Max Barry

After the dystopic near-future of Jennifer Government, Max Barry takes on the corporate world with this book. The story starts well, but after a while it starts look like it’s going to be a very, very long Dilbert strip without the drawings. Then, on page 101 (of the US hardback edition, at least) (and, by the way, where’s the Australian edition of this book? the author lives in Melbourne and we have to import his books!), everything changes, and the book is great after that.

I won’t spoil the surprise here. The book follows the story of Stephen Jones, a recent graduate who is hired as a sales assistant in a large Seattle-based dysfunctional corporation. His immediate boss, sales rep Roger, is obsessed with donuts — or, in particular, with an event in which a donut went missing. The rest of the company is almost a stereotypical large corporation, except for some weird details, such as the receptionist who drives an expensive sports car and is never at her desk, or the CEO that nobody seems to have ever seen.

It is a good story, with a few laugh-out-loud moments and a great twist in the middle. The ending is a bit weak, I’ll admit, but that is not really a problem. I vote on Max Barry as the new Scott Adams.

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