Rate this book

American Weather (U.S.) (2012)

by Charles McLeod(Favorite Author)
3.57 of 5 Votes: 4
1937402398 (ISBN13: 9781937402396)
review 1: This is one of the more interesting books that I’ve read this year but the jury is still out on whether or not I’m in favour of the ending. Jim Haskins, a 40-something successful, wealthy businessman has a finger in every pie going. Literally. Not only does he run what appears to be the most successful advertising firm in the United States – American Weather, known as AmWe in the book – but he also funds, plans and executes (in more ways than one) the American Dream. An orphan, Jim and his childhood friends embark on commercial ventures that bring great fortune to themselves personally and equally catastrophic fates to those in their way. Notably, the plot is set in 2008 against the background of the presidential election and involves a ruthless attempt at ‘chang... moree’ in Jim Haskin’s own world and his attempt to realise his biggest financial venture yet.The book begins very much in the style of Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho, and for this I found it lacking in originality initially. However, the inclusion of letters from the central characters son to his father make the story much more accessible than Patrick Bateman’s narration in American Psycho, where one is left unsure as to whether or not the events taking place are real or figments of Bateman’s imagination. There are moments throughout where the protagonist reveals layers to his thought processes that are as frightening as they are believable and thus, make this book very memorable. Acknowledging his own nonchalance and ruthlessness, Jim Haskins becomes a character that the reader will either have tremendous hatred or overwhelming sympathy for by the end, depending on the interpretations of his last venture in the book. In this reviewer’s opinion he is ultimately to be pitied, as his existence personifies the greed and corruption of modern, corporate America.I’d advise people to read this before Hollywood gets its hands on it, as large sections of it sound like it was written with the specific intent of making producers chomp at the bit for rights to the work. It is well worth reading, but the ending was slightly deflating and after a few days of digesting the whole story, it ended on a lazy note that is not to my liking. If you like well-written American fiction that keeps you turning the page, this is for you. If you have no interest in the realities of corporate, commercial advertising and the effect it has on the rest of the world, this is also for you but a warning, you may not like it.
review 2: A while ago an article went round at work about how to spot a psychopath in your office and that they were often very successful in business. Jim Haskin reminds me of that. His job is to sell you a lifestyle and he doesn't care who he walks over to get there. Supposedly “green”, his public image is drastically different to the world inside his head.The tone is very cynical and I find it hard to work out if McLeod is anti-green or anti-consumerism or just anti-America. Haskin's wife is in a coma and he blames his own marketing world to some extent. His relationship with her and the circumstances behind her coma are glossed over and I personally would have preferred a bit more insight to how he became such a dislikeable man. It's OK to hate characters, but there needs to be something for me to empathise with.Haskin's first person narrative is interspersed with letters from his son who is at university in England. In some ways he takes after his father but I think there's still hope for him.It's a book of the times; recession, Prop 8, hybrid vehicles, gadgets, Morgellon's disease and a world of constant marketing. Unfortunately plot is playing second fiddle to the social commentary and it just didn't grab me. There's just too much packed in for any one topic to really latch on. I think the presence of Morgellon's gives it an extra half star from me, though it's not a huge part of the story, it's a fascinating condition, driven by the suggestive nature of the internet. But I digress! less
Reviews (see all)
Bret Easton Ellis in the marketing world.I'm not worthy. I'm not worth 35 million dollars.
Awfully like Ellis. Really, it just struck me as a short story that got out of control.
I love the dark ones. This one is jet black.
best read in a very long time
Write review
Review will shown on site after approval.
(Review will shown on site after approval)