Max Barry Gives His Best "Dilbert-like" Impression of Office Life
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 … see full wiki
As I started reading this book I kept feeling that it was a long string of Dilbert-like situations. My copy came with the donut on the cover and the donut is very prevelent throughout the story as a whole fiasco is created at the beginning of the book when Roger (one of the Sales people) complains about a missing donut. This leads to an employee firing and the dismissal of the food services department. The donut may also symbolize the company as a whole. The more I read the book I kept thinking of Terry Gilliam's movie Brazil, where Robert DeNiro is kind of running things in the background or the Wizard of Oz where the wizard is just a plain man who hides behind a curtain.
The main protaginist is known mostly as Jones (his first name is Steven). Jones has a habit of asking a lot of questions even though all the employees tell him not to question anything. Little by little Jones gets to the bottom of what the company (Zepher) is really about. He has to decide if he wants to upset the balance or go along while being mesmerized by the mysterious "Eve."
This was a fun book on corporate philosophy and the treatment of the workers as individuals.