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Going Public

Going Public

by Ira Wood

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Compulsive achiever Corey Richardson has a problem--he is ``hungry for the chaotic stew of family life yet attracted to a leaner and less consuming way to love.'' In fact, almost everyone wants what he can't have in this sharp novel about the perverse linkage of romance and status. Corey is the head of Camelot, a thriving software firm which he founded. As his fortunes have risen, however, his wife, Angela, ``has refused to change, to enjoy.'' So he leaves her for Marla, a younger executive at Camelot who happens to be ``leaner and less consuming.'' But when Angela regroups and becomes a successful photographer, Corey feels the old attraction again. Likewise, Marla, taking Corey for granted, begins to date a younger man. If this sounds like the stuff of relationship cliche, it is. But Woods ( The Kitchen Man ) keeps it alive by focusing on the paradox wherein the chase is more fun than the supposedly happy-ever-after. He also does a fine send-up of one of the few industries in which the Fortune 500 execs live on candy bars and go to work in high-tops. Woods uses sentiment without sentimentality to show the warts-and-all of modern romance. One hopes that this novel will not become lost in the confusion bound to result from the publication this season of two other books with the same title (from HarperCollins and Birch Lane). (May)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Wood's first novel The Kitchen Man ( LJ 11/1/85) was a delight. Going Public is not. After some heady excitement in the opening pages--software entrepreneur Corey Richardson, scrambling and scraping to keep his new business afloat, takes big bucks and goes public--the plot turns predictable. Corey, on the rise, leaves wife Angela (whose rump was his ``great pumpkin'') for younger, skinnier Marla, his human resources officer. Angela slims down, gets her career in high gear, and has affairs of her own. Both business and affair pall, Corey regrets missing daughter Foxie's childhood, etc., etc. Alternating viewpoints (husband, wife, and mistress) impede the narrative flow, and stock characters (in marked contrast to the full-bodied ones of The Kitchen Man ) make this novel's seven-year time span seem interminable. Corey Richardson is no ``kitchen man'' Gabriel Rose, and this book is a big disappointment.-- Michele Leber, Fairfax Cty. P.L., Va.

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Random House Publishing Group
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