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In the Company of Ogres
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In the Company of Ogres

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  2,730 ratings  ·  164 reviews
An uproarious new novel in the tradition of Robert Asprin and Terry Pratchett!

For someone who's immortal, Never Dead Ned manages to die with alarming frequency--he just has the annoying habit of rising from the grave. But this soldier might be better dead than face his latest assignment.

Ogre Company is the legion's dumping ground--a motley, undisciplined group of monsters
Paperback, 326 pages
Published April 3rd 2007 by Tor Books (first published 2006)
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Jun 19, 2009 Terri rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009
I know I said that Martinez' first book, Gil's All Fright Diner, was hilarious ... but In the Company of Ogres is about four times funnier. Oh, and if you are a Terry Pratchett fan this one has even more similarities.

In the Company of Ogres is another comedy of the supernatural featuring a goblin who insists he's an orc, ogres who like to play a game called goblin crush, "a walking tree with a chip on its shoulder" (from the back cover), a feminist Amazon, a daredevil goblin pilot named Ace, and
The Flooze
Mar 26, 2009 The Flooze rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pratchett lovers
Occasionally Dead Ned doesn't have quite the right ring to it, but Never Dead Ned sounds just fine.

In the Company of Ogres is funny and inventive, with a horde of strange and amusing characters. My particular favorites are Ace the goblin (who at the ripe old age of three must know something about survival), Owens the oracle (whose gift prompts very Mrs.-Cake-like conversations), Lewis and Martin (ogre Siamese twins who could kill someone with politeness), and Ned himself (who is terribly oblivi
Darth Fierce
"In The Company Of Ogres" is the most fun I've had reading a fantasy book with humor in many years. I grew up reading Piers Anthony's "Xanth" books, Terry Pratchett's "Discworld" series, and Mary Gentle's one-shot with "Grunts" and have always kept an eye out for upcoming fantasy humorists to win me over. Not many have and not many have come along since then. A. Lee Martinez is a born storyteller and I've read often how he has been compared to Pratchett and Anthony, though I don't agree, really. ...more
Never Dead Ned has died more times than he can count however he never stays dead. He hates going through these experiences so much that he does his utmost to avoid the process. As this story opens, Ned has found as safe a position as possible for a military man; he is the accountant for Brute's Legion. Unfortunately he has done such a good job for the last twelve years that the upper management decides give him a promotion. He is transferred to command Ogre Company. The legion's long time dumpin ...more
Never Dead Ned has died dozens of times yet each time gets resurrected. He's not very good at staying alive for long. Then Ned gets assigned to be the next commander of Ogre Company, the place where the Legion's rejects get assigned and it's full of ogres, elves, goblins, sirens, humans, etc. The past several commanders of Ogre Company seemed to die mysterious (and sudden) deaths too. It doesn't look good for Ned. And then when he finally learns why he keeps getting resurrected, he's got a real ...more
A. Lee Martinez is a creative and imaginative author and he proves it again by creating a cast of vibrant characters in this book. When I first began reading "In the Company of Ogres", I was delighted by the story. Never Dead Ned was initially an interesting character, and I was eager to learn more about his plight. However, he quickly became an unsympathetic character because he was a weakling. The story line and other characters continued to interest me especially the ogres, but then the plot ...more
This was another fun read in the (now) signature style of Martinez. I started reading his books in somewhat reverse order, so this second book of his is the 5th I've read.

I enjoyed the humour and 'ribaldry' explicit in the setup of a Siren and an Amazon fighting for goofy Never Dead Ned. The Red Sorceress seemed a little dry, but that may be my boredom at 'the great wizard' archetype in fantasy. The overplot, once revealed, seemed slightly out of scale with the Ogre Company's story, but I enjoy
Mar 13, 2009 Anita rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Terry Pratchett
Shelves: fantasy-funny
Third book I've read by this author, and again, I loved it. This one is almost diskworld-esque. Wry humor that was so much fun!

Never Dead Ned is a soldier always comes back to life after he dies, though that is is only skill as a soldier. He was such an aweful soldier, in fact, that he became a Legion accountant, but that blissfully safe lifestyle has just been shattered by a promotion to commander of the Ogre Company, the worst company in the legion. There, Ned is the unwilling commander of or
The story centers around Never Dead Ned who is great at dying, he’s just really bad at staying that way. A private soldier working as one of the company’s bookkeepers, he is transferred to The Ogre Company as its new commander. Ned, who lacks assertion and leadership ability, is put in charge of a ragtag brigade of orcs, ogres, goblins, elves, a siren, an Amazon, and a few others.

