This book is both a novel and essays about work life. In the novel, David is a young man intent on moving up in the company, Protech, which designs security systems. To do this, he steals an idea for a new product from a junior employee and sells it to senior management as his own. The idea takes off but David has to constantly having to do questionable things to keep his status as golden boy. He spies on another colleague for fear of an idea which might overtake his; he demands his boss' job to keep control of his project; and he browbeats his team into saying the product is ready for release when it is clearly not. He twists and turns to stay on top.
The parallel stories are of Becky, David's mother, who walks away at the end of her career to pursue a lifelong dream and of Gord, David's father, who is a brilliant but difficult employee who has never fit into organizational life.
Throughout the book, there are hyperlinks to essays which discuss aspects of the story and how they might apply to the reader's life. For example, one essay discusses how David gets caught up in the office politics and whether you have to do it, too. Similarly, another essay asks whether always being honest at work, such as Gord maintains he is, is good or bad for your career and psyche. Becky's essays largely deal with whether and how you can work at what you are really passionate about rather than just put food on the table.
The essays can be read as the novel is being read or after. All of them pose questions about how to deal with the dark side of work.