Friday, July 28, 2006

Mammon Inc.

I picked up Mammon Inc in a used bookshop in Paris and read it very quickly.

Chiah Deng is an Oxford-educated Singaporean girl trying to figure out what to do with her life after college. She gets recruited by Mammon Inc., the largest corporate entity in the world. They want her to be an adapter and teach people how to adapt to different cultures. Before getting the job, she has to pass three difficult tests. She must infilterate an exclusive party, she must turn her sister into a wealthy English girl, and she must turn her flatmate Steve into a Singaporean.

Chiah Deng has never fit in anywhere, and the book deals with her trying to find a place in the world as well as get the job.

This book may have the best first line ever. Ever. The plot sounded interesting, but I bought the book based entirely on the first sentence.

The author's writing style is engaging and often very funny. A good writing style can save a mediocre book. It certainly helps this one, even if it doesn't actually save it.

There's some great banter between Chiah and Steve.

Hwee Hwee Tan tries to set Mammon Inc up as the serpent in the garden of Eden, but she doesn't quite succeed. For one thing, the people cautioning Chiah Deng against taking the job come off as selfish, superstition, and naive.

Chiah Deng's mentor, Professor Ad-oy, wants her to work as his research assistant studying the Christian mystics. The job would require Chiah to take a second job just to cover her living expenses. One of his reasons for not taking the job is that Mammon's logo is the symbol of Satan.

Tock Seng, Chiah's ex-boyfriend, also tries to convince her. Tock Seng is a smuggler who travels the world, and he wants Chiah Deng to forget about Mammon and come with him.

Tock Seng is a bit of a problem. He doesn't ever get fleshed out, and we don't understand why he and Chiah ended up as an item for six years. At the time the book takes place and in the flashbacks, he comes off as ridiculously idealistic.

At one point in the book, Chiah Deng has a vision of Jesus and decides to convert to Christianity. The religious theme just doesn't work, and is never resolved. I don't know Hwee Hwee Tan's religious beliefs -- she may have been using religion as a perfectly legitimate plot point -- but it comes off as a little preachy.

One of the small but annoying things about the book is that Hwee Hwee Tan cannot seem to keep track of her own story. There are small contradictions -- the number of pages in Generation Vexed magazine changes from 666 to three hundred and something -- and larger, more jarring ones. In the beginning of the chapter about Chiah Deng's break up with Tock Seng, she states that they broke up on the day of his birthday. At the end of the chapter, we find out that they actually broke up a week later.

There's a lot of hit-you-over-the-head symbolism with the names. There is actually a character named Draco Sidious. His secretary is called Sith. Subtle this is not.

The author is trying to show the differences between East and West, but the Singaporean characters in particular come off as over the top. I haven't spent much time in Singapore or London, but after poking around at other reviews by people who have, I can confidently state that Chiah Deng's family suffers from some nasty stereotyping.

Mammon Inc is a quickie read with good and bad points. if you have a high tolerance for didactism, you'll probably be able to enjoy it just fine.

Here's someone who REALLY hated it.

This girl hates it too.

This person loves it.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great site 16mm video camera What is best spyware program Honda ts1010

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

best regards, nice info »

2:16 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

gucci outlet, louis vuitton, longchamp outlet, uggs on sale, oakley sunglasses, air jordan pas cher, louboutin, burberry, ray ban sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, longchamp pas cher, ralph lauren pas cher, nike roshe run, michael kors, louboutin outlet, louboutin shoes, louis vuitton outlet, kate spade outlet, replica watches, polo ralph lauren outlet, oakley sunglasses, nike free, louis vuitton, prada handbags, nike air max, nike free, nike outlet, ray ban sunglasses, replica watches, ray ban sunglasses, polo ralph lauren outlet, prada outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, air max, tory burch outlet, christian louboutin outlet, jordan shoes, chanel handbags, louis vuitton, longchamp, louboutin pas cher, ugg boots, nike air max, tiffany jewelry, louis vuitton outlet, sac longchamp, ugg boots, longchamp outlet, oakley sunglasses, tiffany and co

6:10 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

nike free run uk, lacoste pas cher, michael kors, burberry outlet online, ralph lauren uk, hermes, ugg boots, nike air max, michael kors outlet, north face, hollister pas cher, converse pas cher, nike air max, nike air max, michael kors, tn pas cher, michael kors, timberland, sac guess, michael kors outlet, true religion jeans, hogan, burberry, air force, nike roshe, mulberry, lululemon, north face, ugg boots, michael kors outlet, replica handbags, vanessa bruno, michael kors, hollister, coach outlet, coach outlet, oakley pas cher, new balance pas cher, kate spade handbags, true religion outlet, true religion jeans, ray ban uk, true religion jeans, coach purses, abercrombie and fitch, michael kors outlet, nike blazer, ray ban pas cher, michael kors outlet, vans pas cher

