Max Barry Abacus, £7.99
THIS NOVEL is a satire on globalisation and the mad methods companies use to increase their profits. It is influenced by books like Naomi Klein's No Logo, which described how corporate branding is taking over our lives. In the frightening world that Barry describes, US corporations control the world and most countries are ruled by the US.
US culture and lifestyle have swept across the globe. Employees have the surname of the company they work for and companies like McDonald's fund schools. Hack Nike, the main character, is a merchandising officer in the newly Americanised Australia with no real prospects. He is approached to work in 'guerrilla marketing'. In his excitement he signs the contract without reading it.
Little does he know that Nike's latest marketing method for their new $2,500 Mercury trainers involves shooting teenagers to give them 'street cred'. This novel is hilarious yet scary. It shows how the drive for profit makes the idea that capitalism is an expression of freedom ridiculous. The characters either express the idea that capitalism is enslavement by the corporations or they embrace the system in a farcical way. I recommend this novel. It is funny, ironic and a fantastic read.