Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Review of Marciano Guerrero's The Poison Pill

Just as great paintings --Matisse's Dancers and Van Gogh's Postmaster-- fill our lives with beauty and emotions we don't really find in our daily lives, so does a good book. Can you curl up with a Kindle, computer, or any digital reader? Of course you can!

What I can say is that I curled up with The Poison Pill and and what a marvelous time I had reading this book!

And all for $3 bucks.

With my investment management career spanning twenty-five years, combined with my love for suspense, a good plot, and well drawn characters in a superior novel, I found The Poison Pill to be a fascinating combination of good storytelling and suspense, with liberal doses of vampire lore and a war for control of a family owned business.

Everything that reviewers mentioned: suspense, thrills, mystery, and other intense emotions, are there for the reader. Nothing is more gratifying for a reader that to go on reading from beginning to end not only with intensity but with increasing tension.

The mystery involves a manufacturing business on the verge of going public with an IPO of 100 million dollars.

There are numerous sharply etched characters populating the novel. But the CEO Helen McCain is the best--a woman to be admired not only for her spunk and daring, but for that extra factor of leadership that borders on cruelty or insensitivity. In our times when few female CEOs manage to break the glass ceiling, McCain success as a CEO raises questions about the relationship between wealth, greed, power, and ethics or lack of it.

Although I would have like the hero, Dr. Bates (the MIT professor) to have been more of an action hero, I am satisfied with his role; not everybody should be a comic book superhero. The man is an intellectual, and I can understand that.

I love the way author contrasted Dr. Bates with Joey (Cowboy); one is logical and the other instinctual. So here we have, Nietzsche's dichotomy: the Apollonian vs the Dionysian--the sober professor and the wild kid that gets in trouble all the time.

Now, I am no master of the English sentence, but let me tell you the author shows a few things as to how to begin sentences, how to use 'either-or,' 'neither-nor,' 'not only-but also,' 'not by-but by,' and some nifty reversals and variations; things I could well use in my own business correspondence. I have learned from reading this book more than from any grammar book. So, besides the escape pleasure, one learns how to write--not a bad deal.

The book grabbed my attention from the start, and kept me interested as it revealed a world of greed, murder, lust, financial and accounting manipulations, and hidden family connections. At one point, as I was riding a bus, I overshot my destination by a few stops. When I woke up from the fictional dream I realized I was in a strange neighborhood--Ah! Not only was I totally lost in the reading but also in the city! Love it.

Now I really want to know how old Joe Bates and Sabino, made Bates Pharmaceuticals grow to become a major industry player. Buy this book for its entertainment value and for an education in the workings of a business firm and the financial markets!

So, for $3 (the download price), I can read and re-read the novel as I please. Try reading it--you will NOT be disappointed.

Oh, one more thing: towards the end of the novel I discovered that there's an Aleph in New York City, much like Jorge Luis Borges tells us that there's also one in Buenos Aires. The difference being that the Aleph in Manhattan is the real one!

Augustine, City of God
Austen J, Pride and Prejudice
Austen J, "Marriage Proposals and Me"
Austen J, Emma
Borges, The Aleph
C. Bronte, Jane Eyre
Burroughs E,Tarzan
Cervantes, Don Quijote
Chaucer, Wife of Bath
Coelho P,The Alchemist
Coyle H, They Are Soldiers
Dante, New Life
Dickens C, David Copperfield
Dostoevsky, Crime&Punishment
ConanDoyle,Hound of Baskervilles
Dubner S, Superfreakonomics

DuMaurier D, Rebecca
Ellis B. E. American Psycho
Fitzgerald S, Great Gatsby
Flaubert G, Madame Bovary
Fleming I,Doctor No
Freud S, Leonardo Da Vinci
Friedan B, Feminine Mystique
GarciaMarquez, Of Love & OtherDemons
Guerrero M,ThePoison Pill

Grass G, The Tin Drum
Harris T, Hannibal Rising
Heidegger M,House of Being
Ishiguro K, Remains of The Day
Johnson S,Rasselas
Kosinski J, The Painted Bird
Lee H,To Kill a Mockingbird
McBain Ed,Gutter and Grave
Murakami H,Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Nabokov V, Lolita
Meyer, S, Twilight
Ortega,Dehumanization of Art
Poe E A, Gordon Pym
Prose F, Reading Like a Writer
Rushdie S,Midnight Children
Sabatini R, Scaramouche
Spark M, Prime of Miss Brodie

Stendhal, Red and Black
Sterne L,Tristram Shandy
Stevenson R, Dr.Jekyll & Mr.Hyde
Stoker B, Dracula
Thackeray W,History of Pendennis
Tolstoy L, Anna Karenina
Trollope A, Autobiography
Unamuno M, Tragic Sense of Life
Voltaire, Candide
Webb J, Fields of Fire
Wharton E, The House of Mirth
Woolf V, To The Lighhouse

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