Book Review - Citizen Dick

Citizen Dick by Richard Arneson is a first novel written with no holds barred about the back room deals and corporate greed found at fictitious CommGlobalTeleVista and the path that lead Dick Citizen, slacker and loser to find himself neck deep in all of it...

From the book jacket:
Creative accounting. Mismanagement. Vanishing 401Ks. Insider trading. Misplaced power. Neuroses. Bloody clown suits. Meatloaf costumes. Self-administered prison tattoos. You guessed it…Corporate America.

And in 1989, nobody better exemplified those characteristics—and a hundred tawdry others—more than CommGlobalTeleVista, a telecommunications behemoth that’s future relied on a promotion that would provide customers with something they didn’t want or need, and a CEO who hoped buying a meat company—or acting like its takeover is in the works—would move their stock price north of $75 per share and award him a $100 million bonus.

And it all happened because Dick Citizen—an unambitious, twenty-five-year-old with an obsessive hatred for his first name, an uncanny ability to hit a golf ball long and straight, and a bizarre skeleton in his closet—stumbled backwards into the last place he should be—you guessed it…Corporate America.

My review:
Citizen Dick is not written in typical novel style, with short, choppy chapters that take time to build and a confusing array of job titles and character descriptions, but as you are able to enter the world of Dick Citizen and the other players you find yourself engrossed in the hilariousness of the situations...  
Dick, who catapults from late night radio host, making $6 an hour through a corporate communications job where he spends his time writing fictitious press releases about the company's desire to buy into the world of meat packing...  eventually becomes the VP of Meat in a bizarre and sometimes confusing tale of greed and indifference that I'm sure reflects the author's own dealings with corporate America...
I had trouble keeping up with the plot at times, but the individual scenes and sarcastic humor kept me coming back... the characters, including Dick's mother - a woman who advocates smoking as a healthy part of her marathon running lifestyle who found that "logging miles and sucking down Camels could be done simultaneously" and wrote a newsletter about it called "lung capacity".  It was almost written like a series of comic strips, punch lines in hand and strung together by a series of sub plots..
Once you get past all that, and take it for what it is, the book has funny and ironic moments that keep you reading...  
I have to say that this book may warrant a second reading, because I'm sure I missed more as I tried to weave through the characters and the plot... it certainly put a new spin on corporate America...
I would recommend this book to anyone who has spent time in Corporate America as a funny, light hearted read..

About the Author:
Richard Arneson’s thirteen years working in corporate America drove him up a tree―literally. Once he escaped the telecommunications industry after ten years of service, he built a tree house―ostensibly for his two young sons―installed electricity and cable TV, and set out to fix himself, deciding that dealing with the memories of working in the goofy-as-hell world of corporate America could only be accomplished by getting them down on paper. Citizen Dick is the result. 

Arneson is currently working on his next novel, The Tree house, which, ironically, is not being written in his tree house but  in the cab of his 1950 Chevy pickup truck.

Arneson lives in Dallas, Texas with his wife, a two-time cancer survivor who can’t remember why she married him, and their two sons. He plans on building a second story on his tree house.

You can read more about Citizen Dick and Richard Arneson at

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book through Pump Up your Book , and was not influenced in any way to write any part of this review, the opinions expressed are my own.