Sunday, April 29, 2007


Company by Max Barry

Description:  (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.

Review:  This book was so much fun to read.  I was seriously laughing out loud at many parts.  I had the audiobook version of the book and it was outstanding.  They did a great job with it and made it very entertaining.  I think it is very relevent to read for anyone who has been in an office setting.  I definitley could relate to much of what went on.  I think it is an interesting take on how mega corporations are turning their employees into nothing but cogs in a wheel.

Score:  5 out of 5

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