THE DINOSAUR CLUB by William Heffernan


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 A jocose but pointed fable from Heffernan (Corsican Honor, 1992, etc.) pits aging executives against impatient young guns whose corporate strategies don't put people first. Jack Fallon's wife Trisha suddenly walks out on him after 24 years of more or less blissful wedlock. Badly jolted but stubbornly on the job as VP at Manhattan-based Waters Cable, the 49-year-old suburbanite learns through the grapevine that Carter Bennett, the company's unscrupulous young CFO, may be eyeing him, his senior associates, and their sizable pay packages as candidates for the big business equivalent of extinction. Instead of going quietly, Jack and his fellow targets resist the layoffs with preemptive strikes launched through a so-called Dinosaur Club they've organized. While their low-intensity revolt disrupts Carter's master plan to force as many older workers as possible from the payroll before instituting a mass dismissal, he presses on with a campaign of attrition. His presumed accomplice in this effort is Samantha Moore, a comely thirtysomething attorney who's been detailed to provide for a downsizing that won't result in a storm of discrimination suits. Increasingly disturbed by the nature of her big-chance assignment, Samantha eventually joins forces with the insurgents. In the meantime, Jack is being led a merry chase by the spouse from whom he's separated. The Vietnam vet nonetheless finds time to keep top management at bay and fall in love with clever Samantha, who returns his affections. The mechanics of how he and his over-the-hill gang turn the tables on their would-be tormentors will afford considerable comfort to those who believe age, experience, and cunning can overcome youth and enthusiasm almost every time. An enormously entertaining yarn that puts the concept of human resources in an arresting new perspective. (Film rights to Warner Bros.)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-688-14988-X
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1997


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