King of the Mississippi: Book summary and reviews of King of the Mississippi by Mike Freedman

King of the Mississippi

by Mike Freedman

King of the Mississippi by Mike Freedman X
King of the Mississippi by Mike Freedman
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  • Published in USA  Jul 2019
    256 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

A biting, hilarious literary satire of war, business, and contemporary masculinity, set in the cutthroat-but-ridiculous world of management consulting.

King of the Mississippi is an incisive, uproarious dissection of contemporary male vanity and delusion, centered around a "war" for dominance of a prestigious Houston consulting firm. On one side of the conflict is Brock Wharton, an old money ex-jock whose delight in telling clients to downsize is matched only by his firm conviction that people like himself deserve to run the world. On the other is Mike Fink, a newly hired wily former soldier trying to ride his veteran status to the top of a corporate world that lionizes "the troops" without truly understanding them. Brock and Mike are mortal enemies on sight, bitterly divided not only by background and class but by diametrically opposed (yet equally delusional) visions of what it means to "be a man." And as their escalating conflict spirals out of control, it will take them all the way from the hidebound boardrooms and gladiatorial football fields of Texas to the vapid and self-serving upper echelon of Silicon Valley, to the corporatized battlefield of Iraq, all the while serving as a ruthlessly funny takedown of the vacuity and empty machismo of corporate life and alpha-male culture in modern America.

Devastatingly witty, unapologetically scathing, and ultimately surprisingly moving, King of the Mississippi marks the arrival of a unique and scintillating new voice in American fiction, one that boldly punctures the myths of American manhood like no one has since the heyday of The Bonfire of the Vanities and American Psycho.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"A solid entertainment from a writer of considerable talent and promise." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Freedman deserves credit for sticking with such a hubristic antihero; his darkly comic skewering of capitalism is all the more potent for it. This is sly, sharp fun." - Publishers Weekly

"I have trouble expressing the sheer joy of reading King of the Mississippi. Not only is this book funny, but it is serious funny, angry funny, insightful funny, wise funny, and just plain old-fashioned funny funny. Stanley Elkin and Joseph Heller -- let me introduce you to Mike Freedman." —Tim O'Brien, author of The Things They Carried

"Mike Freedman is a brilliant satirist. King of the Mississippi is the best comic novel since Kingsley Amis's Lucky Jim." - Phillip Meyer, author of The Son

"In this hysterical novel, Mike Freedman takes on the current and very serious military-civilian divide in a world-class satire from which no side emerges unscathed. Read it; laugh and learn." - Karl Marlantes, author of Matterhorn

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Author Information

Mike Freedman

Mike Freedman was born and raised in Houston. He volunteered for the infantry after 9/11, later serving three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan in the U.S. Army Special Forces. He received his MBA from Rice University. He is the author of School Board.

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