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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
Starred Review. In this wildly funny debut from former ad man Ferris, a group of copywriters and designers at a Chicago ad agency face layoffs at the end of the '90s boom. Indignation rises over the rightful owner of a particularly coveted chair ("We felt deceived"). Gonzo e-mailer Tom Mota quotes Walt Whitman and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the midst of his tirades, desperately trying to retain a shred of integrity at a job that requires a ruthless attention to what will make people buy things. Jealousy toward the aloof and "inscrutable" middle manager Joe Pope spins out of control. Copywriter Chris Yop secretly returns to the office after he's laid off to prove his worth. Rumors that supervisor Lynn Mason has breast cancer inspire blood lust, remorse, compassion. Ferris has the downward-spiraling office down cold, and his use of the narrative "we" brilliantly conveys the collective fear, pettiness, idiocy and also humanity of high-level office drones as anxiety rises to a fever pitch. Only once does Ferris shift from the first person plural (for an extended fugue on Lynn's realization that she may be ill), and the perspective feels natural throughout. At once delightfully freakish and entirely credible, Ferris's cast makes a real impression. (Mar.)
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This book doesn't really have a plot or even a focal protagonist, so it requires perseverance. I work in an office and related to the characters. It has a very satisfying ending.Published 10 days ago by JaneReader
This book was assigned as required reading for my English class, and I plan to burn it as soon as the essay is finished. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Bobbo90
Love this writer's style. His use of the collective narrator is great. His narrators (in this book and To Rise Again at a Decent Hour) are hilarious and terribly flawed.Published 3 months ago by dntnnyc
This is the funniest book but also so heartfelt! Such insight into every characters heart and soul I absolutely loved this bookPublished 3 months ago by Peggy Gail
Another workplace tragicomedy. The first-person plural voice is amazing, and gets at the hollowness so many of us feel at our jobs. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Fulano Mengano
Loved this book. It is a wonderful still life of millennial, corporate Americana, which sounds dull and cliché, but this representation hits the mark with a unique... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
***Possible spoilers below***
I work in a corporate environment similar to the one described in the book, so I was hopeful that this would be a fun satire on my... Read more