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The Company Man

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3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  459 ratings  ·  78 reviews
The year is 1919.
The McNaughton Corporation is the pinnacle of American industry. They built the guns that won the Great War before it even began. They built the airships that tie the world together. And, above all, they built Evesden-a shining metropolis, the best that the world has to offer.
But something is rotten at the heart of the city. Deep underground, a trolley c
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Paperback, 480 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Orbit (first published October 23rd 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,223)
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Chris Matney
I'm not sure who gave me this book, but the premise seemed intriguing. A mystery that promises a bit of steampunk atmosphere set in an alternate America of 1919 where the McNaughton Corporation has become so powerful as almost be their own nation.

Without giving away the plot, what I liked about the book were the characters - Hayes, Gavey and Samantha. They were interesting, quirky and unpredictable. While the dialog was weak in points, the development of the primary relationships and the seconda
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Julie
I've been talking about this book a lot, because the premise is so utterly up my alley and I pretty much stan RJB's concepts. So, in a nutshell: In an alternate-universe dieselpunk 1919, a staggeringly powerful corporation named McNoughton has achieved prominence due to their world-changing inventions. They send their 'company man' -- Cyril Hayes, special agent, investigator, problem-solver, fixer, and psychic empath -- to investigate a slew of union murders, lest the company/union tensions bubb ...more
Blood Rose Books
Robert Jackson Bennett, takes us to a 1920s world, where the one company controls everything, and the thoughts of a workers turn unionization to help protect their rights but this company will to anything to make sure this does not happen.

It is nearing the end of 1919, the world is controlled by the ever present McNaughton company. McNaughton is responsible for every big and desirable invention that has happened in the last 25 or more years, but at what cost? They have created the beautiful city
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Mark
Here’s a pleasant surprise: a detective style film noir, set in the late 1910’s but in an alternate world. A world of gangsters and the Union, in the fictional American city of Evesden, with worn-down detectives and corrupt business. And airships!

In this post-Great War world we have gruff detective Donald Garvey and his slim blonde colleague, Cyril Hayes, who works for The McNaughton Corporation, the Microsoft of its age. Hayes is a washed out alcoholic who deals with the Corporation’s dirty bus
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Jaime Moyer
I wanted to read this book because it covers the same time period I'm writing in, and I wanted to see what the author had done with it. It didn't take long for me to realize that the world Robert Bennett is writing about bears little resemblance to the America of 1919 that I know.

And having read this entire book, I still don't know what to think about it. There were so many cool things that I liked, so many little twists and turns. The world felt right, cohesive, and the characters fit well with
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Jeremy Hurd
This book vaguely floats through a number of genres--is it a mystery? noire? steampunk? sci-fi?--without fully committing to one, which makes for a spastic storyline that cannot stay in place long enough to engage me in the storyline. The charcacters are pretty one dimensional, as is the fictional mega-city of Evesden, Washington. The ending was the worst kind of cop out, resorting to unsatisfying cliche, and of course, an opening for a sequel. I won't read it, because I'm not entirely certain w ...more
Sarah
The Company Man is a solid book set in an amazingly vivid world with a complex, thought provoking plot and it’s yet another book by Bennett that refuses to fit into any one genre labeled box. Bennett is an author to watch.

Read my full review here:

http://www.bookwormblues.net/2012/06/...
Paul
The Company Man is a science fiction, fantasy, noir piece set in an alternate 1919/1920's America. It is another fantastic genre bender from Robert Jackson Bennett. Bennett isn't repeating himself here. While every bit as well written and engrossing as Bennett's first novel (Mr Shivers), The Company Man is set in its own fully realized and grounded world, giving it a completely different feel and flow. Really good stuff.
Duncan
An interesting tale about three characters caught up in an alternate history in America around ww1. There is a company which has mysterious technology way ahead of it's (historical) time and a metropolis has sprung up around the company's base of operations.
The main character is a somewhat sleazy world weary "company man" who is a problem solver.
Secondary to him are his assistant an naive young girl and a jaded but fundementally honest police officer.
The book's main weakness in my opinion is it'
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Amelia
The Company Man: Steampunk-y, Sci-Fi-y, Crime Noir-y, Goodness!
A Review By: Amelia

Interested in more book reviews? Check out my blog Bookworms Unite! (http://bookwormsunitebookreviews.blog...)

