THE BIG TIME by Glenn Kaplan


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So you always wanted to be a management consultant, a real-estate developer, a cable-TV tycoon? ""As readers make their way through these pages, they will find themselves embarked on an odyssey through fourteen of the most influential, attractive, and rewarding business careers in America."" And it's just about as talky and trite as that. Supposedly, Kaplan is going to show how these 14 big-time career-fields differ; mostly, the individuals involved come off sounding like identical, after-shave versions of the overpowered early-burn-out. ""Edward S. Gordon can't sit still, not even for a minute. He fidgets in his chair as he plies [sic] through the mountains of paper on his desk. The trim, handsome forty-five-year-old has all the manic energy of a teenager in heat."" (And Gordon is only a real-estate broker.) ""If it weren't for the gray hair, you would never guess that Don Curtis is pushing fifty. His face is unlined; he radiates energy that is almost feverish."" (Curtis' game: management consultant.) Kaplan has done a lot of legwork; we get quotes from principals at major or representative firms in each field. But the quotes are assembled into a high-colored collage, where they quickly blur (see, in contrast, the interview with the Boston Consulting Group's Bruce Henderson in Solman and Friedman's Life and Death on the Corporate Battlefield, below). And the weightier the field (""The Insecurities Business,"" ""It's Only Money""), the more inadequate the treatment. Packaged aura, in the main--whereas for the real lowdown, there's a good book available in almost every one of these fields.

Pub Date: Oct. 19th, 1982
Publisher: Congdon & Weed--dist. by St. Martin's