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The Businessby Iain Banks
Synopses & Reviews
Kate Telman is a senior executive officer in The Business, a powerful and massively discreet transglobal organisation. Financially transparent, internally democratic and disavowing conventional familial inheritance, the character of The Business seems, even to Kate, to be vague to the point of invisibility. It possesses, allegedly, a book of Leonardo cartoons, several sets of Crown Jewels and wants to buy its own State in order to acquire a seat at the United Nations.
Kate's job is to keep abreast of current technological developments and her global reach encompasses Silicon Valley, a ranch in Nebraska, the firm's secretive Swiss headquarters, and a remote Himalayan principality. In the course of her journey Kate must peel away layers of emotional insulation and the assumptions of a lifetime. She must learn to keep her world at arm's length.
To take control, she has to do The Business.
"The Business is his tenth novel... and reveals no slackening in his imaginative energies." Mail on Sunday
"For once...the promotional slogan rings true. The Business is the business." The Independent
The Business is a nearly omnipotent and infinitely discreet transglobal organization whose origins predate the Christian Church, if not the Roman Empire (which the Business actually owned for sixty-six days). Financially transparent, internally democratic, and morally dispassionate, the actual business of the Business seems-even to Kate Telman, a senior executive-to be vague to the point of invisibility. Counted among its vast riches are a book of Leonardo cartoons, dozens of Michelangelo's pornographic paintings, and several sets of Crown Jewels. All it lacks is a certain clout in politics, an arena that the Business has avoided for centuries but that has suddenly become of vital importance. No longer satisfied with its permanent base in Antarctica and its fortified Swiss headquarters, the Business is angling to buy its own nation in order to take a seat at the United Nations. Kate is the perfect candidate to help the Business realize its most ambitious goal: She was plucked at age eight from a bleak urban slum and groomed for membership among the Business's elite, and her personal and professional loyalties chart a single path. She has risen rapidly through the ranks, achieving a reputation as not only the firm's smartest and most beautiful employee but also its foremost expert on emerging technologies. While her loyalty never falters, as she travels the globe at the behest of her enigmatic employer she is forced to peel away layers of emotional insulation and to reassess the assumptions of a lifetime. To take control of her future, she must learn to do the Business.The Times of London has proclaimed Iain Banks the most imaginative British novelist of his generation. An instant number-one bestseller in England, The Business ominously imagines the ubiquitous multinational corporations of our millennial present, and the cunning with which they manipulate and determine our economy and culture.
Who Do You Work For?
The Business, a nearly omnipotent enterprise, is so infinitely discreet that even its top executives are vague about its actual business. It predates the Christian church and counts among its vast riches dozens of Michelangelo's pornographic paintings and several sets of Crown jewels. The only thing it lacks is political clout, a problem the Business plans to solve by buying a nation and joining the United Nations. Kate Telman, the Business's foremost expert on emerging technologies, is chosen to lead the effort. As this beautiful, ambitious American woman pursues the ultimate prize for her highly secretive transglobal employer, Iain Banks — whom The Times of London calls "the most imaginative British novelist of his generation" — offers a portrait of today's ubiquitous multinational corporations. Already a bestseller in England, The Business paints a picture that is at once wickedly satirical and frighteningly familiar.
About the Author
Iain Banks came to widespread and controversial public notice with the original publication of his first novel, The Wasp Factory, recently selected in a British poll as one of the top 100 novels of the century. Since then he has gained enormous popular and critical acclaim with further works of fiction and, as Iain M. Banks, science fiction. He lives in Scotland.
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