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Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
16
4.1 out of 5 stars


TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 April 2016
I read a more recent book by the author some years ago, Lexicon, and really liked it. I thought this book looked like a good read. The premise of the ‘inside’ view of the modern workplace has been utilised to comic effect by other authors, to my recollection most notably in ‘e’ and ‘e2’ by Matt Beaumont.

In this book, we join Stephen Jones, as he starts his new role at Zephyr Holdings. He’s very keen to make a good impression, and really wants to fit into the corporate ethos and make his mark. His co-workers, Holly and Freddy seem very nice, and Jones, as he seems to be known as through the company, feels that this is going to be ‘the’ company to work for. Meanwhile Roger, Elizabeth and Wendell, the sales reps in the Training Sales Department where Jones works, are on the ball; selling, selling, selling. But who took Roger’s doughnut? Roger is determined to find out – no matter the cost – to anybody else, of course. Sydney Harper, the Training Sales Department Manager, keeps her door firmly closed, and her PA Megan watches the Training Sales Department staff from afar. But each and every one of these employees, and all the employees on all the other floors of the building, have their own hopes, and dreams, and fears. And it may be that Jones is about to find out what those are.

I liked this book; it was a witty, and satirical look at working for a faceless and anonymous company, where the employees feel they are on the treadmill, and small things like the loss of a doughnut become matters of political intrigue, backstabbing and general skullduggery. The loss of personal empowerment by the individual employees in such a workplace is, sadly all too real, but this book offers a rather funny and fresh look at it, and gives the reader an engaging read along the way. The narrative flows at a rapid pace, and Jones is a sympathetic character, who we really want to see succeed. Nicely written, and a rewarding light right.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 April 2016
I read a more recent book by the author some years ago, Lexicon, and really liked it. I thought this book looked like a good read. The premise of the ‘inside’ view of the modern workplace has been utilised to comic effect by other authors, to my recollection most notably in ‘e’ and ‘e2’ by Matt Beaumont.

In this book, we join Stephen Jones, as he starts his new role at Zephyr Holdings. He’s very keen to make a good impression, and really wants to fit into the corporate ethos and make his mark. His co-workers, Holly and Freddy seem very nice, and Jones, as he seems to be known as through the company, feels that this is going to be ‘the’ company to work for. Meanwhile Roger, Elizabeth and Wendell, the sales reps in the Training Sales Department where Jones works, are on the ball; selling, selling, selling. But who took Roger’s doughnut? Roger is determined to find out – no matter the cost – to anybody else, of course. Sydney Harper, the Training Sales Department Manager, keeps her door firmly closed, and her PA Megan watches the Training Sales Department staff from afar. But each and every one of these employees, and all the employees on all the other floors of the building, have their own hopes, and dreams, and fears. And it may be that Jones is about to find out what those are.

I liked this book; it was a witty, and satirical look at working for a faceless and anonymous company, where the employees feel they are on the treadmill, and small things like the loss of a doughnut become matters of political intrigue, backstabbing and general skullduggery. The loss of personal empowerment by the individual employees in such a workplace is, sadly all too real, but this book offers a rather funny and fresh look at it, and gives the reader an engaging read along the way. The narrative flows at a rapid pace, and Jones is a sympathetic character, who we really want to see succeed. Nicely written, and a rewarding light right.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 April 2016
I read a more recent book by the author some years ago, Lexicon, and really liked it. I thought this book looked like a good read. The premise of the ‘inside’ view of the modern workplace has been utilised to comic effect by other authors, to my recollection most notably in ‘e’ and ‘e2’ by Matt Beaumont.

In this book, we join Stephen Jones, as he starts his new role at Zephyr Holdings. He’s very keen to make a good impression, and really wants to fit into the corporate ethos and make his mark. His co-workers, Holly and Freddy seem very nice, and Jones, as he seems to be known as through the company, feels that this is going to be ‘the’ company to work for. Meanwhile Roger, Elizabeth and Wendell, the sales reps in the Training Sales Department where Jones works, are on the ball; selling, selling, selling. But who took Roger’s doughnut? Roger is determined to find out – no matter the cost – to anybody else, of course. Sydney Harper, the Training Sales Department Manager, keeps her door firmly closed, and her PA Megan watches the Training Sales Department staff from afar. But each and every one of these employees, and all the employees on all the other floors of the building, have their own hopes, and dreams, and fears. And it may be that Jones is about to find out what those are.

I liked this book; it was a witty, and satirical look at working for a faceless and anonymous company, where the employees feel they are on the treadmill, and small things like the loss of a doughnut become matters of political intrigue, backstabbing and general skullduggery. The loss of personal empowerment by the individual employees in such a workplace is, sadly all too real, but this book offers a rather funny and fresh look at it, and gives the reader an engaging read along the way. The narrative flows at a rapid pace, and Jones is a sympathetic character, who we really want to see succeed. Nicely written, and a rewarding light right.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 April 2016
I read a more recent book by the author some years ago, Lexicon, and really liked it. I thought this book looked like a good read. The premise of the ‘inside’ view of the modern workplace has been utilised to comic effect by other authors, to my recollection most notably in ‘e’ and ‘e2’ by Matt Beaumont.

