Thursday, June 12, 2014

Leaders - Are They Born or Trained? Check out Awakening by Ray N. Kuili for Surprising Thriller!

And these are supposedly the best of the best.
The crown jewels of their army. They've been
honored with escorting the greatest person of
their time, and whom do they see? A common
prisoner who should be fed and guarded...
These days you are considered a weirdo if you live without a phone. Yet nobody cares if you live without a purpose. Anything wrong with that picture?

This book is not for everyone. It takes you directly into the lives of those who are in management positions. If you don't have either the experience or interest in administrative work in an organization or corporation, don't be surprised if you find the book not claiming your interest.

But if you have ever used the word, Power, in relation to individuals who work in such companies as are found in America or across the world, this could help you greatly in seeing how, why, and when power is captured by an individual.

The book opens with an introduction of a small group of mid-level managers. It is somewhat tedious and I wished that this had been spread throughout the book, perhaps as backflashes. The reason for me was that I had a hard time keeping the players straight. With an e-book, it is very hard to "flip back" to reread these so I admit I didn't bother...but I did review the first part again before writing my review. So this is a small forewarning that you may want to tag those pages for easier access later...
Napoleon III

Five years ago, every one of them would
have bribed and killed for a chance to dine with me--even though I was their enemy. find a stupid fish [a whale passing by their boat] far more fascinating...
"Twenty days. Twenty days...My time used to be priceless. Now it's become so cheap. It wasn't so long ago that in twenty days I could shake up all of France...the entire nation... 
Nevertheless, you have a point. Unlike these poor morons, I'll have immortality awaiting me by my deathbed...
"This is what they think. This is what they all think. For them, a great man is merely a creation of circumstances. As if circumstances ever created a man! They don't understand that every man is his own ultimate creation. It is beyond their petty minds that a man who was born for great power will always achieve it. He will achieve it not because--but in spite--of any circumstances. This is what makes a man great."

By Ray N. Kuili

Having the somewhat unique experience of moving from lower-level positions up through and into higher management levels, I was pleasantly surprised to see a fiction novel using managers as the characters.  So, when individuals were described within their present positions, I was able to see the potential by which each was ultimately selected...

The red Porsche turned out to be quite an ass. It passed
Robert easily on the right,  and confidently established
itself  straight in front of Robert's car, its rear
radiating arrogance and disdain...
Robert bent forward slightly, feeling the rigid rhythm
penetrating every cell of his body. Then he slowly floored
the gas pedal...Now the Porsche was merely a few yards
away. Robert almost unnoticeable turned the wheel to the
left and a moment later was riding next to the joyfully
cruising Porsche. Honking wasn't necessary--the driver
looked around on his own. For a second or two Robert
looked straight into his eyes...
Then, without returning his hands to the steering wheel
and relying on his left knee to hold it, Robert pushed
the gas pedal all the way to the floor... and the Porsche
carrying its appalled driver was left behind.
To attend a training seminar... They came in one by one, Robert,, until there were a total of 11...
 Of all the numbers in the world this one cannot be changed...People spent years perfecting the system, so it's almost inappropriate to joke about it. There should be eleven of them. Not more, not less. Precisely eleven people, for precisely eleven days.

Each of the individuals worked at a different company and had never met before. Most had no desire to be there, but had been specifically sent... Some took it graciously while being irritated; some were willing to open up to talk about it... Only two were women.

But none of them had expected what happened. There was no speaker, other than those who were putting on the seminar. They explained what would be happening and then withdrew, thereafter only participating as observers! 

They don't understand that without knowing the why you can't be happy. You can't be wildly successful, whatever this means, but not happy...
And if you keep thinking, the whyole world just falls apart. Nothing makes sense anymore. Rules, traditions, expectations--they all start looking so fake, so made up...
...And eventually you understand that nobody really wants you to think for yourself. But if you still end up
developing this bad habit, you need to learn another trick--to keep your mouth shut.

By the time you're in middle management, you've had quite a bit of variety in your educational experiences, including in house seminars. But this was not like anything they'd ever encountered. and what they were required to do, and how to get it done was different than anything they'd ever experienced. 
On the whole, however, the group started out fairly equal in attitude, thinking, and willingness... 

But that was during the we would all do, they took notes, were congenial...

Then they started to have free time, to get to know each other informally. Some would meet after dinner and play pool. One night after each had been leaving one by one, one of the men suggested to another that he could help him with his game and would tell him Shanghai Bells... 

You'll get it in a second." Alex made a few steps and stopped next to him. "Put the cue down. You need to analyze the situation first. See the blue stripe? You can pocket it easily with the nine, right?"
"Right," Ross agreed. "So?"
"What do you mean?"
"So what? That's an obvious shot. What about Shanghai Bells?"
"Shanghai Bells?"...Here it is."
The white wall before Ross's eyes had suddenly turned reddish black. Simultaneously, with this terrifying transformation, an overwhelmingly desperate desire to breathe came over him. A moment ago, his lungs had been functioning unnoticeably, silently and steadily pumping the air in and out of his body. Now they clenched convulsively in frantic need if fresh air...a whisper came into his ears. Alex's whisper. "This is Shanghai Bells... you try to run away and it will get worse..."

So when you're in an isolated center with nobody else around, and you've been told, "anything goes..." then the only thing that works is your own feelings... There was one who used her sexual attraction, another used physical intimidation, tricks, lies, threats, manipulation... what would happen among those 11... Or would some have left, not willing to play the game...of...Power...

Whew! This is fast action, with many characters you'll need to keep track of.  Will you be able to identify who would be the last one standing... A thriller like no other I've read...exciting, fresh, and full of bureaucratic game playing... I saw many of these games played routinely, but when game players are pitted against each other, some will play to win! Highly recommended for those who want to learn how to play... You know who you are...


Ray N. Kuili is a US-based author of novels and short stories, including AWAKENING, OVERDOSE, THE LAST MASK and the new serialized novel EDEN CAN WAIT (currently published on in weekly installments). His books include elements of psychological thriller, suspense and science fiction.

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