Stephen Jones, a young recruit with shoes so new they squeak, reports for his first day in the Training Sales Department and finds it gripped by a crisis involving the theft of a donut. In short order, the guilty party is identified and banished from the premises and Stephen is promoted from assistant to sales rep. He does his best to fit in with his fellow workers, among them a gorgeous receptionist who earns more than anyone else, and a sales rep who's so emotionally involved with her job that she uses relationship books as sales manuals, but Stephen is nagged by a feeling that the company is hiding something. Something that explains why when people are fired, they are never heard from again; why every manager has a copy of the Omega Management System; and most of all, why nobody in the company knows what it does.
©2006 Max Barry; (P)2006 Tantor Media, Inc.
"Mr. Barry is a deft and focused satirist, and his sense of business ethics is right on the money." (The New York Times)
"[Barry's] at his funniest lampooning the suits that tread the stage, consumed by the sound and fury of office politics that signify nothing." (Publishers Weekly)
Although I like to read/listen sharp prose about modern business life, this isn't it. The story line isn't too bad, and with several of the things that go on, you can shake your head, or grimace, and think sadly that these things really do go on in our world today.
My problem is more with the reading and writing styles themselves. The narrator holds a smarmy additude through the entire book, and every time I started up the story, I just wanted to reach in an throttle the guy. Maybe it was intentional -- I just found it annoying.
The writing style also got to me after a while. Every time a new character was introduced, we'd get this long list of adjectives, "He was...", "She was wearing...", and it just sounds like beginning writing. I've always felt that dialog was the best way to introduce your characters, and when I run into this stuff in real book, you just want to skip it and get to the rest of the story. It was happening enough in this story, that I almost did it.
I try not to be too critical, but nobody has written anything else about this book, and I was disappointed when I got it myself. On the flip side, I also just finished Stephen King's "Cell", and it's not very deep, but it was very entertaining.
I had high hopes for this one. I somehow missed out that this book was satirical, but, even in that context, the plot of "Company" was inane and meandered through 80% of the book until it rapidly came together in a slightly satisfying finish. Even for satire, the themes were so implausible and the characters so barely interesting that even proceeding with the book at times was a chore. (Had I not had just given up on my last book for similar reasons, I probably would have quit this one.)
Be advised, my next comment contains serious SPOILERS, so stop reading here if you don't want to know. The coup of management led by Jones and his modification of the Declaration of Independence was beyond absurd, even for satire. It goes without saying that to try to compare the compacts of consent of the governed for justifying a government with employment which is essentially a business transaction freely entered into by both parties is too ridiculous even as commentary on the state of corporate America. To Barry's credit, he does attempt to address the realities of a company's need for management and structure in the aftermath of this coup, but, given the weakness of the book overall, I had more than lost interest at that point and was ready to hear "Audible hopes you have enjoyed this program." Sorry, but I did not.
One of the most ANNOYING books ever written or read. Save your money, don't even think about it! Lame plot, horrible characters, terrible reader. Nuf said
You don't have to work in a large, nameless corporation to enjoy this terrific novel. But it won't hurt.
The characters and situations are very funny and while the premise is outlandish, everything is very real.
It's one of those books I was sorry to see end.
I like my books to be entertaining, interesting, exciting, funny, or thrilling. This book was none of those. I like to give books a chance to get going, so 4 or 5 hours into the book the hero finally escaped from the rat race and did something exciting. Unfortunately that only lasted 20 min or so and then it went back to the same old thing. If you like reading about workers acting like rats in a cage while the company execs manipulate them to see how they will react, this book may be something you would like, otherwise don't waste your time. I gave it a fair chance, 7 hours, but psychological manipulation just isn't something I enjoy.
Strictly satirical about corporate life. Much of this book loosely resembles places I have worked and people I've worked with. You know all the pettiness that goes with the workplace.
Its humor is delicious all way thru. I know I'll be listening again to Company.
Author is top notch, he is from Australia and oh wow so is Bryce Courtenay. Might say that Max Berry ranks next to Bryce in my opinion. But of course Max Berry is early in his career so I shouldn't judge just yet. But the potential is here
William Defris is the narrator and thank God I finally got a third in my best narrator list.
My other 2 are Rupert Degas and Humphrey Bower.
Yes he is in their league. He has a vast array of maarvelous voices.
Pick this book and I'm sure you'll be very happy.
When Stephen Jones joins Zeyphr eneterprises he enters a strange world filled with donut obsessed co-workers, female napoleons and a secret conspiracy the tries to draw him in deeper. a good listen with moderate sound effects the narrator attempts to bring feeling to the characters with all their quirks (Watch out for One particular charcter's habit which you be glad eventually stops) Great story like the previous Jennifer government.
Yeah, yeah.. it is fiction and humor and tongue in cheek. Yeah, right. This book, its stupid philosophy thinly disguised as easily accessible humor though not at all funny, and it's frightening popularity is the reason our economy and our livlihood is in such a dire state. The writer should be ashamed, though there is NO chance any such moocher ever would be. For those of you who enjoyed it, read Atlas Shrugged.
Narrative makes the world go round.
This is good satire - not great - perhaps because Office satire is becoming common. Also the pace was slow, not manic like a PG Wodehouse. The occasional "gems" of insight and humour were not worth the listening time consumed, at least to me, especially because the narration style was not to my taste -- too Dr Seuss. Most satires seem to have their quota of obvious humour, but something in the pacing or narration of a better satire allows the writer to get away with the necesssary fill. That said, the central twist in the plot is good. Perhaps "Company" is more enjoyable for those who work/ worked at a Company. Or perhaps this would work better as a movie, with body language carrying the slow parts and visuals abridging the text.
I agree with those that say this would make a better read than listen. This was not "dense" enough as a listen to hold my attention. If you are looking for something light to listen to while you are doing something else that requires attention, this would be a good download, especially for the price.
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