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Showing 1-10 of 128 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 409 reviews
on July 9, 2017
This is not primarily a work of humor -- although, as other readers have noted, it has some funny bits and a general thread of wit that runs throughout -- nor is it really about office politics and cubicle drama. It is not about advertising, though anyone familiar with the weird, pseudo-creative terrarium of an ad agency will probably get an extra chuckle out of it. This novel is about what it means to be "we" in the modern world, with its ephemeral relationships and reluctant allegiances, about what belonging means, and about what happens when (as is practically inevitable in the hook-up, snapchat, gig economy, cul8r world) belonging comes to an end. The last two pages of this novel literally took the breath out of me. If you aren't prepared to invest some attention and empathy in the world Ferris conjures here, this book will feel like heavy lifting. But the attention will pay enormous rewards. This is a profoundly beautiful book.
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on April 5, 2015
I'm not exactly sure what to say about this book. It had some funny parts, because if you've ever worked in "cubicle land", you can identify with some of the characters and situations. But it's also kind of a downer book: layoffs, office drama, jerks at work, etc. In a way it's just like going to work except you're sitting at home reading a book. It wasn't great, but not horrible either. The fact that I didn't put it down says something I suppose, although I've only ever quit reading one book in my life because it was so poorly written. I don't think it was good enough to recommend it to anyone else.
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on May 19, 2017
I was sucked in at first and very excited about how day-to-day office-life was portrayed. There were many funny little anecdotes throughout the book and I was eager to see how it would end. The ending was truly lackluster and meant to be a twist but to me, it seemed like the author couldn't think of a real end to the story so just came up with something he found ironic. All in all, although I was enjoying it for sometime, by the end I felt like reading this book was a waste of my time.
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on July 10, 2012
Generally, This book was just "OK" for me. I didn't love it, and I didn't dislike it enough to stop reading. I kept waiting for a point in the book that would just GRAB me and make me want to read nonstop, but that point never came. A quarter of the way through, I made myself make it to at least the half-way point. When I got halfway, I felt obligated to finish it just to see if there was anything about it I liked.

There were generally 2 big things that I didn't like about itL Characters & the Plot.

Characters - There were just WAY too many characters to keep track of... who looks like what, who does what, who acts like what. On top of that, throughout he entire book, they would refer to their colleagues with both first and last name... even in dialog. Who seriously does that? I don't really feel like the characters were developed enough. I didn't really *care* about any of them enough to read this on a consistent basis. It took me over 3.5 weeks to get through this measly 350-page novel which is not the norm for me.

Plot - I feel like the plot was kind of random. First a guy gets laid off in one chapter, and in the next chapter he's back in the office again because the story is suddenly being told in a flashback kind of perspective. Overall, the book was dark and depressing. I was kind of hoping for a funny take on office life a'la Office Space. There were a few moments that made me giggle, but those were few and far between. For the most part, it was pretty bleak. I think that is why I had such a hard time reading it. Typically, I can plow through a 500+ page novel in under a week. This book had under 400 pages and it took me over 3.5 weeks to get through it. There just wasn't anything about the story or the characters that made me want to keep reading, so it took me a lot longer to get through it.
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on August 21, 2016
If you like Office Space and The Office, this is the perfect book for you. Same office dynamics, yet more in depth look at the corporate world and the life of the cubicle dwellers. And yes, turns out we really don't know anything about the people we work with, the same people we spend 8-12 hours, 5 days a week...We don't know what they shaped them, what motivates them, what their real fears are.
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on January 14, 2015
I struggled with this book, putting it down and finally rereading only one reviewer who gave it 5 stars. So I fought on until I came to the end. The writing style is not easy; the royal "we" is used in more than one context, and in another at the end. Finally I came to the conclusion that there's too much trivia, too much repetition, limited character development in spite of seeing the same characters doing the same things throughout the book.....finally ennui. This book has been the subject of very positive reviews from a wide range of professional reviewers, but as a reader, I could not agree.
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on September 7, 2015
This book was assigned as required reading for my English class, and I plan to burn it as soon as the essay is finished. The writing is choppy at best, unfocused and confusing, and the whole 'we' point of view works about as much as Tom Mota does in the office - which is to say not at all.

The characters were all petty, spiteful people who seemed to secretly despise each other. We'll never know, though, because Ferris barely developed them beyond the most negative human traits. They are flat, boring, absolutely hateful people who I could not sympathise or empathise with and found myself liking less and less as the book progressed.

And as much as I would like to call this book a story, it's not. Rather it's a random collection of small scenes, unimportant details, and frustrating interjections. To take one example: "In the mornings, our favourite DJs were back on, playing our favourite oldies. Most of us ate the crumb toppings first and then the rest of the muffin. They were the same songs that would play throughout a nuclear winter" (Ferris 9). What, did they have a six year old do the editing?

