The Business, a nearly omnipotent enterprise, is so infinitely discreet that even its top executives are vague about its actual business. It predates the Christian church and counts among its vast riches dozens of Michelangelo’s pornographic paintings and several sets of Crown jewels. The only thing it lacks is political clout, a problem the Business plans to solve by buying a nation and joining the United Nations. Kate Telman, the Business’s foremost expert on emerging technologies, is chosen to lead the effort. As this beautiful, ambitious American woman pursues the ultimate prize for her highly secretive transglobal employer, Iain Banks — whom The Times of London calls “the most imaginative British novelist of his generation” — offers a portrait of today’s ubiquitous multinational corporations. Already a bestseller in England, The Business paints a picture that is at once wickedly satirical and frighteningly familiar.