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The Wages of Genius

Mone, Gregory

34 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0786711361 / ISBN 13: 9780786711369
Published by Carroll & Graf, 2003
Condition: Collectible: Very Good Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Wages of Genius

Publisher: Carroll & Graf

Publication Date: 2003

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Collectible: Very Good

Signed: Signed

About this title

Synopsis:

Almost a century after the birth of a big-headed man who altered our conceptions of light, energy, mass, space, and time, a boy with a similarly large head was born in Ionia, Wyoming. Meet Edward, a self-proclaimed genius who considers the parallels between his life and Albert Einstein’s proof of his exceptional brilliance. Nearly twenty-six (Einstein’s age the year he discovered E=MC2), he is getting nowhere with his wildly expanding dissertation on science’s evolving conception of the void—in short, the modern scientific history of nothing. Convinced that he is on the verge of a major breakthrough, he leaves graduate school and lands an entry-level job at an innovative new company, hoping his intelligence will be put to better use there. Although he’s not sure exactly what the company does, Edward believes that with his keen mind and original ideas he will revolutionize everything from cubicle culture to the global marketplace. Told in Edward’s endearing, delusional voice, The Wages of Genius is not only a hilarious parody of corporate culture a la Walter Kirn’s Up in the Air, but a sympathetic portrait of a hapless young man (think Ignatius J. Reilly) with poor judgment, bad luck, and the best of intentions.

From Publishers Weekly:

Mone's sardonic debut novel is a curious hybrid, a coming-of-age-cum-business novel that begins when a young man who believes himself to be the second coming of Albert Einstein takes a job with a high-flying dot-com at the height of the Internet boom. Edward is the naive first-person narrator and would-be genius who tracks his intellectual development by comparing his ideas to Einstein's in a series of cheeky opening chapters. After bypassing the traditional educational system, Edward lands a job with an e-business company called Global Leading Edge E-Business Solutions, or Gleebs for short. Never mind his lack of discernible skills-the company's entrepreneurial CEO quickly gives Edward the title of general analyst and charges him to help "advance our study of nothing." Edward succeeds remarkably well, coming up with several fluffy, conceptual projects that mirror Einstein's ideas but do next to nothing for the company. When the dot-com bubble begins to deflate, Edward's lack of productivity is noticed by his fellow employees and the company's venture capitalist, who does a one-on-one interview with Edward that reveals his total lack of tangible duties. The combination of the business parody and Edward's sly Einstein parallels make for a heady blend in the early going, but unfortunately Mone is hard-pressed to maintain his inventive conceit in the second half as the prose unravels into a patchwork of hackneyed, clumsy scenes when the company begins to bottom out. Mone is a solid writer with a flair for satire and a nice touch in his understated characterizations, but like the dot-com boom that frames his narrative, he lacks the staying power here to close out a promising idea.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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