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Company: A Novel Hardcover – January 17, 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 193 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With broad strokes, Barry once again satirizes corporate America in his third caustic novel (after Jennifer Government). This time, he takes aim at the perennial corporate crime of turning people into cogs in a machine. Recent b-school grad Stephen Jones, a fresh-faced new hire at a Seattle-based holding company called Zephyr, jumps on the fast track to success when he's immediately promoted from sales assistant to sales rep in Zephyr's training sales department. "Don't try to understand the company. Just go with it," a colleague advises when Jones is flummoxed to learn his team sells training packages to other internal Zephyr departments. But unlike his co-workers, he won't accept ignorance of his employer's business, and his unusual display of initiative catapults him into the ranks of senior management, where he discovers the "customer-free" company's true, sinister raison d'être. The ultracynical management team co-opts Jones with a six-figure salary and blackmail threats, but it's not long before he throws a wrench into the works. As bitter as break-room coffee, the novel eviscerates demeaning modern management techniques that treat workers as "headcounts." Though Barry's primary target is corporate dehumanization, he's at his funniest lampooning the suits that tread the stage, consumed by the sound and fury of office politics that signify nothing. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–By turns amusing and wry, this novel is a pleasure to read. It opens with a view of a large corporation as seen by a new employee whose first day on the job is one of high suspense–one of the doughnuts for a staff meeting is missing. Moving beyond the usual cheap but funny shots taken at corporate life, Barry takes his tale to the next level. What if this giant maze for laboratory rats in which so many people work was actually just that? The characters are stereotypes but readers will sympathize with them, nonetheless.–Ted Westervelt, Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Doubleday; F First Edition (January 17, 2006)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0385514395
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0385514392
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.15 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.82 x 1.03 x 8.57 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 193 ratings

About the author

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Max Barry (1973-) is the author of five novels, including "Lexicon," the New York Times Notable Book "Jennifer Government," and "Syrup," now a film starring Amber Heard. He is the creator of the online political simulation game "NationStates," for which he is far more famous among high school students and poli-sci majors than his novels. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, with his wife and two daughters.

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
193 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

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Top reviews from other countries

MisterHobgoblin
4.0 out of 5 stars Out on the look horizon
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 10, 2014
One person found this helpful
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SSP
3.0 out of 5 stars Dedicated to Hewlett-Packard!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 19, 2014
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Paul Bradley
4.0 out of 5 stars Headline required
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 29, 2022
Peter Gaffney
5.0 out of 5 stars No issues
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 13, 2019
Richard Nicklin
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice concept, plot a bit irritating, kept short so it didn’t drag.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 21, 2020