Max Barry’s Jennifer Government is a great novel that also manages to be thought-provoking and, ultimately, a little disturbing. The novel takes place in a future not unrecognisable from today’s world, with one key difference: corporations have evolved, garnering so much money and power that the largest hold greater power than national governments (although an argument could be made that this has already happened). Surnames as we know them have disappeared, replaced instead by the name of the corporation the person works for.
The novel is darkly humourous as well as a rollicking adventure. Believable characters fill the pages: there’s the titular heroine, a recognisable villain who seems all too plausible, and numerous supporting characters. The story springs from a dark imagining, the author’s consideration of how the expanding power of corporations could continue to grow, following the progression to its logical conclusion. It’s the kind of story that sends a shiver down your spine and leaves you wanting more.