Bookshelf

Lloyd: What Happened

 

Celebrated columnist Stanley Bing is an anthropologist of corporate culture, a satirist of corporate greed, a comedian of the libido. In his remarkable first novel, Lloyd: What Happened, Bing gives us the last word on business in America.

Brazenly honest and wildly funny, Lloyd shows us one crucial year in the life of an upwardly mobile executive for whom pain and gain walk hand in hand. Lloyd is a pretty decent guy. He has an assortment of flaws. He's married, a little chunky, well into the mid-six figures, which sounds great but means only that he has to work harder every day just to stay where he is. He can see through the corporate veil of stupidity and brutality when he wants to, which is not very often. He loves his wife and children and, suddenly, a senior financial officer named Mona.

Reeling toward the millennium in the era of gross, global consolidation, the corporation is on the verge of launching the most audacious transaction in the history of capitalism. They call it Moby Deal, and Lloyd is put in charge of making it all happen, a mandate he receives early one morning through the miasma of a let-me-die-now hangover. The good news is that Lloyd is perfectly suited to the task: he looks okay in a suit, can drink or eat just about anything that's put in front of him, and has a strong value system that has never stopped him from accomplishing any assigned duty.

Can Lloyd achieve Productivity? Can he get lean without being mean? Can he inspire increasingly greater numbers of people to do more for less while he himself does less for more? Can he gain the world without losing his soul? Can he keep his hands off a valued and extremely attractive associate?

Lloyd: What Happened is brilliantly and comically annotated with color bar graphs, pie charts, diagrams, and illustrated flourishes. It is the iconographic equivalent of an illuminated manuscript for the modern world, with a story that will make readers laugh out loud and cringe with recognition of every character and situation. Bing is a master storyteller and has written what is sure to be a classic of our time.

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