This wickedly funny, big-hearted novel about life in the office signals the arrival of a gloriously talented new writer.
The characters in Then We Came To The End cope with a business downturn in the time-honored way: through gossip, secret romance, elaborate pranks, and increasingly frequent coffee breaks. By day they compete for the best office furniture left behind and try to make sense of the mysterious pro-bono ad campaign that is their only remaining "work."
You Don't Know
What's in My Heart
WE WERE FRACTIOUS AND overpaid. Our mornings lacked
promise. At least those of us who smoked had something to look
forward to at ten-fifteen. Most of us liked most everyone, a few of
us hated specific individuals, one or two people loved everyone and
everything. Those who loved everyone were unanimously reviled.
We loved free bagels in the morning. They happened all too infrequently.
Our benefits were astonishing in comprehensiveness and quality of care. Sometimes we questioned whether they were worth it. We thought moving to India might be better, or going back to nursing school. Doing something with the handicapped or working with our hands. No one ever acted on these impulses, despite their daily, sometimes hourly contractions. Instead we met in conference rooms to discuss the issues of the day.
Ordinarily jobs came in and we completed them in a timely and professional manner. Sometimes fuckups did occur. Printing errors, ...
Speaking personally (and let's face it, all reviews are nothing more nor less than one person's opinion, even when written in the third party under the banner of a renowned newspaper!) I found Then We Came To The End a difficult read (despite having spent a decade working in a large ad agency). That is not to say that it is necessarily a bad book but that the gushing reviews on the cover, and in many places in the media, telling me that this was a wildly funny book acted as something of a cold shower to my enjoyment. Knowing I was supposed to be laughing but finding myself not was like watching one of those over-eager sitcoms where the laugh track punctuates the actors' most banal lines, killing whatever residue of humor might have been found.
To describe Then We Came To The End as "wildly funny", or to suggest that it will resonate with anyone who's ever worked in an office (as some reviewers do) seems to be over-egging things, and also does a disservice to a book that has more to offer than just a good laugh, in that it serves up a, sometimes profound, insider's view of a particular time, place and culture - and not just the funny parts, but the dull and stupid bits as well, not to mention the sad and downright strange. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (851 words).
Joshua Ferris writes: "I was born in 1974 in Danville, Illinois, a small town just over the Indiana border. I went back recently and the house where I grew up had taken something out of Alice in Wonderland and shrunk to half the size of what I remembered it being. In 1984 my mother, sister, brother and I moved with my step-father to Cudjoe Key, Florida, where I learned how to fish, boat, snorkel, and work. At ten I had my own landscaping company for Cudjoe residents happy to pay three bucks an hour to have their weeds pulled and lawns mowed. I had my first ...
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