But it's not even the non-existent storyline itself that is the most frustrating. It's the constant introduction of random new characters and the constant bouncing back and forth between people that is perhaps the most irksome. Tom Mota gets fired in the first chapter (good riddance), but Ferris keeps bringing him up again and again without fail at the most random times in the book. And then halfway through the book he introduces Carl, Joe, Hank, SpongeBob, George Washington, and the entire cast of the Ghandi documentary including extras. Not even Ferris can keep track of Ferris's characters, and that's probably why he had to keep reintroducing them to himself during the writing process.

'And Then We Came to the End' is not clever. It is not interesting, and it is not relatable. The writing is poor, the characters are flat, and not even the author can keep track of a single plot. I would not recommend that anybody spend money on this book or waste their time trying to read it.
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VINE VOICEon June 25, 2011
I was surprised that I disliked this book as much as I did. I can recognize the talent of the author, but for me, this book was unbelievably depressing and miserable from the very beginning, and I did not like any of the characters, so this was a very long almost 400 pages to get through.

There are several things that the author of this book does very well. The entire book is written in the "we" first-person narrative, which must have been very hard to pull off, and yet it works very well, especially as a sort of mockery of modern day corporate culture. Also, the book captures a lot of pretty office drama (gossip, policies, relationships, etc.) as I have seen it play out in real life. I'm sure anyone who has worked in an office environment will be able to relate to this book on some level. Finally, the book is set in Chicago on Michigan Ave., which happens to be where I work. I always enjoy reading books that are set in Chicago, and the author does a good job of making Chicago a small supporting character in this novel.

All that aside, however, I still did not enjoy the book. It's so miserable and depressing with so many people getting fired and having all of these people's personal lives so messed up. I cannot in good conscience recommend the book to anyone, unless they are looking to read something that will make them feel unhappy for almost 400 pages straight.
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on June 25, 2014
This is the first book I've read that has been written entirely in the first person plural. There was a sense of unease throughout not knowing if I was looking out through the eyes of an almost mythical many headed creature or if there was a singular cowardly and malicious force lurking in the shadows, kneading us all together with its hands into a lifeless, amorphous mound of dough. The last sentence really shook me to the bone!
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on April 24, 2010
Quick overview, the book details the more-than-average-lively interactions of a series of office-mates in an advertising agency in Chicago. It flows pretty well and is sufficiently entertaining to be perfect beach reading. There are, however, a couple of serious flaws. First, the characters are caricatures, and not in a way they are meant to be. They are insufficiently developed and yet the narrative relies on them being sufficiently developed - you should understand these people and how they would theoretically interact with each other in order to appreciate why they behave in ways that are typical or atypical for them. But in reality, you have no idea who they are so you have to just read the book as a flowing beach read. Also, the author seems to take the characters taking themselves seriously, very seriously. Meaning, he horribly overdramatizes, no doubt in an attempt at sarcastic down-putting irony, how seriously people take themselves, their jobs, and their roles in society. It seems that he had the revelation that work is not that fulfilling and thinks that no one else has realized it. That self-centeredness and short-sightedness go far to explain why the book doesn't work at all as an actual piece of literature.
But to return to the title - in the middle of the book, there is this part that doesn't belong. You learn later that it is a literary trope within a literary trope, and no doubt someone found that amusing. But it doesn't fit at all. But more than not fitting, this is the one part in the book where there is sufficient character development for you as the reader to know what the character would be doing. And this woman did not go to Nordstroms that night. No way. The woman in that story went to Neimans. I was reading this on the treadmill when I got to that part and that's when I was functionally finished with the book. I blame this error, and many similar errors related to describing what this female character was experiencing, on the author's lack of first-hand experience being a woman. No doubt he's heard that Nordstroms has a sizable shoe department. But having someone tell you something and dropping it into a story doesn't mean it belongs there or that it's correct. It's disappointing and embarrassing for the author to have so little insight into the character he wrote as to send her to the wrong store. I also was confused when he failed to explain how she dressed when she left her apartment. It was a critical component of what was unfolding and yet, it wasn't there.
To sum up, the light banter and the male characters were fine and make for fine beach reading. The attempt at exposition and the female characters were honestly just amateur stuff, at best. A bit like reading a teenage boy write about what he thinks being a woman is like, with all the odd errors and obvious weaknesses in knowledge that come with that. Having just finished the book, I have no sense of who the female characters actually are as they were never developed. So three stars for the beach reading aspect. The negative two stars for the fact that it is a novel by a washed-up advertising hack who hasn't fully gotten over existential adolescent teenage angst/rage (personally knowing a 50+ year old in this situation, I recognize it quite clearly). I am utterly shocked that this could ever have received critical acclaim, at least in America in a civilized era.
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