A disarmingly funny examination of a certain kind if MBA worldview, done through the eyes of a business novel. Max Barry takes the logical ideas of drive down costs and drive up profits to their logical extremes, while providing you with believable, real characters that you feel for. The ideas are analyzed in the best possible way - with a believable story that cranks the ideas to 11 and plays them out, complete with consequences.
Tragic hilarity or hilarious tragedy, take your pick. At one point I was unable to suspend my disbelief, it was just too unreal, which is why I give this four stars instead of five. Still, if you've seen companies look only at the numbers and destroy themselves through outsourcing and cost cutting - you'll appreciate this book. If you haven't, well, read it. It's funny and can help you avoid a kind of corporate sickness that is too common in the developed world, particularly the USA right now.
I loved "Lexicon" so I thought I would give this book a try even though most of the reviews were bad. I wish I hadn't, I was very unimpressed and spent most of the book wishing the book was over. While their were some surprising moments, overall I was very bored and thought most of the characters were pretty annoying. There were so many times where I thought a character would be developed to play an interesting part to the story and they would just disappear. The main character had tons of inconsistencies in personality and at the end I had trouble seeing the point of everything I read.
Max Barry may be contemporary fiction's hippest satirist; a creative genius whose rapier insight slices through the veneer of corporate culture exposing the disturbingly obvious. "Company" reads like a novel that was difficult to write - a novel that Barry, torn between black humor, a management manual, or Dave Barry-like parody, tries to balance all three in a single book. And for the most part, succeeds.
"Jones" is a freshly minted b-school grad landing a sales assistant job at Seattle's Zephyr Holdings, a corporate monolith so stereotypical that employees not only wonder which cog they are in the bureaucratic machinery, but have no idea exactly what Zephyr does. The idealistic Jones, against the admonition of his fellow workers, makes it his mission to find out answers beyond "it's always been that way." Initially, Barry riffs of management incompetence and workplace high jinks is so over the top that Barry's normally keen satire seems simply silly: the CEO who no...
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