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Then We Came to the End: A Novel Paperback – February 26, 2008
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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 --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Among many other reasons, Ferris's debut novel was acclaimed for its unusual point of view: the collective "we." The harried denizens of a Chicago advertising firm form a unified narrator, railing against the boredom of the American white-collar job and the dwindling of their opportunities at the company in the post-Internet bust. Reading a book with such tricky narration is a complex task, and Deanna Hurst, while game, is not quite up to the task. Hurst reads flatly, with little sense of the engaging rhythms of Ferris's comic prose. This abridged version of Ferris's novel often feels heavier, and longer, than the wonderfully light-footed original. Hurst just doesn't quite get the joke. Simultaneous release with the Back Bay Books paperback (Reviews, Jan. 8, 2007).
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
Top Customer Reviews
I understand it, and people who hated it aren't wrong. I'd like to address these criticisms later, so please stick with me.
The positive reviews I've read about "Then We Came To The End" are mostly spot-on -- but without giving it away, they don't consistently convey WHY this amusing, touching and ultimately tender book soars - at least for me.
It's the ending.
The last 20 pages of Joshua Ferris's book twisted and turned me in every direction. But it's THE VERY LAST LINE -- (DON'T CHEAT) -- that catapulted me into the universe with the most glorious twist of all.
Many writers searching for something to leave behind that feels ironic or profound -- I'm sorry -- in my view, they just don't know how to end their books. I say this as a consumer who's a voracious reader. Their last pages feel quietly pretentious -- or a little too contemplative or optimistic. Even great literature - especially prize-winning literature - can be so tortuous in construction or over-reaching in their efforts to convey some grand message -- that they feel like work, with sentences so mind-numbing that you need a dictionary and a level of concentration akin to taking a bar exam.
"Then We Came To The End" may not be considered great literature, but it's euphoric. It's wonderful. It underscores that nebulous "thing" that makes the office dull and robotic -- but also vital and vibrant, essential to our lives. The book makes me question, admire and dismiss -- all at once -- why I put up with so much " s***," why I find great satisfaction in my work on one day and why I hate everything the next.Read more ›
As the 21st Century begins, the billings of the agency decline precipitously and being fired or fear of being fired soon becomes a dark undercurrent that runs through everything else that happens in offices and cubicles of the agency's creative staff. As the novel progresses one learns more and more about the quirks and mannerism these hapless folks. Their humanity becomes quite real. If the reader will allow it, you can find yourself actually caring about the individuals that the narrator tells you about. Those of us that are or were knowledge workers will have a haunting sense of familiarity about the people and situations described in this book.
Joshua Ferris has an ear for dialogue and an understanding of emotions that is quite impressive. This reviewer likes his style and the way he structured this novel.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wanted to like this, but it's too like Dilbert. (Don't get me wrong, I love Dilbert!) Ed Park's Personal Days, published a year later, is ten times as affecting at a quarter the... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Simon Barrett 'Il Penseroso'
Funny, moving and surprising. Best novel I have read in some time. There are eight more words required. Full stop.Published 2 months ago by Kindle Customer
Worst book. I'm giving up at p 160 and wish I had earlier. Sad I wasted my precious free reading time on this. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jayne S.
It was funny and sad (always sad being laid off). It was very reminiscent of The Office, movie and TV series.Published 4 months ago by Riverside Reader
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. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Martin Miliev
Slow to get into, but interesting and clever at parts. A good 3.5 stars. X x a b c dPublished 5 months ago by C. Schuster
An intriguing read that always causes you to wonder. It is written in a way that I think we can all relate to, listening to people tell their own stories and envisioning the... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Austin Wagner
My goodness, this was like sharing an office with these folks for about a year. Or two. Really, a book 1/3 the length of this one could have achieved the same result. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Cascadiana
I cannot write a review because it was a gift for a friend.
He said the book is excellent.