takes pains to be upbeat, or at least humorous, most of the time:

"...It isn't easy when everyone responsible for enforcing the law works for the criminal."

In the spirit of Ian Fleming, Isenberg has some nifty names for some of his characters as well: Cherri Tarte, Dora Jarr, Lacey Briefs...

If you're in the mood for some social satire with a lighthearted touch and a positive attitude, give this one a read.

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