Friday, December 25, 2009
Book Review: Cancel Christmas!: a novel
Title: Cancel Christmas!
Author: Rocco L. Martino
ISBN: 9780741 456373
Publication Date: October 2009
December 25th or that last Saturday in December, what difference does it make what day we celebrate Christmas? To Mr. Timber Bleakheart, President and CEO it makes a lot of difference, $100-million to be exact. Cut the cost, increase the profit, there’s a business to run and the world’s richest list to climb!
We enter the world of Timber Bleakheart, confirmed bachelor who has taken his father’s company and made profits soar. He’s put competitors out of business, laid off 10% of his work force to control his remaining employees through fear and intimidation and now he wants to Cancel Christmas. Accustomed to getting his own way, no matter what, he sets out to increase his company revenue by $100 million per year. He’ll smash Christmas, just as he destroys everything that he deems a problem or obstacle in his quest for more riches.
Surrounded by employees who suffer inner turmoil just to keep their jobs, Timber Bleakheart is completely unaware of the unlikely pairing of General Council and the President’s Assistant who come together first idealistically, then romantically. We see the good people coerced into helping their greedy boss despite their supposed convictions in order to save their already low paying jobs.
With money as a motivator the campaign is on, compelling Senator Christian to support his position in the Senate, Timber Bleakheart garners favors as the senator’s major campaign contributor. Add a lobbyist extraordinaire and a marketing firm who focus on their own interests without care to the possible outcome should the campaign to Cancel Christmas succeed, together make up the cast of characters of this intriguing Christmas story. The overwhelming sentiment from these powerful men in media and government is expressed by the principled lawyer:
“The people don’t count. Even if they care, they just don’t bother, knowing that nobody is going to listen to them anyway. Congress certainly doesn’t care about the people. They care about being reelected.”
Characters flirt with dangerous ideas comparing American media techniques with the Big Lie theory espoused in Mein Kampf, sacrifice the many for the benefit of the few and other seditious views. Changing the observed date of Christmas would be more equitable for the non-Christians who are required to take-off a Christian holiday but observe their own religious holiday on their own time. Merchants would benefit with extra shopping days before Christmas and of course, business would have fewer disruptions in the last quarter of the year. Clearly, the plan is a win-win all the way around.
The romantic excitement coupled with the moral dilemma keeps you reading to find out can they actually cancel Christmas? It looks like Timber Bleakheart may just get his way on this too, then an unpredictable turn of events changes absolutely everything.
Not wanting to spoil the ending, readers will be left to think about the plot and how this might change how they relate to others in difficult economic times. When even the little things make a difference that can amount to millions of dollars, ethical decisions have far reaching ramifications. Who has the courage to fight for their beliefs?
Free review copy.