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In the Company of Ogres

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  4,668 ratings  ·  254 reviews
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 whose leaders tend to die under somewhat questionable circumstances. That's
Mass Market Paperback, 326 pages
Published April 3rd 2007 by Tom Doherty Associates (first published 2006)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  4,668 ratings  ·  254 reviews

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ᴥ Irena ᴥ
In the shortest way possible: if you like Discworld craziness, but a bit bloodier and occasionally more disgusting, then you won't be disappointed with In the Company of Ogres. I could have gone without the disgusting part, but even that plays a role in this story.

The protagonist of In the Company of Ogres is so unremarkable and incompetent that you end up rooting for him anyway. Until you find out why it's really, really, important for him to stay alive. Then you like him even more.
The company
Michael 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
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful return to A. Lee Martinez for me. IN THE COMPANY OF OGRES is my second favorite Martinez book, right behind Divine Intervention. This a a fantastic fantasy thriller that is prime for the big screen. How has Hollywood overlooked this for so long?

This is told in Martinez's signature "comic book with no picture" style of storytelling. Its a great fantasy featuring Orcs, goblins, wizards and demons with that added comical A. Lee Martinez flair. And thenbthere is Never Dead Ned, one of
The Flooze
Feb 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Sep 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Destiny was a hope found in the hearts of desperate men.

The story pales in comparison to Douglas Adams' stuff, but only pales a little (like a few drops of milk in your tea) compared to - say - Terry Pratchett's stuff.

"Ogres" is quite readable...enjoyable even, but if I were you...and you were a Martinez newbie...I'd suggest starting with Gil's All Fright Diner instead. I liked the characters in this story. Never Dead Ned (it should be "Mostly Never Dead Ned") was a bit frustrating because of
Brad Carter
Mar 12, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Jun 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Steph Hayward-bailey
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. A brilliant fantasy novel. All the characters are funny and well developed and the story is brilliant and engaging. If you love Pratchett I'd give this a go. Will definitely be reading more by this author.
Feb 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Hilarious book. Hysterical. I kept laughing out loud. It was very light hearted.

Here's a quote: "Gabel the orc slammed his mug against the table. "I tell you, it's racism. That's what it is."
Regina slammed her own mug twice as hard because Amazons made it a policy to do everything twice as well as any male. "The Legion has nothing against orcs. Hell, it's built on them."
Gabel remained adamant...
Frank the ogre slammed his mug as well because it seemed the thing to do." p 16 paperback copy.

May 29, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: adventure, fantasy
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
Rpaul Tho
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What can I say. I've read almost all of A. Lee Martinez' books and they just sit so well with me. His writing style is funny and unique. This is one of his earlier books but it took me a while to track it down. I only have two more of his books left and then I'm not sure what I'll do! Highly recommend this read.
Wart Hill
May 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
that was fun
Nov 06, 2019 rated it liked it
These kinds of books are like candy bars. They’re awesome and you love it while you’re reading them, and for a little while afterwards, and then it wears off. And you go back about your business.
Feb 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Jan 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, humour, ebook
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
Mar 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
J. Boo
Jul 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Never-Dead Ned earned his nickname by coming back to life each time he died, which has been rather often. Now he's been transferred from his mercenary company's accountancy department to command of a ragged band of misfits. Highly gifted misfits. (Really, what did you expect?)

This is the sixth or seventh of Martinez's books I've read: he's able to produce a lot of clever ideas but his ability to turn them into a story isn't commensurate - he's moderately amusing but both his plotting and writing
Jun 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
LOL funny, wacky and entertaining in a Christopher Moore-like way.

Never Dead Ned can die all right ... but he can't STAY dead. He's immortal.

Kind-hearted but hapless Ned finds himself assigned as Commander of Ogre Company, the legion's dumping ground for underachieving trolls, goblins, sirens, oracles, rocs, and other assorted creatures. Can Ned whip this motley group into a lean, mean fighting machine?

If you like C. Moore, Carl Hiaasen, I also highly recommend Martinez's "Gil's All Fright
Mar 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Jul 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
I love Martinez! There is something so fantastically charming about all of his work. Its humorous, tongue in cheek, ridicule that celebrates fantasy and all of its charms. I know that makes little sense, but somehow he pulls it off. I can never be blue when I'm reading his stories - something about them just puts a Mona Lisa smile on my face! Highly recommended
Nov 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Another winner if you like humour with your fantasy.
Nov 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book was an absolute blast!! The humor is great the characters are very lovable. As long as you are not looking for a serious Fantasy themed book- this is a great pick.
Another great book by Martinez. I found this one a little less funnier than Gil's Diner but still a great story.
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found this at the thrift store. I find most of the books I read anymore at a thrift store as I collect books in a rather squirrel collecting nuts-ish fashion. I liked it. It wasn't a masterpiece or trying too hard or anything but a thoroughly fun bit of writing. I had fun reading this. Never Dead Ned became rather endearing, after a while. I did have more fun with other characters, such as Regina or the siren, Mariam. I thought it moved along at a good gallop. The demon king passages were ...more
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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.
“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.” 18 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.” 12 likes
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