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About the Author

Max Barry began removing parts at an early age. In 1999, he successfully excised a steady job at tech giant HP in order to upgrade to the more compatible alternative of manufacturing fiction. While producing three novels, he developed the online nation simulation game NationStates, as well as contributing to various open source software projects and developing religious views on operating systems. He did not leave the house much. For Machine Man, Max wrote a website to deliver pages of fiction to readers via email and RSS. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, with his wife and two daughters, and is 38 years old. He uses vi.


Like Jennifer Government--the book that launched Barry onto the world stage--Company is a sardonic look at the corporate world. Unlike Barry's previous effort, it's not a story overlaid against the backdrop of capitalism gone mad. This time capitalism gone mad is front and centre and so has little of Jennifer Government's world-weary self-knowledge. When the big reveal comes barely a third into the story, it takes a little of the gloss off Barry's keen sense of the absurd, and you wonder where Company can go. But it's less a straight narrative than a soliloquy to life under the yoke of big business, depicting a fictitious corporation where taking a colleague's doughnut can be a firing offence and cost-cutting is a religion. When nothing is what it seems in the endless and senseless edicts from on high, new employee Jones starts asking uncomfortable questions, plunging himself into a world of corporate espionage. Where Company shines is in Barry's eye for the inane strictures of corporate life. He perfectly captures the zeitgeist of management-speak and corporate rationale, and with digs at The System always popular and a big name book already out there, he'll have another hit. Drew Turney is a freelance journalist and regular BOOKSELLER+PUBLISHER contributor

With broad strokes, Barry once again satirizes corporate America in his third caustic novel (after Jennifer Government). This time, he takes aim at the perennial corporate crime of turning people into cogs in a machine. Recent b-school grad Stephen Jones, a fresh-faced new hire at a Seattle-based holding company called Zephyr, jumps on the fast track to success when he's immediately promoted from sales assistant to sales rep in Zephyr's training sales department. "Don't try to understand the company. Just go with it," a colleague advises when Jones is flummoxed to learn his team sells training packages to other internal Zephyr departments. But unlike his co-workers, he won't accept ignorance of his employer's business, and his unusual display of initiative catapults him into the ranks of senior management, where he discovers the "customer-free" company's true, sinister raison d'?tre. The ultracynical management team co-opts Jones with a six-figure salary and blackmail threats, but it's not long before he throws a wrench into the works. 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. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Adult/High School-By turns amusing and wry, this novel is a pleasure to read. It opens with a view of a large corporation as seen by a new employee whose first day on the job is one of high suspense-one of the doughnuts for a staff meeting is missing. Moving beyond the usual cheap but funny shots taken at corporate life, Barry takes his tale to the next level. What if this giant maze for laboratory rats in which so many people work was actually just that? The characters are stereotypes but readers will sympathize with them, nonetheless.-Ted Westervelt, Library of Congress, Washington, DC Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

"Laugh-out-loud funny. . . . Superbly observed." --The Washington Post"Hilarious. . . . Barry underscores his credentials as both satirist and saboteur. . . . Company is Mr. Barry's breakout book." --The New York Times"Establishes Barry as one of the keenest and shrewdest minds in corporate satire... utterly original... A-."--Entertainment Weekly"Biting, hilarious. . . . For anyone who considers corporate life insane." --People

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