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Kirkus Review of Identities

December 14, 2012

I recently received the Kirkus Review of Identities and I’m happy to share it with you.  It also includes a nice synopsis of the book to give you an idea of what it’s about if you haven’t read it.

There have also been a couple of reviews posted on the Amazon and Book Depository web sites but I’ve gotten a lot of reviews privately via e-mail.  Many people seem to be too shy to put their thoughts out on the web, but if you’ve read the book, do please write a review on the web where you obtain the book.

Here is the Kirkus review:



Stazyk, T.E.

CreateSpace (366 pp.)

$15.99 paperback, $4.99 e-book

ISBN: 978-1468146851; October 17, 2012


A management consultant jousts with the loonier aspects of American capitalism in Stazyk’s canny debut satire of the corporate world.

After Dave Locke is booted from the presidency of a technology corporation following a merger, he’s relieved to land a partnership at tony Quantum Consulting. Unfortunately, this avowed bastion of best business practices turns out to be filled with nincompoops. The partners are obsessed with status and extreme-sports exploits; the management committee signs off on Dave’s plans if he sprinkles them with the buzz phrase “world-class”; and clients are given the hard sell on outsourcing and layoffs, no matter what the long-term costs. (Alas, their clients are only too happy to pillage their own firms; one CEO wants to relocate his conglomerate to Panama for tax purposes.)

As a deep recession takes hold, Dave picks his way through a minefield of office politics and callous management theories. Meanwhile, his sons—Alex, a would-be actor who doesn’t want to be defined by his career, and Jim, a workaholic investment banker—debate the spiritual pitfalls of capitalism.

Stazyk’s cutting, funny tale furnishes plenty of Dilbert-esque office gags and colourful characters, including an Indian swami who turns his spiritual aura into a publicly traded corporation. The novel’s greatest creation may be Jim’s girlfriend, Jennifer, a frenzied Wall Streeter whose fussbudget consumerism reflects her hollow soul. Stazyk has written a novel that treats business as an important and absorbing subject; the author knows the terrain well and his naturalistic prose and dialogue has a nuanced subtlety that rings true.

When Dave deploys his infighting skills against boardroom boobs and tyrants, his conviction that business can be both profitable and ethical starts to seem like a believable bottom line.

An entertaining, covertly insightful satire.

I hope you get a chance to read Identities.  Buy a copy for all your friends and your Christmas shopping is finished!  Let me know what you think.

Happy Holidays!

Santa Hat

8 Comments leave one →
  1. December 14, 2012 8:27 pm

    Nincompoops .. Now there’s an under-used gem. Congrats on the great review.

  2. December 15, 2012 2:03 am

    Congrats on a great Kirkus Review.
    Identities is here and in my pile of holiday reading. Can’t wait…

  3. December 16, 2012 9:37 am

    Congratulations Tom.
    I admire you.

  4. December 20, 2012 3:43 am

    Reading your novel right now on Kindle. Very well written and thought provoking. It will take a while for me to comment on your book, since I’m reading three books at the same time and cannot stay looking at my tablet for too long. Best compliments.

  5. January 7, 2013 10:10 am

    Just finished Identities. Sorry for being late to the party, but I only bought it a few days ago. Very entertaining as well as educational. Sort of like a non-fiction treatise on corporate America dressed up as a novel. Definitely a page turner, hence a fairly quick read.

    My only quibble is with some of the dialogue, which I found a bit too clunky and daytime-soapy in some places, mostly during all those family get-togethers where the two opposing world views keep clashing. Alex and Jennifer, in particular, seem a mite too cliched and cartoonish for my taste, and Jill struck me some sort of peacemaking robot more than a real woman and a wife. However, I find it’s not a matter of the characters themselves—cliches, after all, are usually based in reality—but some of the dialogue lacking pep and zing and the rhythm of the spoken word, reading too much like written sentences put between quotation marks, not like spoken language.

    That’s why I gave you only four stars out of a possible five on Amazon. Apologies for being this brutal.

    I emailed you a few additional comments that are too nitpicky and boring to post here.

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