Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Learning curves

Yesterday I read the book "Learning curves (a novel of sex, suits and business affairs)" by Gemma Townley. The ride to and from Haifa bay was long enough for me to start and finish reading the book. I discovered the book because it fell into the category of "business novels", although this was somewhat different to other business novels which I have read. I have to point out at the very beginning that there was very little sex (certainly not graphic) and even less about suits in the novel.

The story was basically about three things
  • Heroine Jen is sent to study for an MBA degree, so there's MBA material quoted
  • Jen is to infiltrate into the organisation which is running the MBA and so find out about shady building deals in Indonesia
  • Jen is also a woman and thus has to deal with affairs of the heart
The MBA part is rather unlike life (or unlike my MBA course): it does not take place under the auspices of a university; it's run by a consulting company. One wonders which academic credentials would accrue to such a 'degree'. The actual MBA material quoted is quite good, but it took me a while to identify from which of my courses it was coming. After a while, I realised that the characters were discussing in depth various subjects which arose from one of the analytical tools used in the marketing course. We covered this subject in one or two sessions whereas they seem to have spent all term on this. What about such mundane subjects as accounting, economics or finance? Ne'er a word.

The 'shady deals in Indonesia' plot was actually quite good, but apart from being mentioned at the beginning - the whole pretext for Jen going to study - and the denouement at the end, there isn't very much development, so the climax comes over as a deux ex machina ending. Shame.

As for the 'chic lit' plot which occupied no small amount of the book, I have read better. As far as I am concerned, most of this was extraneous and could easily have excised, but I am aware that this might be the genre which would attract most readers to this book.

It may just be a fault of the layout of the Kindle edition, but several times the point of view jumped from one character in one scene to another character in another scene. At times this was quite disturbing and even confusing. I call this poor editing.

To conclude: a good idea which went wrong in execution. Where was the editor?

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