Saturday, August 9, 2014

Audiobook Review: Golden Handcuffs

 Golden Handcuffs
Author:  Polly Courtney
Narrator: Anne Day-Jones
Unabridged, Lengths 11 hrs 57 mins
Publisher: Polly Courtney

Publishers Summary
"A job at Cray McKinley is whatever you make of it. For the real high flyers, there's no limit to what you can achieve."
Abby is a high flyer. But she's not your average banker. Driven by something other than money and status, she has her own reasons for climbing the ladder. And so does Mike. An ambitious young graduate with an equally impressive CV, Mike is in it for the six-figure salaries and fast cars. He's got the skills, the grades and the swagger to make it all the way to the top.
But neither Abby nor Mike is prepared for the life that awaits them behind the mirrored glass doors. In a world where verbal abuse is commonplace, greed is everywhere and sexual harassment is just part of the fun, the young bankers are forced to find new ways to compete - and not just against one another.
Based on the author's experiences as a junior investment banker, Golden Handcuffs is a fresh, gripping insight into life inside a Wall Street bank and what it really means to sell your soul to the City.
©2006 Polly Courtney (P)2014 Polly Courtney

My Thoughts:
Golden Handcuffs truly paints a grim picture of the experience of working in the banking industry. The horrible greed and deceit fostered by competition to climb the corporate ladder would make it hard to trust co-workers. Any young person who wants to go into banking should read (or listen) so they'd know that the prestige of the position and the financial rewards may not be worth the abuse they would face.  I thought it would be more interesting but I'm probably not the right audience for it.  I couldn't understand why Abby put up with being treated so badly.  She didn't seem to care about the prestige or the money.  Her romantic relationship with traitorous Mike did not ring true.  I found any account of Mike and his life to be as boring as watching paint dry.  Abby was more interesting even if I couldn't figure her out.  At the end of the story I wanted to kick her. 

 Narrator Anne Day-Jones has a pleasant voice and her tone and pace were great. There are a few glitches in the production (skips, repeats, overlapping lines) but they were not her fault.  I liked her performance and definitely want to hear more of her work.  

The story is based on the author's actual experience as a junior investment banker and the whole time I was listening, I kept thinking that it would have been better as an autobiography instead of a fictional story.   I give it 3 stars and recommend it to any young person looking to get a position in banking or any highly paid corporate position. 

Review copy provided by the author. 

Audiobook Review: Going Shogun

Going Shogun
Author: Ernie Lindsey
Narrator: DJ Holte
Length: 6 hrs, 19 min
Publisher: Ernie Lindsey 6/18/14

Publishers Summary:
On the run. Out of time. A brownie recipe worth millions.
Lovable loser Chris waits tables by day and dreams of making something better of himself by night. But, under the almighty, oppressive rule of The Board and their divisive caste system, it's nearly impossible. That is until his super-geek pal and fellow waiter, Forklift, hits upon a foolproof scheme: steal their employer's ultra-popular, top secret recipes and sell them on a black market internet site.
It's all fun and games until the mysterious death of a local hacker shatters their surefire plan, sending them on a fast-paced adventure through the city's seedy underground, where they hope to salvage what's left and avoid capture by the Board Agents at all costs. Nobody comes back from that. Nobody.
©2013 Ernie Lindsey (P)2014 Ernie Lindsey

My Thoughts:
Listening to Going Shogun is the most fun I've had in ages.  I'm on my third time listening and I'm still giggling and grinning.  I love Ernie Lindsey's sense of humor and his ability to tell a story so vividly I feel as if I'm there.  I was totally entertained by the adventures of Chris (aka Brick) and his best friend Forklift and their world dominated by a controlling government agency called The Board.  Chris seems to be an ordinary young man looking to better his station in life.  Forklift, with his buck teeth and zebra striped hair stands out in a crowd, as Chris puts it "like a French fry in a basket of Tater Tots." Forklift also has a unique jargon which he seems to invent as he speaks.  I love the street slang and names that were just plain funny, like the garage band Grime and Punishment or the country band  Tale of Two Kitties. 

I have the Kindle version and I had to check it to determine if the adventurers are going to Urine Town or You're-in-Town.  But reading Going Shogun it and hearing DJ Holte's performance is  like the difference between watching a black and white movie on a 19" TV  and then watching it at the theater in full color with surround sound. His performance is perfect with a unique voice for each character.  He is able to capture the emotion of the moment, whether the characters experiencing danger,  excitement or romance.

The review copy was provided to me by DJ Holte.   Below is a review video he created. 

I give Going Shogun  5 stars and highly recommend it with a warning:  Every audiobook you listen to afterward will seem mighty dull.