Richard Kaempfer’s $EVERANCE is a spot-on satire of the dangers of media consolidation. It cuts a swath through the evils of corporate America, the shrill inanities of the whole left-right political farce, and the corrupting influence of Wall Street.
The story follows Tom Zagorski, a popular radio DJ in Chicago, who wants his severance cheque. Instead of firing him outright, Zagorski’s boss is doing everything he can to make his life miserable, hoping that Zagorski will simply quit. But the resilient “Polack-American” has other plans. Instead of caving, he sends an incendiary email to the CEO of the corporation that owns Zagorski’s station, suggesting a series of absurd changes that would “save” the company even more money.
But the CEO takes Zagorski seriously, and even worse, his absurd reforms (which include posting security guards to protect all office supplies, and the NASCARization of the evening news) does save the company millions of dollars. Instead of getting him fired, the email gets him promoted — to Chief Operating Officer!
Now he’s even farther away from his severance cheque — and the only way he can get fired now is to destroy the corporation’s stock price, but Zagorski has the golden touch.
The book rips along, with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, and if you have any interest at all in what has happened to the media landscape in the past twenty years, you’re going to love it.
This is published by ENC Press, who published my first novel, THE AMADEUS NET. (Available for purchase here.) I’ve read a number of the other authors that Olga has published, and I’ve enjoyed every one immensely, though I have to say I have a soft spot for fellow Canadian Craig Forgrave’s DEVIL JAZZ, in which the Devil recruits the souls of Hitler, Marylin Monroe and Van Gogh to bring about the end of days.