The Business is a nearly omnipotent and infinitely discreet transglobal organization whose origins predate the Christian Church, if not the Roman Empire (which the Business actually owned for sixty-six days). Financially transparent, internally ...
internally democratic, and morally dispassionate, the actual business of the Business seems -- even to Kate Telman, a senior executive -- to be vague to the point of invisibility. Counted among its vast riches are a book of Leonardo cartoons, dozens of Michel-angelo's pornographic paintings, and several sets of Crown Jewels. All it lacks is a certain clout in politics, an arena that the Business has avoided for centuries but that has suddenly become of vital importance. No longer satisfied with its permanent base in Antarctica and its fortified Swiss headquarters, the Business is angling to buy its own nation in order to take a seat at the United Nations.
Kate is the perfect candidate to help the Business realize its most ambitious goal: She was plucked at age eight from a bleak urban slum and groomed for membership among the Business's elite, and her personal and professional loyalties chart a single path. She has risen rapidly through the ranks, achieving a reputation as not only the firm's smartest and most beautiful employee but also its foremost expert on emerging technologies. While her loyalty never falters, as she travels the globe at the behest of her enigmatic employer she is forced to peel away layers of emotional insulation and to reassess the assumptions of a lifetime. To take control of her future, she must learn to do the Business.
The Times of London has proclaimed Iain Banks "the most imaginative British novelist of his generation." An instant bestseller in England, The Business ominously imagines the ubiquitous multinational corporations of our millennial present and the cunning with which they manipulate and determine our economy and culture.