Thursday, April 10, 2008

KILLER INSTINCT by Joseph Finder

The Book: Joseph Finder, KILLER INSTINCT. St. Martin's, 2006 (first edition). Inscribed by the author: "For Clair -- my web genius -- with eternal gratitude, Joe -- 5/16/06."
First read: 2005
Owned since: 2006

Hasty disclaimer: I had nothing to do with the writing or the editing of this book, although I did proofread galleys for the British edition (I think -- or it might have been the paperback, I lose track). I manage the content on Joe's website, and edit his newsletters. We're always looking for new photographs of readers and their pets with Joe's books. If you have one, send it to me at

KILLER INSTINCT won both the Barry Award and the ITW's Thriller Award for Best Novel, and I dare you to put the book down once you start it. It's the story of sales executive Jason Steadman, who gets along but not ahead. He's addicted to business self-help books and audio CDs, but those have no effect on his work until he meets Kurt Semko, a former Special Forces operative who brings his own unique perspective to the idea that "business is war." KILLER INSTINCT is not only a thriller but a sharp and funny satire of the corporate sales culture, and we ran a game on Joe's website asking readers to distinguish between quotations from real business books and quotations from Joe's fictional guru, "Mark Simkins."

Anyway, this book was an easy choice because I saw Joe and his wife, Michele, last night in Boston. It was one of those nice confluences of my various networks; Joe, Michele and I were all guests at a special screening of The Express for Boston University film students. My friend Gary, a BU alumnus and the director of the film, sat for questions afterwards, and it was a great evening. Among other things, it was the first time I've ever gotten a screen credit -- you have to wait to the very end, but it's there -- so that was an extra thrill.

Now I'm home again, exhausted and suffering from something that might be allergies, might be a cold, or might be some exotic alien flesh-eating disease that is filling my head cavities with mucus and making it impossible for me to talk.

But I couldn't let today go without posting, if only to wish the happiest of birthdays to Claire Bea, more fabulous today than she was yesterday. (But less fabulous than she will be tomorrow...) Many happy returns, lovely girl.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your screen credit! I would have planned to see that movie for that reason alone but if it's as good as you say, that'll be icing on the cake!


Hope you feel better soon!

Ed Lamb said...

You know what it means when your name comes at the end of a long list of contributors?

It doesn't mean you're bringing up the rear; rather, it means you're pushing everyone else forward.

Congrats on the film credit. And happy b-day to Claire.

Anonymous said...

I felt so cool when I saw the Finder book with that dedication to you in a London bookstore! ...and now a screen credit... I will DEFINITELY hang on to my PEOPLE Mag. subscription and look for you soon!