The words “Silicon Valley” usually evoke images of shiny new devices unveiled at blockbuster product launches, geniuses performing coding miracles in futuristic office campuses, and blockbuster IPOs creating the world’s biggest fortunes.
They usually don’t evoke images of misfits, malefactors and ordinary schlubs turned into accidental felons…
But the same way Tom Wolfe unveiled the seamy underbelly of Manhattan high finance in The Bonfire of the Vanities, tech insider Ken Goldstein holds nothing back in his debut novel THIS IS RAGE (The Story Plant, on sale October 8, 2013, $15.95, 978-1611880717). Goldstein has enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a software and media executive. In THIS IS RAGE, he translates his expertise into the Silicon Valley novel we’ve all been waiting for—a biting, darkly comic crime thriller that lays bare the realities of the tech business, the media, and how they relate to the economic and political powder keg that is America in the twenty-first century.
From the opening scene, where a botched attempt to kidnap a legendary billionaire venture capitalist leaves one investment banker dead, two start-up execs missing, and two terminally unlucky programmers in way over their heads, all bets are off. And the ride only gets wilder from there. Because the kidnappers and their victims are about to cross paths with Kimo Balthazer—a volatile, hard-drinking talk radio host who no longer commands the huge audience he once did. And he has finally infuriated enough broadcasting executives with his brash opinions and crude antics that his career appears to be toast.
But when Kimo goes rogue and begins telling his no-holds-barred version of the truth on uncensored, unregulated internet radio, legions of laid-off workers and other decent people swallowed by the cutthroat economy start to pay attention again. And when he scores an exclusive interview with America’s most-wanted felons, things start to get really crazy.
Kimo is seething mad but he’s not crazy—he’s desperate for a comeback, and with the nation tuning in he’s about to inject himself into the middle of the manhunt that’s gripping Silicon Valley… and make it clear who the real criminals are. That is, if a meddling family-values zealot in Congress and a power-hungry old entertainment magnate don’t get their way.
Ken Goldstein brings unprecedented authority and been-there-done-that knowledge to this narrative, which has already won such praise as “that rare book—a fascinating, fast-paced, really smart thriller” (-Author Naomi Wolf), “required reading for all high-tech and deal-savvy action thriller fans” (-Former ABC Radio head Mitch Dolan) and “a thrill ride through the circus-like madness of corporate America, the media and government.” (-Author and USC business school professor Gene del Vecchio).
Right up to the final scene of this accomplished debut, it’s tantalizingly hard to tell where the good guys end and the bad guys begin in THIS IS RAGE. Ken Goldstein has had a front row seat for the last two-plus decades of incredible progress in tech and media, and has parlayed these experiences into the fiction event of the fall.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ken Goldstein advises start-ups and established corporations in technology, entertainment, media, and e-commerce. He served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of SHOP.COM, a market leader in online consumer commerce acquired by Market America. He previously served as executive vice president and managing director of Disney Online, and as vice president of entertainment at Broderbund Software. Earlier in his career, he developed computer games for Philips Interactive Media and Cinemaware Corporation, and also worked as a television executive. He is active in children’s welfare issues and has served on the boards of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles, Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services, and Full Circle Programs, and is currently actively in local government. He speaks and teaches frequently on topics of management, leadership, and creative destruction. He and his wife Shelley, who teaches English as a Second Language, make their home in Southern California. He received his BA in Theater Studies and Philosophy from Yale. THIS IS RAGE is his first novel.