I love steampunk. I just love it. It’s a great world/style to muck about in! It takes the best parts of Victorian society and adds technological advances that might have happened and that’s super fascinating for me because I love alternate histories! The Company Man isn’t quite steampunk, but it is just en
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Cindy Crawford
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Charles Dee Mitchell
Publisher's Weekly described Bennett's fist novel, Mr. Shivers, as a cross between John Steinbeck and Stephen King. It won the Shirley Jackson award, and so the King elements must have won out for panel of experts. This new novel, The Company Man has been nominated for the 2011 Philip k> Dick award, but it has the same uneasy relation to genre as its predecessor.

Mr. Shivers was an engaging tale set in the Great Depression and among the hobo jungles and squalid, half-dead towns of the period.
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Rusty
Cyril Hayes is just one man who works for McNaughton but he's an alcoholic and addicted to drugs. His drug of choice is opium which he uses to drown out the impressions and thoughts that invade his mind. Yes, Hayes is unique among men. His mind can hear the thoughts of others who are close to him and the longer he is close to anyone the more he knows about them. It's driving him crazy but that talent is why McNaughton recruited him. His only friend and confidante is Garvey, a policeman with idea ...more
David Rush
Until I was invited to an author reading at the local Barnes and Noble, I had never heard of Robert Jackson Bennett. I checked him out online and what I found piqued my interest enough to read one of his novels before the event.

I got the invitation on Sunday and the reading was on Wednesday so in the interest of time I bought a kindle edition of The Company Man on Sunday. I am not sure why I picked that one over the other 2 or 3 I saw, but it worked out well as I had a good time reading the boo
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Wayne McCoy
Set in an alternate world where mysterious technology has made the wilderness of Puget Sound the center of the world, The Company Man is a wonderful noir tale.

The strange city of Evesden, Washington glitters with marvels, but underneath it's surface, all is not right. When an unknown man is pulled from the waters near the city, the police are baffled. One of them has a connection with a man working for the McNaughton Corporation. Since the victim appears to be a union man, the police look to hi
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Shelley aka Gizmo's Reviews
The Company Man is a steampunk novel with alternate history and science fiction overtures. This makes for a very interesting setting. The book itself is set in Evesden, Washington in the early 20th (1919). Amazing new advancements have come courtesy of the McNaughton Corporation, and have ushered America onto the world stage, as well as making Evesden a hub for businesses and spite from others around the globe.

There are basically three main characters that the author interweaves the story among
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Gaby
Dec 29, 2012 Gaby rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Gaby by: the book smuglers
Mmmm, bueno, para empezar, el darle una puntuación a este libro me es muy difícil porque ni siquiera estoy segura de a qué género pertenece. El libro comienza casi como una crónica policial, rodeada de crímenes extraños y mucho misterio. A medida que la historia avanza, el protagonista principal comienza a mostrar nuevas facetas, llevando a la historia más hacia un contexto fantástico (lo cual me gustó mucho hasta ese momento, porque la trama tenía el potencial para llegar a ser muy buena).
Los
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Molybdenum
The interesting thing about Robert Jackson Bennett is that even though he starts in such different places for all his books, he always seems to end up in the same place. There's a big grandiose ending that redefines the shape of the world his characters live in, with the purpose of trying to solve some deep problem that the world has.

In this book, Bennett is tackling addictions and self-destruction. It comes up many times throughout the book in many different places, but the only time I recall t
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Tony
I have to admit, this book's gumshoe pulp fiction-style cover art caught my attention immediately. And once I skimmed the jacket copy and realized that it had a science-fiction element to it, I was hooked. The story takes place in 1919, in a world where a single company based on the coast of Washington State has developed leading technology in every field important to mankind. From airships to advanced weaponry to wireless transmitters, the McNaughton Corporation is powerful enough to direct the ...more
This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For
Company man is a tricky book to categorize. It's an alternate history mystery with some steampunk elements (although I personally wouldn't call it steampunk) and science fiction overtones.

