The Wages of Genius by Gregory Mone

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Synopsis

Almost a century after the birth of a big-headed man who altered our conceptions of light, energy, mass, space, and time, a boy with a similarly large head was born in Ionia, Wyoming. Meet Edward, a self-proclaimed genius who considers the parallels between his life and Albert Einstein’s proof of his exceptional brilliance. Nearly twenty-six (Einstein’s age the year he discovered E=MC2), he is getting nowhere with his wildly expanding dissertation on science’s evolving conception of the void—in short, the modern scientific history of nothing. Convinced that he is on the verge of a major breakthrough, he leaves graduate school and lands an entry-level job at an innovative new company, hoping his intelligence will be put to better use there. Although he’s not sure exactly what the company does, Edward believes that with his keen mind and original ideas he will revolutionize everything from cubicle culture to the global marketplace. Told in Edward’s endearing, delusional voice, The Wages of Genius is not only a hilarious parody of corporate culture a la Walter Kirn’s Up in the Air, but a sympathetic portrait of a hapless young man (think Ignatius J. Reilly) with poor judgment, bad luck, and the best of intentions.
 

About Gregory Mone

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Mone is a graduate of Harvard University and has master's degree in science and journalism from New York University.
 
Published April 1, 2003 by Carroll & Graf. 208 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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What follows is a relatively routine tale of office life (populated with self-help books, CNNfn, and Jar Jar Binks) spliced together with details of Einstein’s early life—and the suggestion that Edward might be headed for genius after all.

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When the dot-com bubble begins to deflate, Edward's lack of productivity is noticed by his fellow employees and the company's venture capitalist, who does a one-on-one interview with Edward that reveals his total lack of tangible duties.

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