Jaime Moyer's Reviews > The Company Man

The Company Man by Robert Jackson Bennett
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's review
Apr 13, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: owned-books

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 within that world. The technology, while a step left of reality in some ways, also felt right. There was a whole lot to like about this book.

All of which leads me to realize that I think, mostly, about this book on a technical level, as in how well the author did what he set out to do. Bennett portrayed a bleak world where the haves are so far above the people dwelling in the Shanties--the workers--that they might as well not be on the same planet.

And that bleakness seeps into everything, colors relationships, friendships and how the characters ultimately view each other and their lives. People do what they have to do to survive, even if survival means staying numb or turning a blind eye to the misery surrounding you. It's a pretty hopeless place--unless you're part of the upper echelon of the Company.

In many ways it's a reflection of the world we live in today. That reflection of class distinctions, wealth and the power it brings, isn't very flattering. That it's done so well makes it even less so.

Yet Bennett ends this book on a note of hope and change. He deserves major kudos for pulling that off. That hope and change come at a cost, but nothing is free, not even in fiction.

It was a well written book that kept me engaged from start to finish. If I had one wish, I'd have wished for a bit more emotion from the characters, a bit more warmth. But people dwelling in a cold, unfeeling world can probably be forgiven for lacking warm fuzzies.

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Reading Progress

April 13, 2011 – Shelved
May 9, 2011 – Started Reading
May 10, 2011 –
May 10, 2011 –
May 19, 2011 –
0.0% "For some reason, Goodreads won't let me do pages read updates on this book. Crazy. Anyway, I'm 85 pages into this and its growing on me more and more. This is my take to work and read at lunch book right now, so progress is slow yet steady. More updates as I get further in."
May 23, 2011 –
June 9, 2011 –
75.0% "I'm 320 pages into this book. I have no idea at this point how it will resolve. Also not sure exactly what I think of it. I will report back."
June 21, 2011 – Finished Reading
October 12, 2011 – Shelved as: owned-books

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