6:12 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

birkin bag, north face outlet, hollister, mac cosmetics, nfl jerseys, converse outlet, nike air max, lancel, baseball bats, gucci, reebok shoes, giuseppe zanotti, soccer shoes, herve leger, mcm handbags, iphone cases, ghd, soccer jerseys, longchamp, beats by dre, vans shoes, vans, ralph lauren, mont blanc, ray ban, ferragamo shoes, babyliss, abercrombie and fitch, bottega veneta, valentino shoes, new balance, insanity workout, asics running shoes, oakley, chi flat iron, instyler, nike air max, hollister, louboutin, p90x workout, lululemon, north face outlet, jimmy choo shoes, nike roshe, wedding dresses, nike huarache, hollister, nike trainers, celine handbags, timberland boots

6:15 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

louis vuitton, canada goose, canada goose outlet, moncler, canada goose uk, swarovski, pandora charms, pandora jewelry, bottes ugg, pandora charms, replica watches, moncler, toms shoes, canada goose, supra shoes, juicy couture outlet, moncler, moncler, ugg pas cher, louis vuitton, juicy couture outlet, doudoune canada goose, louis vuitton, canada goose, sac louis vuitton pas cher, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, coach outlet, moncler, wedding dresses, links of london, moncler outlet, ugg boots uk, moncler, swarovski crystal, moncler, karen millen, montre pas cher, hollister, pandora jewelry, canada goose, marc jacobs, thomas sabo, canada goose outlet, louis vuitton, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia

6:17 PM  
Blogger sherry sabri said...

تتميز شركة المثالي صقور بتوفيرها كافة أنواع الخدمات المختلفة التي تحتاجها ربه المنزل وذلك مساعدة منها للمرأة وخاصة أن المرأة في وقتنا الحالي أغلب الأحيان تكون من الطبقة العاملة والتي يصعب عليها توفير بعض من الوقت لنفسها أو لمنزلها والعناية بنظافة المكان وتجهيز الطعام ورعاية الأطفال بشكل كامل لذلك تعمل الشركة علي توفير كافة الخدمات التي تساعد علي الارتقاء بمستوى الخدمة كما تعمل الشركة علي تغطية كافة أنواع الخدمات من خلال توفير أحدث وأفضل الأجهزة الخاصة بخدمات النظافة ومكافحة الحشرات وخلافها من الخدمات المتنوعة التي تقدمها الشركة للعملاء في فرعها بالدمام
شركة تنظيف بالدمام
شركة تنظيف منازل بالدمام
شركة تنظيف شقق بالدمام
شركة تنظيف مجالس بالدمام
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالدمام
شركة مكافحة الحمام بالدمام
شركة تسليك مجاري بالدمام
شركة نقل عفش بالدمام

5:08 AM  
Blogger مروة محمد said...

شركة مكافحة حشرات بالشارقة
تحرص الشركة في المقام الأول في مجال مكافحة الحشرات والقضاء عليها علي اختيار أنواع من المبيدات الحشرية المناسبة لكافة أنواع الحشرات المختلفة وخاصة أن كل نوع من أنواع الحشرات له ما يناسبه من المبيدات الخاصة به والقادرة علي القضاء عليها بشكل نهائي كما أن كافة المبيدات الحشرية التي توفرها الشركة مصرح بها من قبل وزارة الصحة وذلك للتأكيد التام على سلامة كافة المبيدات علي صحة الأفراد المستخدمين للمكان كما تحرص الشركة علي تطهير المكان تماما بعد الانتهاء من عملية المكافحة وذلك حرصا علي نظافة المكان وللتأكد من عدم وجود أي حشرات في أي من الأماكن الضيقة المظلمة كما توفر الشركة هذه الخدمات بهذا المستوى من خلال توفير أفضل الأسعار الممكنة
http://zahrat-khaleej.com/an-insect-control-company-in-sharjah/

1:50 PM  
Blogger digital marketing said...

أفضل شركة مكافحة حشرات بالرياض 
شركة مكافحة الحشرات بالرياض
شركة مكافحة الفئران بالرياض
شركة مكافحة النمل الأبيض بالرياض
شركة رش الدفان في الرياض
شركة مكافحة القوارض بالرياض
شركة رش دفان شمال الرياض
أفضل شركة مكافحة حشرات والجرذان في الرياض
شركة مكافحة الحشرات شمال الرياض

11:22 AM  
Blogger digital marketing said...

شركة تنظيف بالرياض
شركة تنظيف بالرياض مجربه
وش افضل شركة تنظيف بالرياض
ارخص شركة تنظيف بالرياض
اسعار شركات التنظيف في الرياض
شركة تنظيف بالرياض عمالة فلبينية
شركات تنظيف بالرياض رخيصه
شركة تنظيف منازل بالرياض
شركة تنظيف فلل بالرياض

11:22 AM  
Blogger digital marketing said...

شركة تنظيف فلل بالجبيل
شركة تنظيف منازل بالجبيل
شركة تنظيف شقق بالجبيل
شركة تنظيف موكيت بالجبيل
شركة تنظيف سجاد بالجبيل
شركة تنظيف مجالس بالجبيل
شركة تنظيف بيوت بالجبيل

11:22 AM  
Blogger digital marketing said...

افضل شركة تنظيف بالقطيف

افضل شركة تنظيف فلل بالقطيف

افضل شركة تنظيف موكيت بالقطيف

افضل شركة تنظيف منازل بالقطيف

11:22 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home