Martin's Reviews > Then We Came to the End

Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
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Sep 18, 07

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A wonderful book. Ferris' writing style is fluid and graceful, and the structure beautifully mimics the style of conversation and rumor: partially true, partially untrue, circular, repetitive, jumpy, fluctuating, sometimes confusing. The vignette-y stories do go somewhere eventually, but they overlap and circle back on themselves the way of an office-conversation -- in the way offices become a little hive-minded collective. It's a difficult style to describe, but an easy and enjoyable one to experience: the whole novel is immediate and incredibly readable because of this odd, naturalistic structure. The flow is familiar; the details are carefully observed and spot-on, often very funny. At the same time, there's an underlying sadness in the book, a glowering gravitas that only reveals itself (indirectly) toward the end of the novel. At the end, this insightful and incisive "angry little book" about the collective of an office becomes about a larger, more critical moment of change in our history. It's subtly done, but the novel sensitively evokes a pivot point that carries a great deal of weight, even in such a creative, funny package.
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