I really enjoyed this story and I think it was one of Martinez’s best. You see Ned’s struggle to not die, stay dead,
This is my favorite A. Lee Marinez book. This is why I keep buying them. Yeah, "Gil's All Fright Diner" is great but I really like fantasy, not just horror, so this is great because it's a look at the army of evil that will one day sweep over the land in the moments before they are called upon to do so, and it treats them as just normal guys.
The humor is great, the overall tone is great and the end is rather amazing. I've stated in a previous review that every Martinez book ends with either a mo
Mar 31, 2010 Lexi rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: comedy
Enjoying Martinez's debut, Gil's All Fright Diner, I was hoping to revisit the vampire and werewolf heroes from that novel. Instead, I fell madly for the bumbling immortal, Never Dead Ned, and his raucous, motley crew. Martinez reminds me of Douglas Adams and Christopher Moore--I don't know what genre they'd be in, but I want more like this! Even better than Gil's, this irreverent treatment of gory death reminds us all that every dull, simple, short, meaningless mortal life is worth cherishing. ...more
Ich habe schon länger keine humoristische Fantasy gelesen. Aufmerksam auf diese Buch wurde ich durch das Cover. Die alte Auflage mit dem anderen Cover wäre mir bestimmt nicht wirklich ins Auge gefallen. Die Geschichte war einfach zu lesen und nicht wirklich komplex. Die Charaktere waren allesamt sehr liebenswürdig und auf ihre ganz persönliche Art und Weise lustig. Besonders die Ogerzwillinge Lewis und Martin haben mir sehr gut gefallen. Die Handlungsstränge hatten eine angenehme Kürze und wurde ...more
If you have enjoyed Douglass Adams, you would likely find this enjoyable as well. Martinez plays on stereotypes of all sorts of fantasy creatures in a fun way. The language was much, much cleaner than "Gil's All Fright Diner," though this has sexual overtones--meaning I would be careful who I handed it to under the age of 14.
This is such a creative and hilarious book. A. Lee Martinez is a wonderful author and this and A Nameless Witch are incredibly fun books everyone should read.
I honestly didn't expect much from this book. I am not into goblins, ogres, and the sort. But I got to admit the way this book was done made me enjoy it.
Fun, but without the zing of "Monster" or "Gil's All Fright Diner." I would give it a 2.5. The writing is a little clunky compared to the other two books, but it is silly and fun enough to keep headaches at bay. As with all good comedy, there is depth to compliment the humor. I especially enjoyed a running bit on the competitive nature of dating. As one would expect with a lead named "Never Dead Ned," Martinez has some thoughts on mortality. (view spoiler) ...more
Another winner if you like humour with your fantasy.
Jim Corbiere
This one was okay. Not as good as Divine Misfortune and Monster. Entertaining but not as good.
Never Dead Ned has been transferred from book keeping to the head of Ogre company. A job he is totally not qualified for. Since Ogre company's commanders keep dying the higher ups feel that Ned, since he always come back after dying, is right for the job. He can't go more than a day without being killed and resurrected. But when he finally has a conversation with The Red Woman and realizes that he can'
So, this is my fourth Martinez book. Two I've liked considerably more than this one (Gil's All Fright Diner and Divine Misfortune) and one that I liked about the same (A Nameless Witch).

It was decent. There were some parts I loved ((view spoiler)) and other parts I thought were tedious ((view spoiler)), but I enjoyed it.

The problem with this book (and
Oct 24, 2014 Tina rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: non-prig fantasy readers
Not everyone will enjoy this book - a lot of people would hate it or find it "stupid". Me though, I got a major kick out of it because it's so damn funny and so much fun. Most fantasy novels that are humorous are fantasies first with comedy as a supplement, but this one has comedy at the forefront. And, like most forms of humour, this type is not for everyone. If you like hyperbole and surreal comedy (bizarre juxtapositions, absurd situations, nonsense logic) and playful pastiche, this novel wil ...more
Melissa Bennett
After reading Martinez's Gil's All Fright Diner I couldn't wait to read another one of his works. Unfortunately my book list is extensive so I had to wait. When I was in the mood for some comic relief I picked up this one. I would have to say that I enjoyed this one but not as much as the other one. I didn't find myself laughing out loud (like I did with the other book) and I had no problem with putting it down. It just seemed to drag on a bit and with nothing really exciting happening. Although ...more
Brad Carter
I've read other books by A. Lee Martinez that were better than this one. That said, it's not necessarily a bad place to start if you're not familiar with the author. He writes with a straight forward, transparent style that's very accessible, and his books are without exception entertaining.

