Jack Madson is a tortured soul. Jack can’t decide if he is fish or fowl, prey or predator. Trapped in a loveless life, soul simmering with resentment, shoulders bowed under misplaced responsibility, Jack attempts to escape his current reality. This story is a diary of despair.
Jack Madson is not particularly likeable. A corporate raider in the worse sense, Jack doesn’t build, he destroys. In many ways this novel is a blanket condemnation of a style of business that views short term rewards and ignores long term dissolution and destruction. The author paints such a dismal picture of a slice of corporate America that you wish it was pure fantasy. Sadly Felber is just holding up a mirror to some of the more despicable practices that have characterized recent Wall Street debacles.
The story is characterized by torturous introspection by the main character. Jack has to delve deeply into his past to find a single redeeming act that allows him to describe himself as a Man of Indeterminate Value rather than a soulless demon inflicting pain on all those around him.
The story has a twist at the end that either supports Jack’s deep seated feelings of positive worth or confirms society’s overall corruption.
I’m not sure I enjoyed the book as much as it made me think of how you can get carried away with a corporate culture and fall down an endless Lewis Carroll rabbit hole seeking your own demise.
I recommend the book, it should make you ponder your own reality.