A Tale Of Corporate Takeover

I spent more than 30 years working in Corporate America, I lived through various mergers and takeovers. There are two basic components, the screwer and the screwee. Joining two corporate different visions, values and Modus Operandi rarely results in one big happy family! Almost always there is a period of corporate bloodletting that occurs, the higher up the organization you are, the more tenuous your position becomes.

It is with this basic premise that author Richard Wanderer lures readers into The Holiday Party. What I like about this book is the authors wonderful storytelling ability to explore nuances of the human psyche when Corporate Worlds collide.

Richard Wanderer puts a delightfully evil twist on the corporate takeover story, what might happen if there were factions within the takeover that that for reasons of personal gain, might have an interest in its failure?

Richard Wanderer introduces us to the unlikely suitors, Gladstone Publishing, a well respected magazine company, known for high quality and a deep respect for both the people that work for them, and the clients that place adverts in their publications. Family owned, Gladstone is indeed a ‘family’, it is a company that cares for the employees, many of which have become to view Gladstone not so much as a job, but a lifetime career. Brothers Adam and Warren Gladstone, love the small empire left to them by their father. Other Gladstone siblings however can not think of anything better than selling the Gladstone properties to make a quick profit.

The Ballard Media Group on the other hand, are cut from a very different cloth. While it would be unfair to claim that they run a scorched earth policy, most certainly they are far more about the bottom line. Cost Containment is not just a buzzword, it is the companies mantra!

At the best of times this looks like a marriage made in hell. A corporate joining of the loins that can bring little pleasure to those involved with Gladstone.

This plot alone would provide for a wicked good read but Richard Wanderer is not done! What if factions within Ballard had ideas of their own? Gladstone has brand, it has name recognition, it has respectability and loyalty. Might it be possible to run the Gladstone properties into the ground, and then buy it privately when the Ballard group see falling profits and the need to bail out for more fruitful adventures?

Richard Wanderer introduces us to several main players, Daniel Davenport, a man with a clear objective, he wants to own Gladstone for himself. Barbara Martinez Blessington, while she may be part of Daniels efforts, she herself has eyes on the Gladstone empire.

Sitting in the background is a very long time Gladstone employee. Forest Green has worked for Gladstone for more than 30 years. He is not part of the New York central operation, he and his long time assistant Victoria run the LA office, They know nothing about corporate politics, they just sell advertising space within the Gladstone publications.

Devoid of the corporate machinations and politics Forest and Victoria have spent many years together, oh not romantically, but as boss and employee. Although they are several thousand miles away from New York, it is clear that times they are a-changing! (Bob Dylan).

The Holiday Party is a wonderful read, a skillful telling of a story. Even the title holds a secret. I had assumed that Richard Wanderer had selected the title for cynical reasons, a takeover being anything other than a Party! I was wrong, the title is most apt, I will not share the reason why, that, I will leave that up to the reader to discover.

I am impressed by Richard Wanderer, he manages to fit many concepts into under 300 pages. What’s not to love about a book that even has a Wicca component?

You can order your copy of The Holiday Party by using the Amazon link above, and of course it is in better book stores everywhere.

Simon Barrett

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