In the Company of Ogres is a Terry Pratchett-esque fantasy in which genre conventions are trotted out for laughs, albeit lovingly rather than condescendingly. One never gets the sense that Martinez is spittin
I read this book at the recommendation of my sister, who has read every one of Martinez’s books. The novel follows the tribulations of “Never Dead Ned,” a man who begins the novel as an average guy with a desk job who is called upon to lead Ogre Company. This is a rag-tag company of ogres, goblins, seers, sirens, and all types of fantastical creatures. Their commanders have a talent for dying quickly. Luckily, Never Dead Ned can’t stay dead for long. Each time he dies (which he does frequently), ...more
In the Company of Ogres
A. Lee Martinez

Having read Gil's All Fright Diner, A. Lee Martinez is one author I have put onto my watch list, being a writer who can combine fantasy with a strange kind of humour that is quirky (polite way of saying quite honestly mad) and genuinely amusing is quite rare I have found.

It is refreshing to come across a 'hero' with a seriously fatal flaw, often referred to as Never Dead Ned, he has a serious problem with actually staying dead. Though looking at this from an
In the Company of Ogres is an entertaining and action-packed book, similar in style to Terry Pratchett's work. Although, this one has chapters, thank goodness! While reading In the Company of Ogres, I couldn't help being reminded of Orcs by Stan Nicholls, probably because, like Orcs, In the Company of Ogres is about an army of large, mythical (usually portrayed as evil) creatures. The similarities stop there, however, as Orcs is much darker and more dramatic and the main character of In the Comp ...more
Guillaume Jay
Jamais-Mort Ned ( la traduction perd l'allitération de l'anglais Never Dead Ned) peut mourir, mais il est systématiquement ramené à la vie, sans qu'on lui dise pourquoi. Il était content d'être comptable d'une grande compagnie de mercenaire ( même si le chef de service griffon mange les coupables d'erreur), quand il est transféré commandant de la compagnie des ogres, composée ... d'ogres, de gobelins, d'orcs et humains, d'une sirène, d'un ent (ah non, ils n'ont plus le droit de s'appeler ainsi, ...more
I was digging through my bookshelves, looking for something light, and I found this, which i dimly recalled picking up at some point and never getting into. I started reading it, and if it wasn't for this thing I have about never leaving a book unfinished once I've started it, that would've been as far as i made it-- the book description sounds interesting and (since it's what he's going for) Pratchett-esque, but the execution, the technical execution, the actual writing of the book itself as an ...more
Even better than Gil's All Fright Diner (A.L.M.'s first novel). Martinez has a wonderfully quirky sense of fun in his strange little novels. He deserves more recognition. He seems like an American Terry Pratchett with maybe a touch of Douglas Adams -- an intelligent, clever, and very amusing satirist of the world of fantasy and sci-fi novels. Read this, and you will never think of Ogres, Orcs, Sirens, or Goblins in quite the same way.
Robert Smith
What do you do if you're one of those people that life seems to dump on all the time? And at the same time you can't even successfully die? An interesting question that comes to an interesting conclusion in this "sort of" swords and sorcery novel. Good humor, likable characters, ending is a bit Deus ex Machina but enjoyable overall. Worthwhile for fans of dark humor, fantasy, Terry Pratchett…
Sebastian H
Hilarious fantasy is hard to find. My favorite author for a long time has been Sir Terry Pratchett, and while that is wont to stay the same, I can add another name to my personal list of authors who can make me laugh out and enjoy their well crafted worlds, characters and plots.

The only shame is that, unlike Sir Pratchett, A. Lee Martínez doesn't seem to indulge in writing continuing sagas for his characters. Because I'd really love to read more about Never Dead Ned and the Citadel. At least te
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A. Lee Martinez was born in El Paso, Texas. At the age of eighteen, for no apparent reason, he started writing novels. Thirteen short years (and a little over a dozen manuscripts) later, his first novel, Gil's All Fright Diner, was published. His hobbies include juggling, games of all sorts, and astral projecting. Also, he likes to sing along with the radio when he's in the car by himself.
More about A. Lee Martinez...
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“I believe it was the great ogre philosopher Gary who observed that complexity is, generally speaking, an illusion of conscious desire. All things exist in as simple a form as necessity dictates. When a thing is labeled 'complex,' that's just a roundabout way of saying you're not observant enough to understand it.” 11 likes
“Ned passed the next few minutes quietly not dying in his office, and was pleased with how well it was going. He'd stayed alive longer, but now that he was concentrating on it, it felt more like an accomplishment.” 10 likes
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