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Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris

Then We Came to the End

by Joshua Ferris

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Showing 1-5 of 201 (next | show all)
The first person plural works, and there are descriptions that encapsulate office life perfectly that you go, "Yes! This." My favorite character is Lynn because she's the most real. The rest are, and this is probably done on purpose, caricatures.

The part that stuck most with me was where Joe Pope denies that he is elitist. Maybe that's the reason this book didn't resonate strongly with me, even though I could relate to it at times: I feel like Joe Pope in that, I don't consider myself above, but I do try to hold myself apart from the rest of "them". So maybe that's why I didn't really feel like indulging in the small dramas that went on in this office (which pretty much make up the book), because I wouldn't do that in my own. So I acknowledge the workmanship behind the book, but I personally I didn't enjoy it very much. A little depressing, actually.

( )
  mrsrobin | Jun 24, 2017 |
I really, really did not like this book.
A bunch of people working in an office, that hardly care about work, but mostly keep themselves busy with gossip, jokes, who is dying and who'll be sacked first.
I kept reading, hoping that there would be a turn or a twist somewhere, but no.
Very glad I'm done! ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Mar 4, 2017 |
The Catch-22 of office literature. And by office literature, I mean literature about the office, not literature you read in an office, though it might pay to take a page from one of the characters in Ferris's fictional world, who photocopies novels and reads them at work as if they were important files. I love the narrative device of the first-person plural, which captures perfectly that sense we so often have of a communal work culture--the way rumors circulate yet have no origin, the way alliances are formed and perceptions about particular individuals determined collectively and capriciously. No one is ever responsible because everyone always is. I laughed out loud in a lot of places, but the novel is also a surprisingly poignant meditation about the trade-offs we make for work and the long-term consequences of those trade-offs. ( )
  jalbacutler | Jan 10, 2017 |
Good, thought-provoking, and entertaining. Interesting to note: it's written entirely in the first person plural. Not easy to do well. Ferris also has a new story in the August 2008 New Yorker, "The Dinner Party", that's absolutely devastating. I haven't read a short story this good in a long time. Ferris is definitely one to watch. ( )
1 vote evamat72 | Mar 31, 2016 |
Crisp clean writing with a humorous edge. Characters' speech and mannerisms got a little wearing after a short time and it's not much of a story. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 201 (next | show all)
It is a brave author who embeds the rationale for writing his novel into the novel itself. But 70 pages into Joshua Ferris’s first novel, set in a white-collar office, we meet Hank Neary, an advertising copywriter writing his first novel, set in a white-collar office. Ferris has the good sense to make Neary’s earnest project seem slightly ridiculous. Neary describes his book as “small and angry.” His co-workers tactfully suggest more appealing topics. He rejects them. “The fact that we spend most of our lives at work, that interests me,” he says. “A small, angry book about work,” his colleagues think. “There was a fun read on the beach.”

“Then We Came to the End,” it turns out, is neither small nor angry, but expansive, great-hearted and acidly funny. It is set at the turn of the current century, when the implosion of the dot-com economy is claiming collateral victims down the fluorescent-paneled halls of a Chicago advertising firm. Clients are fleeing, projects are drying up and management is chucking human ballast from the listing corporate balloon. The layoffs come piecemeal, without warning and — in keeping with good, brutal, heinie-covering legal practice — with no rationale as to why any person was let go. . . .
added by PLReader | editNY Times, JAMES PONIEWOZIK (Mar 18, 2007)

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joshua Ferrisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Abelsen , PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It is not the chief disgrace in the world, not to be a unit;–not to be reckoned one character;–not to yield that particular fruit which each man was created to bear, but to be reckoned in the gross, in the hundred, or the thousand, of the party, the section, to which we belong...
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
To Elizabeth
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We are fractious and overpaid. Our mornings lacked promise.
"These stupid enduring artifacts–a bar, a song–that stick around after the love has cast his heart into the sea, they are solace and agony both. She is drawn toward them for the promise of renewal, but the main experience is a deepening of the woe."
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Book description
This novel chronicles the decline of a Chicago ad office after the dot-com bust through the collective eyes of its workers.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 031601639X, Paperback)

Amazon Best of the Month Spotlight Title, April 2007: It's 2001. The dot-com bubble has burst and rolling layoffs have hit an unnamed Chicago advertising firm sending employees into an escalating siege mentality as their numbers dwindle. As a parade of employees depart, bankers boxes filled with their personal effects, those left behind raid their fallen comrades' offices, sifting through the detritus for the errant desk lamp or Aeron chair. Written with confidence in the tricky-to-pull-off first-person plural, the collective fishbowl perspective of the "we" voice nails the dynamics of cubicle culture--the deadlines, the gossip, the elaborate pranks to break the boredom, the joy of discovering free food in the breakroom. Arch, achingly funny, and surprisingly heartfelt, it's a view of how your work becomes a symbiotic part of your life. A dysfunctional family of misfits forced together and fondly remembered as it falls apart. Praised as "the Catch-22 of the business world" and "The Office meets Kafka," I'm happy to report that Joshua Ferris's brilliant debut lives up to every ounce of pre-publication hype and instantly became one of my favorite books of the year. --Brad Thomas Parsons

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:49 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

The remaining employees at an office affected by a business downturn spend their time enjoying secret romances, elaborate pranks, and frequent coffee breaks, while trying to make sense of their only remaining "work," a mysterious pro-bono ad campaign.… (more)

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