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Company | [Max Barry]

Company

Nestled among Seattle's skyscrapers, The Zephyr Holdings Building is a bleak rectangle topped by an orange-and-black logo that gives no hint of Zephyr's business. Lack of clarity, it turns out, is Zephyr's defining characteristic. The floors are numbered in reverse. No one has ever seen the CEO or glimpsed his office on the first (i.e., top) floor. Yet every day people clip on their ID tags, file into the building, sit at their desks, and hope that they're not about to be outsourced.
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Publisher's Summary

Nestled among Seattle's skyscrapers, The Zephyr Holdings Building is a bleak rectangle topped by an orange-and-black logo that gives no hint of Zephyr's business. Lack of clarity, it turns out, is Zephyr's defining characteristic. The floors are numbered in reverse. No one has ever seen the CEO or glimpsed his office on the first (i.e., top) floor. Yet every day people clip on their ID tags, file into the building, sit at their desks, and hope that they're not about to be outsourced.

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.

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Finalist, Humor, 2007

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (466 )
5 star
 (118)
4 star
 (168)
3 star
 (91)
2 star
 (46)
1 star
 (43)
Overall
3.6 (129 )
5 star
 (37)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
 (12)
1 star
 (12)
Story
3.9 (126 )
5 star
 (42)
4 star
 (46)
3 star
 (24)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (7)
Performance
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  •  
    Louise Montclair, NJ, USA 05-06-06
    Louise Montclair, NJ, USA 05-06-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    46
    ratings
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    28
    12
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    1
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    Overall
    "the reader doesn't get it"

    I loved Jennifer Government, which I read, and didn't like Company, to which I listened. I suspect the difference is not in Max Barry, the author, but in the reader. He misses the character of the book - ironic and deadpan - and instead reads it as though he were auditioning for I Love Lucy. Big lines, big emphasis, big big big. All too big. Maybe he should catch Weeds.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracey Charlotte, NC, USA 05-01-06
    Tracey Charlotte, NC, USA 05-01-06
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
    Overall
    "Great Read"

    Funny, witty read. Enjoyed the play on the office characters that everyone can relate to. Narrator does a great job on portraying each character, as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maria Mansfield, MA, United States 04-29-06
    Maria Mansfield, MA, United States 04-29-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    100
    6
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    1
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    Overall
    "Funny and easy listen"

    I have read a lot of comments about the narrator and I personally liked the voices and enjoyed the book. I thought it was pretty funny, not really what I expected but I still liked it alot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Attleboro, MA, USA 03-30-06
    Scott Attleboro, MA, USA 03-30-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    142
    6
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Entertaining satire"

    This is a good listen, the narrator helps bring the characters to life, and the story moves along at a brisk pace. Very entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Lindborg Seattle, WA United States 02-22-06
    Jeff Lindborg Seattle, WA United States 02-22-06 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    31
    2
    Overall
    "Good fun"

    If you're looking for piercing new insight into the corproate world, this isn't it. But if you work as a cog in the machine of a large company as I do, or enjoy Dilbert or "the Office" on TV, then this will make you laugh and is well worth the price. I found the reader to be excellent and thought he picked up nicely on the spirit of the book.

    Now when I talk with my fellow cogs about "senior management", it takes on a whole new meaning...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian 04-07-06
    Brian 04-07-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    184
    11
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    3
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    Overall
    "A good read ruined"

    I started reading a friend's copy of Company randomly. I enjoyed the first 100 pages so much that I plunked down my money on the audible version. What a mistake. The problem was not the book but rather the narration. The voices are so overdone and ridiculous that the book is rendered unlistenable. All of the biting, subtle, satire is completely lost as the reader hits you over the head with his interpretation of the characters. Save your Audible credits on this one and pick up the hardcopy.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Voorhees, NJ, USA 02-16-06
    John Voorhees, NJ, USA 02-16-06
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    1
    Overall
    "Realized I am living in this fiction!"

    Very interesting, and make me laugh at my own corporate life!
    Great reader as well.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annette M. Stacy Tulsa, Oklahoma 09-27-08
    Annette M. Stacy Tulsa, Oklahoma 09-27-08 Member Since 2014

    onelglbratt

    HELPFUL VOTES
    64
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    261
    42
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    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "Totally Entertaining"

    Throughly enjoyable. The narrator was great. His light voice helped the story remain humerous throughout the story. This is my first hear of this author, but I enjoyed the story so much, I'm going to listen to it again as well as look for other books by him.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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