Thursday, December 22, 2011

Reviews for $everance

Every now and then I get an e-mail from a brand new reader of my first novel "$everance", and it makes me check out what people are saying about it on GoodReads. Since it's been out for 4 years now, there are tons of reviews.

Here are a few recent examples from the last month or so...

Ryan writes:

"I found $everance to be a very entertaining, easy read that I was able to finish in only a few days' time. It is the satirical story of Zagorski, a Chicago morning radio host for a failing station who just wants his severance pay and has met a tough match in the form of a boss who refuses to give it to him and instead is determined to make him quit by making the conditions as horrid as possible.

The book kicks into high gear very early when Zagorski sends an e-mail detailing all kinds of over-the-top, sarcastic tactics to improve the company and save money and includes the CEO of the billion dollar media conglomerate on it.

The CEO takes the e-mail seriously, however, and thinks Zagorski's ideas are brilliant. From there, Zagorski is made into the company COO, incredibly enough. Though many people would be enamored with the possibilities of that kind of a job, Zagorski still only wants his severance pay and pulls ridiculous stunt after ridiculous stunt in an effort to get fired. Nothing works out the way he thinks though, as always of his ridiculous ideas work out because they keep saving the company money or generating more revenue in one ridiculous way or another that Zagorski fails to anticipate.

As someone in the finance industry, I found the storylines here to be uproarious, and was more than willing to forgive the ridiculousness of some of his ideas succeeding in the name of a good satire."

Sandy writes:

“Severance is a black comedy that takes a on the subject of media moguls and the damage to truth in reporting that has resulted from the consolidation of media outlets. According to author Richard Kaempfer, who spent 20 years or so in broadcast media, the men pulling the strings at the six giant media outlets don’t really care whether their stations are pushing liberal or conservative agendas, because all that really matters to these folks is M-O-N-E-Y. Kaempfer’s take on the situation is amusing but at the same time depressing. It appears that the era of true “broadcasters” has come to an end and all we have left are profit-driven businessmen seeking yet one more way to lasso another greenback and place it in the company coffers.

The protagonist in $EVERANCE is a cynical and (according to the “powers that be” in New York’s corporate heaven) obsolete Chicago radio personality named Tom Zagorski, whose job has become redundant but whose employers balk at terminating him and paying him his severance pay. Instead they embark on a path to make his life at the station so miserable he will be forced to quit and thereby save the station 18 months of severance pay.

After many months or back and forth passive-aggressive antics between Tom and his boss Sherman Rose, Tom ultimately reaches his breaking point and sends a taunting e-mail to Sherman with a copy to the corporate CEO suggesting they fire every non-revenue producing employee and engage the services of security guards to protect the office supplies thereby increasing the company’s bottom line profit. Unfortunately for Tom instead of this action being viewed as the derisive message he hoped would result in his termination and the collection of his severance package, he is viewed as a forward thinking boy genius by the CEO as well as the Wall Street pundits and is offered a promotion to COO of the company.

What follows is situation after situation of laugh out loud absurdity that soon morphs into an insightful look into the scandalous environment of corporate America as well as an scathing indictment of our media and the men who control it. (To aid the reader in identifying the guilty, Kaempfer has graciously provided a who’s who glossary of media outlets, what they control, and who is at the helm of each, at the back of his book so that readers don’t have to second guess the true identities of the “imaginary” culprits in his novel.) For those who enjoy their “awful truth” of terrifying possibilities served up with a spoonful of humor, Severance fits the bill."

Jessica writes:

"From start to finish, this hilarious romp through the media business will have you chuckling and all-out laughing! There are so many great jokes as you follow an average guy who just wants one thing - to be fired so he can get his severance package - who ends up finding out that life doesn't always work that way, even when you try hard! With plenty of laughs and irony, the action moves from political mumbo jumbo to Ben Hur to ants drowning in organic kool-aid which will keep you on your toes! This is a highly recommended read for any adult who understands the complexity that arises from a focus on profits, or who has a job they desperately want to escape."