In this book, we join Stephen Jones, as he starts his new role at Zephyr Holdings. He’s very keen to make a good impression, and really wants to fit into the corporate ethos and make his mark. His co-workers, Holly and Freddy seem very nice, and Jones, as he seems to be known as through the company, feels that this is going to be ‘the’ company to work for. Meanwhile Roger, Elizabeth and Wendell, the sales reps in the Training Sales Department where Jones works, are on the ball; selling, selling, selling. But who took Roger’s doughnut? Roger is determined to find out – no matter the cost – to anybody else, of course. Sydney Harper, the Training Sales Department Manager, keeps her door firmly closed, and her PA Megan watches the Training Sales Department staff from afar. But each and every one of these employees, and all the employees on all the other floors of the building, have their own hopes, and dreams, and fears. And it may be that Jones is about to find out what those are.

I liked this book; it was a witty, and satirical look at working for a faceless and anonymous company, where the employees feel they are on the treadmill, and small things like the loss of a doughnut become matters of political intrigue, backstabbing and general skullduggery. The loss of personal empowerment by the individual employees in such a workplace is, sadly all too real, but this book offers a rather funny and fresh look at it, and gives the reader an engaging read along the way. The narrative flows at a rapid pace, and Jones is a sympathetic character, who we really want to see succeed. Nicely written, and a rewarding light right.
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on 28 September 2005
Nestled among Seattle's skyscrapers, The Zephyr Holdings Building is a bleak rectangle topped by an orange-and-black logo that gives no hint of Zephyr's business. Lack of clarity, it turns out, is Zephyr's defining characteristic. The floors are numbered in reverse. No one has ever seen the CEO or glimpsed his office on the first (i.e., top) floor. Yet every day people clip on their ID tags, file into the building, sit at their desks, and hope that they're not about to be outsourced.
Stephen Jones, a young recruit with shoes so new they squeak, reports for his first day in the Training Sales Department and finds it gripped by a crisis involving the theft of a donut. In short order, the guilty party is identified and banished from the premises and Stephen is promoted from assistant to sales rep. He does his best to fit in with his fellow workers-among them a gorgeous receptionist who earns more than anyone else, and a sales rep who's so emotionally involved with her job that she uses relationship books as sales manuals-but Stephen is nagged by a feeling that the company is hiding something. Something that explains why when people are fired, they are never heard from again; why every manager has a copy of the Omega Management System; and most of all, why nobody in the company knows what it does.
Both of Max's last books kept me up reading into the wee early hours and I am hopping up and down in anticipation of his next General Smedley Butler'n adventure.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 10 April 2014
Company is another one of those novels about a dystopian company with fearsome bosses, mindless bureaucratic processes and subjugated staff. In this case, Zephyr is a company with an orange corporate colour, an office building with the floors numbered from top to bottom, and a senior management that nobody has ever seen. There are slogans, superstitions and arguments about missing doughnuts. There are protocols about who sits where, with training sales team on one side of the great partition (aka The Berlin Wall) and their assistants sat the other side. Enter stage left, a new employee, Jones, who imagines that it doesn't have to be this way. Even more dangerously, he tries to find the meaning behind Zephyr's mission statement.

It's a bit of a me-too novel. The great corporate conspiracy, the satire on office politics, the naked greed of corporate America - it has all been done before (e.g. Iain Banks, Scarlett Thomas, Rupert Thompson). But Company is a reasonable addition to the canon. Max Barry is a good story teller although his achilles heel is that he can't do endings. In this case, the ending is as chaotic as all his others but is mercifully short. His characters are unashamedly cartoony stereotypes and his plot is incredible (actually, probably impossible). But his ideas are interesting and conveyed with humour.

As holiday reading, Company was amiable ... er... company for a couple of days. But don't expect it to change your horizons.
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on 23 March 2010
A fantastic pseudo fantasy look at the world of corporate life with twists and turns and a plot so unbelievable it could almost be true.

The writing sparkles and shows the authors past as a clearly a very misanthropic colleague in a very apathetic company.

Looking for advice on how to be an effective manager, throw away the guides and just read this...
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on 19 February 2014
I originally added this to my wishlist after reading an article on Seth Godin's blog on some books he recommended to read.

I knew I would like the book from the minute the dedication page said the book was for Hewlett-Packard. As an ex HP employee who had to go through the Compaq merger and the dreaded Carly years, that had my attention straight away. The fact that the fictional company in this book mirrors not only HP, but other companies I've worked for like Oracle simply makes this book hilarious. It had a very sudden and abrupt ending which is the only reason I didn't mark it much higher. It reminded me of the movie "The Raid". That movie had a great start and middle, but the end came very quickly and was not as polished as the rest in my personal opinion.

Having said all of the above, if you work for a large company, this is a great book to buy, as well as e by Matt Beaumont.
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on 17 June 2011
If you've ever worked at any office job, then this is the book for you. I still think I'm in it.
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on 7 January 2014
From page two I was laughing. The book is well written and funny, it takes small office politics you find in the workplace and exaggerates them in an amusing way. I was gripped to the end, I couldn't put it down.
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