The Age of the Conglomerates: A Novel of the Future by Thomas Nevins
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
This is a terrible book that I just couldn’t finish. I put it down some time ago and am just now getting around to writing a few words about it.
Frankly, I have no idea why this book got published. It’s that bad. Perhaps it’s because the author is a publishing house’s sales rep. Yep, that would be the reason.
The book centers around a near future where a conglomerate of corporations have taken over. Geneticists are employed to grow babies. The elderly are packed off to Arizona, their possessions sold for a profit. (How profiting from old people while still caring for them provides any profit at all isn’t addressed.) And unwanted young people are dumped into NYC’s sewers to fend for themselves. The protagonist is a woman named Christine, one of these geneticists. We follow her and her extended family throughout the novel.
Unfortunately, the writing in this book is terrible! The characters are not well developed, the writing seems stilted, there are too many odd coincidences, and the plot is ludicrous. I’ll give you just one example. The conglomerates are in charge in this society. One of the characters, Gabriel, who I think works with Christine, has been targeted for a political kidnapping. As he’s in his office in a NYC high rise, the conglomerate agents go through surprising ruses to get him, dressing as firefighters, sneakily putting out the security cameras, taking him out on a stretcher after they’ve gotten him, as though they’re rescuing him. Well, that’s silly! If they’re in control, why do they have to fool anyone? Who do they need to fool in order to take Gabriel in? Why go to these lengths when they can just send some agents/cops up to the office and lead him out in handcuffs? This is the type of writing that screams “I’m an amateur writer!” Boy, is it bad. This book is not entertaining. It’s not good sci fi or a good type of any fiction. Ballantine should be ashamed for publishing crap like this. Don’t bother reading this book.