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Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
Spin by Michael Fidler is a lighthearted look at the world of big business and more specifically the IT Industry. Geoff Stradling works for the marketing division of an Australian computer security company called Heatseeker. Unlike a hated colleague, Geoff likes to think he is one of the good ones, not tainted by the corporate world and not as cynical as some. He enjoys life to the fullest and works hard but also plays hard. When he is overlooked for promotion to the executive level and his nemesis is promoted above him, he is disappointed but philosophical. When Heatseeker is taken over by another IT giant, changes and no doubt redundancies are in the pipeline but then Geoff is offered the job of a lifetime. He is to manage the integration of the two companies at the executive level with a massive salary increase but is faced with the daunting prospect of having to choose between his nice-guy persona and becoming the hatchet man for ruthless executives. Is there a middle path Geoff can tread that will give him the best of both worlds? Only time and Geoff’s ambitions can decide.
Spin is genuinely funny and insightful. Michael Fidler has created an eminently believable tale around a scenario that I’m sure occurs regularly in the upper echelons of high-flying businesses around the world. I particularly enjoyed Geoff, who comes across as your typical Aussie young man torn between the liberated and free lifestyle of Sydney and the cut-throat politics of executive business. Writing farce and comedy with success is an extremely difficult art and the author does an excellent job of it in this story, with many of the situations Geoff faces bringing a knowing smile to my face and some deep chuckles. I particularly identified with the relationship between Geoff and his parents. In Geoff’s mind, it was his older brother who soaked up all the praise, respect, and indeed, love in the family. The moral dilemmas Geoff has to weigh up throughout the book are an undoubted highlight of the narrative. It is clear he understands the nature of the tasks he is assigned and he must balance his desires and ambitions with loyalty, friendship, and knowing right from wrong. This was an easy, well-written, enjoyable read and one I can highly recommend.