Company: Book Review

 Company is an office narrative, a take on life in the recent American conglomerate. The story depends on Stephen Jones, appointed by Zephyr Holdings, Inc. as a subordinate in the Training Sales division. When bright-eyed and newly prim and proper Stephen Jones comes to Zephyr Holdings just farther than production school, he finds something wrong. And it’s not only the misplaced donut, the hamster wheel approach of the workforce, or the reality that the receptionist is exclusively too elegant and overpaid to in reality be a receptionist. It’s that no one really familiar with what Zephyr executes.

Even to the workers, Zephyr must seem somewhat out of the usual. As someone mentions to Jones in the early hours that the thing is, there is copiousness about Zephyr that makes no logic.

The quantity of the stories in the elevator is in reverse arrangement. Human Resources establish to be an anonymous daunting pit — but that doesn’t count, because basically no one who stays there ever makes it back excluding to be ushered off the premises. Cutting curves, ingenious accounting, and consolidation appear to be the chief names of the present game. In fact, when Jones arrives there’s a scared attempt to talk consumers out of buying the training meetings they have set on — since victory is often considered in unusual ways at Zephyr.

The Marketing department is downscaling as much down as it gets — the reserves in expenses actually makes that meaningful — and it’s only when the outcomes of firing the whole Information Technology sector affect each person that maybe management understands that was not the perfect resolution. But administration at Zephyr doesn’t actually seem to be about resolutions. Economizing, cutback, consolidation, and severe situations are the daily events, and the company coils into more strange situations with time.

This is where the excitement in office-life should be revealed at its peaks. Cost-savings are only functional if they are authentic cost-savings, and much more often than not they aren’t here. Perhaps, the firm behemoth can take on a intelligence of its own, and often does not permit for reasonable cost-savings or performance — but Barry has disconnect himself from that path: the whole intention of the Zephyr exercise is to be a model of corporate success, and that still means the end product. There is no outcome in Company, and more or less no accounting, and that’s a big mess for the novel.

Barry’s stress is on the human face — which the business world is repeatedly blind and deaf to. Personnel are human, and he craves to explain that they deserve to be handled with deference and looked upon, while Zephyr — agent of corporate America – deems that the hitch with recruits, you see, is everything. Regrettably, his cardboard qualities don’t have that much life in them either; in reality, Barry is considerably at his best when he treats them as office mechanisms, playing along in that cog, instead of as something approaching ‘human’.

Company is shockingly dry, with Barry powerless or unenthusiastic to truly participate in absurdist commercial fun with all its potential. His main character is much too gentle, and the human dealings … well, not exceptionally human. My only objection is that the plot line goes too far in embellishes some aspects of the main characters lives. This detracts from the sincere clarification of the ridiculous located in the rest of the book.


Barry Max, (January 17, 2006), Company: A Novel, Doubleday, ISBN: 0385514395, 352 pages