Company: the Novel That Answers the Big Questions
What are the relative merits of sleeping with your boss versus someone at the same level? Which causes the more spectacular career implosion?
When is physical violence an appropriate response to management policy?
The Mission State...more
More lists with this book...
Anyone who has worked anywhere in the last 20 years will recognise, with some pain, stuff written here - the nightmares of quality improvement plans, the language mangling this is ‘mission statements’ and the feeling that work has become an experiment performed on us by our less than benevolent overlords – all of this ought to have made for a very funny book. You know, in the all-too-uncomfortable sense that we laugh and cry about the same things....more
There are stories — legends, really — of the “steady job.” Old-timers gather graduates around the flickering light of a computer monitor and tell stories of how the company used to be, back when a job was for life, not just for th...more
Narrated by: William Dufris
There have been various comments about this reader…either love him or hate him. I happily align with the former.
Since there are many other sources for a review of the book, I’ll comment only what makes this different, the reader. With so many characters in the story, I found different voices the reader used for each helpful and delightful in the reading of this very clever story.
I rate William Dufris...more
I didn't mind that the events and management strategies described in the novel were so over-the-top - that kind of writing can work very well in satire (see Neal Stephenson's The Big U as an example - indeed, I expected Company to be very much like The Big U, but of c...more
The context of Company should be instantly recognisable to virtually anyone who’s ever, well, been employed. Barry’s insider research was apparently conducted whilst working at global computer c...more
If the premise sounds absurd, you’re right. But just like the corporate world, a single dougnut brings about the decline and fall of a company. It serves as a catalyst for the absurdity that can be and is corporate life.
What Jennifer Government did for the advertising industry, Company does for corporate life. But where Company trumps Jennifer is that the story follows a single protagonist in th...more
One of the many problems with humorous satires (oh there are many, the number one problem being tied between them not being very astute and not being funny) is that once the premise (joke, social observation) is set up then the author has to make a book out of it. Like just about every movie made that is based on a Saturday Night Live skit, there is painful a realization, which comes about...more
Company is funny, rela...more
This is the story of a strange Company in which nobody really knows what the company does and everyone’s job sort of folds back into the company. The sales reps sell training packages to the rest of the departments. Infrastructure management charges everyone for management in the building, charging departments f...more
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 fo...more
What did I like?
I like that the company turn out to be an experiment. Even though it's to the extreme I have worked places where people are too afraid to speak. Managers who don't do anything. Managers who don't even know how to do the job of the people they are managing....more
Barry, an Australian writer, cut his teeth at Hewlett-Packard, and he's never been the same since. As Entertainment Weekly points out, his third novel owes a debt to The Office, The Truman Show, Animal Farm, and The Fountainhead, among others. Yet Company is truly Barry's own absurd satire on office politics__HR and outsourcing and all. Critics overlooked some of the flimsier premises, such as repeated discussion about the missing donut, because they found the novel so terrifyingly real. Its gen...more
From the jacket blurb: Stephen Jones is a shiny new hire at Zephyr Holdings. From the outside, Zephyr is just another bland corporate monolith, but behind its glass doors business is far from usual: the beautiful receptionist is paid twice as much as anybody else to do nothing, the sales reps use self help books as manuals, no one has seen the CEO, no one knows exactly what they are selling, and missing donuts are the cause of office intrigue. While Jones orig...more
Interesting look at Corporate America as seen through the eyes of a Sci Fi writer and former Hewlitt Packard employee. Identifying with my own corporate career, I found this book scathing, poignant and hilarious. I can't wait to t...more
It took me quite a while to figure out why. It's interesting, it's well written, and the premise is great. But...
I think, in the end, it felt somewhat claustrophobic (which may have been the...more
The story is about Jones, a new employee at Zephr Holdings who cannot work out exactly what the company does other than the deals and interactions between of the various departments. The question is what Zephr really does and Jones go...more
Part of me frankly wondered if I in fact actually do have a real job. Reorganizations are par for the course as are unexplained and bizarre mandates for no apparent rational reason (in the book, as at my job). Management is removed and out of touch with the peons...
Is this what people with "real jobs" experience?
Portions of the book a...more
This book was like Dilbert in the form of a novel. There is some pretty strong mockery of common co...more
Listen to Co...more
I’ve recently landed a graduate position at a rather large company myself, and figured that this was as good a time as any to finally get around to reading ‘Company’, after having vowed to do so years ago once I...more