THE VENTURE by Jeff Cox

THE VENTURE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A cautionary tale--about an inadvertent entrepreneur--that works neither as fictional entertainment nor as a reliable guide for prospective proprietors, from the coauthor of Heroz: Empower Yourself, Your CoWorkers, Your Company (1994). Ordered to make personnel cuts in the video-production department he heads at a midwestern ad agency, Michael DiGabriel quits and, with little support from wife Regan (a self-absorbed boomer), goes into business for himself. Despite making every mistake in the book (including unfortunate hires and an ill-advised affair with Tanny Zoelle, a key associate), the former executive (a showbiz dropout) manages to keep his fledgling firm (Archangel Productions) one step ahead of its creditors. In short order, Michael's subordinates come up with an advanced display for users of exercycles. With demand for physical-fitness goods and services booming, orders pour in for the virtual-reality system, and although cash flow remains a problem, Michael gears up for expansion. Meanwhile, Regan, who's been downsized out of a beloved job at a local defense contractor hurt by budget cutbacks, overcomes her depression and signs on to market the so-called Videobike. On a West Coast trip, she nearly sells out the company's prize product to a silver-tongued hustler who quickly enough has her in his bed--and in his hand. Michael figures out what's going on in time to stop his wife from handing over programmable chips, and the two part company for good; to his greater sorrow, he loses Tanny as well. For all his lack of female companionship, though, Michael, as we last see him, is well on his way to becoming a millionaire as majority owner of a cutting-edge enterprise. A thinly written fictionalized tract that's not of much use to anyone seeking either diversion or business inspiration. (Radio satellite tour)

Pub Date: June 20th, 1997
ISBN: 0-446-51641-4
Page count: 344pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1997