The story takes place in a northwestern coastal city of the US in 1919/1920; this city does not exist in the real world but is the center of technology and innovation in this alternate world and is essentially run by *the* technological giant of the planet. The story is focused on a security employee for The Co
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Banshuwa
If Philip K Dick had written Metropolois for Fritz Lang, it would be a lot like this book! He writes with an eye to classic writers while giving a wicked twist. All his books have that feel - Imagine John Steinbeck writing about the grim reaper, or HP Lovecraft meeting 1970's suburbia and you see some of his other works.
Rachel
I usually really enjoy Robert Jackson Bennett, but I found this book to be somewhat lacking. It became a chore to read, and didn't find myself actually desiring to read it until about 30 pages until the end. I am not sure what it was exactly, but I do know I never really got into the characters. The premise was interesting - just as whole the book didn't appeal to me much.
Michael Berg
Very engaging and fun - as usual, RJB creates a compelling world for you to dig into. It's not as powerful a narrative as either Mr. Shivers or American Elsewhere, and the ending is a little bit unsatisfying, but overall this is a great read.
arjuna
Thoroughly enjoyable - well put together, vividly written, interesting characters. Similar in some ways to the books of George Mann (particularly the period aspect/indie female assistant unfazed by Strange Male Maverick etc) but that's largely superficial (and I found Bennett's writing more to my liking, on the whole). Great premise (there's a lot to live up to) and it actually manages to carry it off to the bitter end, marvellously credibly. I really, really like the main characters, and would ...more
Melber

Evesden in the 1920's appears to be a thriving city built on the blood and sweat of the McNaughton Corporation. For years, McNaughton's mysterious innovations has driven the city's political, social and economic structures. But the corporation comes under scrutiny when Hayes, with his powers to read the people around him, works with an Evesden police office and a McNaughton Company employee to discover who is behind a string of union murders. The answer is found in machinery that stretches conve
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Staticblaq
I'm sure I already reviewed this book as I read it about 2 years ago? Wish I could remember what I wrote...
I loved the slow burn of it. My kind of book. It was on the strength of this novel that I read American Elsewhere.
David
An excellent premise and fairly interesting plotting were unable to carry the author's plodding characterization. The same thing happened in Jackson's "American Elsewhere". Some may appreciate this book more than I, but I had a very difficult time finishing the last 20 pages or so.
Norman Lee Madsen
Solid, enjoyable and well written, if perhaps too leisurely paced, mix of Noir Crime Fiction and Alternate Universe SF. The characters are interesting and well rounded, although the author is occasionally curiously flat in his conveying of their responses to the traumatic events taking place around and to them.

The Noir atmosphere and setting was successfully maintained throughout and was nicely balanced with the SF elements. The ending of the story come across as (just) a little too contrived -
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Chris
3.5 star book. I picked this book up off the table in the bookstore when the title and cover caught my attention. The back cover gave a nice summary and so I got it. I found Bennett to be a good writer and the story to be very entertaining and the world he painted in 1919 was realistic with enough of a twist on reality to keep my attention. I enjoyed the main characters, their interaction, development and evolution throughout the book. Was torn between a 3.5 and 4 stars for this one but went wit ...more
Eric Schwartz
LA Noir meets Sci-fi. In the hands of RJB this a winning combination. I highly recommend this book to anyone.

Well...go on.

Go read it now. Yes, now!!! you won't regret it.
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Robert Jackson Bennett is a two-time award winner of the Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel, an Edgar Award winner for Best Paperback Original, and is also the 2010 recipient of the Sydney J Bounds Award for Best Newcomer, and a Philip K Dick Award Citation of Excellence. His fifth novel, City of Stairs, is in stores now.

He lives in Austin with his wife and son. He can be found on Twitter at @ro
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More about Robert Jackson Bennett...
City of Stairs (The Divine Cities, #1) American Elsewhere Mr. Shivers The Troupe City of Blades  (The Divine Cities, #2)

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