Synopses & Reviews
A bitingly funny take on corporate life by the author of acclaimed bestseller Jennifer Government
At Zephyr Holdings, no one has ever seen the CEO. The beautiful receptionist is paid twice as much as anybody else, but does no work. One of the sales reps uses relationship books as sales manuals, and another is on the warpath because somebody stole his donut.
In other words, it's an ordinary big company. Or at least, that's what everyone thinks. Until fresh-faced employee Jones too new to understand that you just don't ask some questions at Zephyr starts investigating.
Soon Jones uncovers the company's secret: the answer to everything, what Zephyr Holdings really does, and why every manager has a copy of the Omega Management System. It plunges him into a maelstrom of love, loyalty, management, and corporate immorality and whether he can get out again, now that's a good question.
"[S]mart and fast paced. The characters aren't fully people...and the necessary cynicism underlying the book may turn off some readers. Their loss." New York Times
"Barry writes in the present tense, which in less adept hands would come across as affectation. Instead it's like reading one of those management texts that allegedly reveals how the business world really works, but with the gloves off." Los Angeles Times
"[A]n extremely funny, superbly observed take on organizational life....Barry has been inside. You can smell it in his prose, which is equally adept at capturing the vacuity of a corporate mission statement or the back-and-forth of neurotic middle-management weasels crunched in the vice of mandated staff cuts....Company
is laugh-out-loud funny, its humor driven by all the pleasure that a true shock of recognition can bring." Stanley Bing, The Washington Post Book World
(read the entire Washington Post Book World review
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 originally wanted to climb the corporate ladder, he now finds himself descending deeper into the irrational rationality of company policy. What he finds is hilarious, shocking, and utterly telling.
With broad strokes, Barry satirizes corporate America in his third caustic novel, taking aim at corporations that turn people into cogs in a machine.
About the Author
Max Barry spent the best years of his life in the bowels of Hewlett-Packard, conducting secret research for this book. This is his third novel, following the cult hit Syrup and the bestselling Jennifer Government, which was chosen as a New York Times Notable Book. He was born on March 18, 1973, and lives in Melbourne, Australia. He writes full-time, but enforces a strict dress policy, requires that his desk be kept tidy at all times, and asks that he limit personal calls to less than two minutes.