Joshua Ferris's Then We Came to the End is one of the most acutely observed, dazzling American debuts of recent years. They spend their days - and too many of their nights - at work. Away from friends and family, they share a stretch of stained carpet with a group of strangers they call colleagues. There's Chris Yop, clinging to his ergonomic chair; Lynn Mason, the boss, whose breast cancer everyone pretends not to talk about; Carl Garbedian, secretly taking someone else's medication; Marcia Dwyer, whose hair is stuck in ...
Joshua Ferris's Then We Came to the End is one of the most acutely observed, dazzling American debuts of recent years. They spend their days - and too many of their nights - at work. Away from friends and family, they share a stretch of stained carpet with a group of strangers they call colleagues. There's Chris Yop, clinging to his ergonomic chair; Lynn Mason, the boss, whose breast cancer everyone pretends not to talk about; Carl Garbedian, secretly taking someone else's medication; Marcia Dwyer, whose hair is stuck in the eighties; and Benny, who's just - well, just Benny. Amidst the boredom, redundancies, water cooler moments, meetings, flirtations and pure rage, life is happening, to their great surprise, all around them. Then We Came to the End is about sitting all morning next to someone you cross the road to avoid at lunch. It's the story of your life and mine. 'Very funny, intense and exhilarating . . . For the first time in fiction, it has truly captured the way we work' The Times 'As dazzling as Franzen's The Corrections and as confident as Tartt's The Secret History . . . Exceptional, very funny' Daily Telegraph 'Slick, sophisticated and very funny, Ferris's cracking debut has modern Everyman fighting for his identity in an increasingly impersonal world' Daily Mail Joshua Ferris was born in Illinois in 1974. He is the author of Then We Came to the End (2007), which was nominated for the National Book Award and longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, and the highly acclaimedThe Unnamed. In 2010 he was selected for the New Yorker's prestigious '20 under 40' list. To Rise Again at a Decent Hour was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2014 and the Dylan Thomas Prize 2014. He lives in New York.
I hated it. It was slow, repetitive and boring. If this is modern corporate life I don't want any of it.
Aug 17, 2008
Office Gossip - Gotta love it?
The view point in the book can be wearying at times, but it creates a picture of something that almost all of us recognize, the modern office.
Like much good literature, it asks the question, "What in life is really important?" It, also, makes clear that the people we spend the most time with, our co-workers, may not be the people that we believe them to be. That may be a good thing.
Jul 10, 2008
A timely topic and good book
A fascinating and enjoyable book (even if it did tend to drag at times). Seldom do we stop and think about the wonderful, interesting and sometimes trying relationships we develop through our work environment. The co-workers in this successful advertising firm form a family-like network bound to each other in powerful ways. When hard economic times strike, this corporate family begins to unravel revealing some strange and humorous characters. Ferris? topic is timely in these tough economic times. There may be many who can relate.
May 10, 2007
It truly is fun to read a novel set in my day to day world. This is Dilbert-esque in the perceptions and realities of what goes on in Corporate America. I laughed at the goings on because it was such a good, albeit sometimes caricatured, perspective on life in Cubeville: the gossip, the infighting, the drama and the interchanges of lives woven together during the work day. It's set in an advertising company, so it's a nice glimpse into that world, but it transcends that to touching all of us who work in the politically correctly termed "workstation." Worth passing along to a colleague.
May 3, 2007
One of the most amusingly snarky (yet heartfelt) first novels ever about, well, work -- vis a vis life, love, anger, marriage, community, protocol, stolen office chairs, and mysteriously bequeathed totem poles. Should be required reading for anyone who's ever typed away in a cube, and wondered if they're making a difference in the world, or even just an impact on their co-workers. Answer: yes.
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