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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,845 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Max Barry Narrator: William Dufris Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781400172023
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “As bitter as break-room coffee, the novel eviscerates demeaning modern management techniques that treat workers as ‘headcounts.’ Though Barry’s primary target is corporate dehumanization, he’s at his funniest lampooning the suits that tread the stage, consumed by the sound and fury of office politics that signify nothing.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Meri | 2/17/2014

    " Pretty funny, but I think it took an unexpected turn towards the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 2/11/2014

    " There's nothing better than cubicle humor for those of us who work in office jobs. So many moments in this book made me smile. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Evan | 2/6/2014

    " I thought this succeeded for the same basic reason that Barry's previous novel, "Jennifer Government," failed: In "Government," he was so busy sketching a macro-world with broad strokes that he didn't have any creative energy left over for the actual characters, and so nearly all of them came off as wooden and unidimensional (none more so than the five stock villains with the same last name, as part of the book's central conceit). With "Company," by sticking closer to what he knows (he worked at HP for several years before turning to fiction) and focusing his energies on a micro-world, I thought he was able to give both the world and the people within it the attention and detail they deserved. Also, placing his micro-world more firmly in the nether area between fantasy and reality, rather than making it a full-on fictional dystopia, gave his frequent dips into Palahniuk-style "this is how the world works" rhetoric more weight. That sort of thing always walks a thin line between lofty wisdom and bombastic pedantry. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robin | 2/2/2014

    " I think this book is really funny, but it might be because I keep picturing the office from Archer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 1/27/2014

    " Pretty funny... makes you think you're not so crazy after all. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dixon | 1/27/2014

    " Another cult classic from Max Barry. This novel is for readers who love a huge twist they don't see coming - and then another one. And another... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott | 1/18/2014

    " Worth it just for the too-true glimpses of the absurdity of Corporate life. Sure, it tangents off into some amusing jabs at the Leadership Book industry, and the overt heartlessness of '"it's just business"-spouting DBs, but the brutally funny caracacatures of Senior Management, HR, and cubicle farms kept me glued. Can I give a 3.75? Sure I can. I can give a 3.81 if I want, and that's what I'm giving. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cara | 1/17/2014

    " Max Barry's social commentary is wickedly funny, and his characters are both endearing and somewhat repulsive because they manage to be both startlingly real and insanely exaggerated at the same time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Neil | 1/6/2014

    " Possibly the best of Max Barry - satirizes the corporate life with a splendid story "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megs | 1/3/2014

    " Delightful read for those who dwell in cubicles all day. All it takes is one missing donut to send these office workers into a tailspin. Quirky and funny through out. A quick, light and easy read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Head58 | 12/7/2013

    " If you thought Dilbert was too subtle and believed Office Space needed more paranoia-style absurdity, this book is for you. I'm holding off on final judgment until I finish it but wow is it asking me to swallow a lot so far... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pink | 11/22/2013

    " Great satire about working at large companies whose management don't quite make any sense. Fun book, but I'd recommend "Jennifer Government" above "Company". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 11/3/2013

    " Very funny take on the corporate office but the last part of the book made me very sad. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Very | 8/24/2013

    " Kind of boring until the twist, at which point it climbs up to "slightly amusing" by the skin of its teeth. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joy | 8/3/2013

    " I'm not in the mood for this book right now, so I'm going to move on to something more exciting in my library stack. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 1/14/2013

    " Awesome author to host (2007). I even made his blog. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 charlotte | 12/29/2012

    " The corporate satire continues! Not as good as Max Barry's earlier novels, but still entertaining, and a little unpredictable (in a good way). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nadeen | 9/7/2012

    " Half fun, half serious and half as original as Syrup. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brett | 9/3/2012

    " Max Barry is from Melbourne but is incredibly underappreciated and unknown in his own country. This is an extremely witty and astute skewering of the modern corporate world. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 gargravarr | 8/12/2012

    " Fantastic. Max Barry must have been lurking at my workplace. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rick Smeaton | 4/23/2012

    " It was an intresting easy read that pokes fun at corporate culture and pop management theories. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sean | 12/23/2011

    " Another gift from a publicist. A funny little satire of corporate life that would probably resonate more if funny little satires of corporate life weren't a dime a dozen these days. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carolyn | 12/10/2011

    " Didn't love it as much as Jennifer Gov't or Syrup, but I still think Max Barry is hysterical. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Belkis | 7/13/2011

    " I didn't really care for this book much. It was funny in the beginning but it relied on the same formula for laughs the whole way through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anastacia | 6/13/2011

    " So, so funny. I would read this over and over again. Absolutely hilarious satire. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin | 5/19/2011

    " Unnerving. Too much like my current company sometimes. But interesting to think of how people work. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tim | 3/15/2011

    " This book reminded me of the TV show "The Office" , which I don't find humorous. I did like the book and found it an interesting possibility. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tetiana | 2/26/2011

    " It was OK, nothing special though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carol | 1/28/2011

    " This book is absolutely hysterically funny - especially for anyone that has worked for a big corporation (still funny if you haven't). I didn't really guess the ending and even afterward- I still felt the idea was worth pondering over. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brad | 1/25/2011

    " I've read a few books by Max Barry. They are all pretty good. This one had some interesting twists and plot line. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 1/4/2011

    " My favorite Maxx Barry book! Read it- it's cool. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diannegowder | 12/29/2010

    " There is much truth in the satirical novel and anyone who has worked in a large corporation will certainly identify with much of it. I laughed out loud in many places, at other times it was a bit depressing.
    Overall I would recommend this book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tim | 12/29/2010

    " Good read for fans of MicroSerfs (Douglas Coupland) and similar. Very funny at times. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Susan | 9/20/2010

    " I read this while I was on bed rest during my pregnancy and my complete boredom is the only thing that kept me reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erik | 9/13/2010

    " Pretty interesting book, there is so much the book COULD do halfway through but the actual story seems phoned in. Fun quick read, but nothing especially good. Nick Sowden might like it. "

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About the Author
Author Max Barry

Max Barry is the author of SyrupJennifer GovernmentCompany, and Machine Man. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.

About the Narrator

William Dufris attended the University of Southern Maine in Portland-Gorham before pursuing a career in voice work in London and then the United States. He has won more than twenty AudioFile Earphones Awards, was voted one of the Best Voices at the End of the Century by AudioFile magazine, and won the prestigious Audie Award in 2012 for best nonfiction narration. He lives with his family in Maine.