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Then We Came to the End

A Novel
Ferris, Joshua (Book - 2007 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Then We Came to the End
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Item Details

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."
Authors: Ferris, Joshua
Title: Then we came to the end
a novel
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2007
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: 387 p. ;,25 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Joshua Ferris
ISBN: 0316016381
9780316016384
Branch Call Number: FICTION FERRIS
Subject Headings: Clerks Illinois Chicago Fiction Chicago (Ill.) Fiction
Topical Term: Clerks
LCCN: 2005036677
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Library Staff

The remaining employees at an office affected by a business downturn spend their time enjoying secret romances, elaborate pranks, and frequent coffee breaks, while trying to make sense of their only remaining "work," a mysterious pro-bono ad campaign. (Novelist)

Every office is a family of sorts, and the ad agency Ferris brilliantly depicts in his debut novel is a family at its strangest and best, coping with a business downturn in the time-honored way: through gossip, pranks, and increasingly frequent coffee breaks.


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Jun 22, 2014
  • grantos rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Loved the first person collective tense. Classic example of an office setting, hit home, great novel.

Jun 04, 2014
  • modestgoddess rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

From the comments here, I'm guessing it's a polarizing work - people either love it or hate it. God, I loved this book. The use of first-person plural - such a neat device. Found it very witty and enjoyable - Dilbert for the literary crowd. Love the buckcases....! ah, loved so much about this book. Snaps to Joshua Ferris. Much fun!

Apr 10, 2014
  • oO_Oo rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

I tried really hard to like this book. But I just couldn't. The first person plural narrative seems affected and forced. Also I couldn't care less about any of the characters. They were flat and although I felt like Ferris tried really hard to make them quirky and funny, they failed to be quirky and funny. I worked in an ad agency for a while and hated it, so maybe that's why I hated the book. Or maybe it's a terrible book. I felt like I wasted a significant amount of my valuable reading time trying to slog through this one. Nobody can say I didn't try because I read more than half of it. Onwards, I say! Life is too short for bad books.

Jul 22, 2013
  • Esther77 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I really wanted to like this book. I love workplace stories, and the idea of the style seemed interesting. But...something about the writing just wasn't that interesting. It took a really long time to read, and I didn't feel that interested in finding out what would happen next. I really wish it had been a better read because it was such a good idea.

Feb 24, 2013
  • lisahiggs rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This must be the strongest, most well-written comedic first novel about a workplace ever published – it really beats the hell out of that category. It’s like Catch-22 meets The Office.

At first, Then We Came To The End seems like a memoir, like this first-time novelist has simply taken his own experiences from a past workplace and spun them into hilarious literary gold. Even then, the author’s powerful literary talent keeps multiple hilarious coworker anecdotes juggled in the air at the same time and the frenetic pace makes the workday pass quickly.

But at the very end we find out who the narrator really is, and suddenly you realize this author is an even better writer than you thought (and suddenly the weird part in the middle makes sense). A truly excellent first novel. Not quite the same thing as a truly excellent novel, but an exciting showcase of emerging literary talent nonetheless.

Dec 17, 2012
  • rekowal rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I found this book amusingly quirky. I think you either really like it or don't, nothing inbetween

If you like "The Office" with Steve Carell, you'll like this book. I enjoyed it because it is the same kind of humour....dry and quirky.

Oct 20, 2011
  • tegan rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

The first chapter or two were good...and then the story started to drag on and on. I quit.

May 21, 2011
  • 8217549 rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

not funny. didn't like it

May 12, 2011
  • 22950011267937 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Wonderful story told unusually in first person collective "we." Once you understand the storytelling method, the story really flows. It's at times pessimistic and at times cheerful but usually humorous.

If you ever have worked in an office, you will find many truisms from this story. Fun read!

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Aug 20, 2009
  • vickiz rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Some people would never forget certain people, a few people would remember everyone, and most of us would mostly be forgotten. Sometimes it was for the best ... But did anybody want to be forgotten about completely? We had dedicated years to that place, we labored under the notion we were making names for ourselves, we had to believe in our hearts that each one of us was memorable. And yet who wanted to be remembered for their poor taste or bad breath? Still, better to be remembered for those things than forgotten for your perfect parboiled blandness.

In other words, amnesty was a gift, but oblivion was terror.

Mar 14, 2008
  • Hadley rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

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... We thought that 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.

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