A satirical tale of hugger-mugger in the councils of big business. This time, though, the corporate war is a literal war,...

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THE GREAT FREE ENTERPRISE GAMBIT

A satirical tale of hugger-mugger in the councils of big business. This time, though, the corporate war is a literal war, culminating in a siege laid at International Coagulants' towering New York headquarters, complete with helicopter attack (led by a comic Nazi mercenary), ground assault (marred by the need to pay coffee shop checks for the troops), and assorted secret agents. Dear old multinational conglomerate I.C., you see, has fallen on hard times because of the gross ineptitude of chief executive officer J. Wigglesworth Pratt and his cadre of executive boobs. So I. C. underling Ward Winchester Read emerges from the elegant office reserved for sidetracked nonpersons to lead the fight for control of the megacorporation; he must capture some vital stock certificates before bumbling Wiggy Pratt transfers them--in a gross sell-out--to the Arabs (""Yankee Properties""). Hostilities naturally follow, punctuated with inane press conferences. Neither Wiggy nor the author thinks of printing new certificates, but never mind: the world of wheeler-dealers comes through with mordant verisimilitude, from corporate gambols at the ""Greenbrier"" to the White House (where President Gaston Edsel, former fork-lift operator, glumly picks his teeth), with neatly irreverent swipes at everyone--statesmen, media hypesters, computerniks, investment bankers, and assorted ethnics. Not, perhaps, for the broadest of audiences--the allusions come fast and furious--but some guaranteed chuckles for the Wall Street Journal readership and those others who'd fancy a somewhat specialized cross between How to Succeed in Business and The Mouse That Roared.

Pub Date: April 7, 1980

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1980