Good morning all! Today I’m brining you an extract for MBA by Douglas Board as part of the blog blitz…..
Why is so much of the world managed by arseholes? When workaholic business school hot shot Ben Stillman is fired, he has the chance to find out. Not a guy to sit still, Ben jumps head first into turning his former business school into a world-class madrassa of capitalism.
Ben has ten days to rescue the launch of its spectacular glass tower, and his own career – ten days during which he will have to confront terrorist plots, undercover police, the extravagant demands of the super-rich, and the only woman who can save him from this madness.
A satirical thriller, a love story, and a wry look at modern management ideology all rolled into one – MBA is a piercing yet hopeful enquiry into the meaning of success.
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Why is so much of the world managed by arseholes? ‘MBA’ – the abbreviation for a master’s degree in business administration – is a farce set at an English business school run by globe-trotting American professor William C Gyro. When Ben, a high-flying graduate of the college, is suddenly fired for no reason, Gyro asks him to rescue the very imminent, star-studded opening of a spectacular all-glass tower.
Connie is a director in the NHS and doing a course at the college. Before the end of the book there’s romantic interest, there’s a bed scene and there’s a marriage proposal. But the plot of ‘MBA’ allows the proposal to unfold in an unusual way, because what’s happened in the book means for that for a while at least, it’s physically impossible for Ben or Connie to lie – their bodies won’t let them do it.
At about 9.30 Ben took Connie to stand at the lip of the lookout. ‘I don’t know how much more time we’ve got,’ he said simply. ‘I brought you here for a reason.’
She was curious. ‘What reason?’
‘To be in the light, the two of us. And then I say, I want to marry you. Will you marry me?’
‘Why do you want to marry me?’
‘Because I love you.’ Ben seized Connie’s hand. ‘You see it, don’t you Connie? This is ****’s present to us. When I say I love you, I can’t lie. In all of history it may never happen again that a man asks a woman to marry him when he cannot lie.’
‘I’m ten years older than you. Do you worry about that?’
‘Yes. But women live longer than men anyway. Though if we want to have kids we shouldn’t waste time.’
‘Having kids is one thing, being a dad is another. Do you want to be a dad?’
Ben looked up at the moon and then at its impostor. He was as curious as Connie to see what he said. ‘I want it very much. I want to be a good dad.’ Then he added, as if it was part of the same thought, ‘I want a good job, but it doesn’t have to be a top job.’
Connie was quiet for centuries. Then she said, ‘Am I beautiful?’
‘Just to you?’
‘To many people.’ Ben smiled and pointed at the tower. ‘It’s keeping me honest. I thought about saying “everyone”, but I couldn’t.’ A pause, again. ‘So will you marry me?’
‘You realise that I can’t lie either? Silly me, of course you do. The answer is …’
about the author
Douglas Board is the author of the campus satire MBA (Lightning Books, 2015), which asked why so much of the business world is Managed By Arseholes. Time of Lies, his second novel, is a timely exploration of the collapse of democracy.
Born in Hong Kong, he has degrees from Cambridge and Harvard and worked for the UK Treasury and then as a headhunter. He has also had a distinguished career in public life, serving as treasurer of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund and chairing the British Refugee Council.
As well as writing fiction, he is the author of two applied research books on leadership, which was the subject of his doctorate. He is currently a senior visiting fellow at the Cass Business School in London. He and his wife Tricia Sibbons live in London and Johannesburg.
tour hosted by:
Thanks to Rachel for inviting me on to the tour and to Douglas for sharing an extract with us.
Have a great day all