N W James's Reviews > Then We Came to the End

Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
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Jan 27, 2010

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bookshelves: 2010, chicagoland
Read in July, 2010

** spoiler alert ** Front half of the book: 2 stars. Back half: 4 stars. So I averaged them together.

Only with the coaxing from friends who had read the book, did I wade through the front half of the book. Spoilers ahoy!

The first person plural narrative bogged me down within the first 100 pages. I couldn't take the constant pecking of the word 'we' alongside the obnoxious and gossipy office co-workers. They sniped and they gossiped and they belittled. I understand that offices work that way. Office politics lends itself to ugly behavior. I just didn't want to subject myself to it in my leisure time, I guess.

There comes a point, however, when the narrative shifts to the bosses of the Chicago ad agency. They call their employees out on their pettiness and divulge some personal information that binds the ragtag team together amidst impending layoffs and cracked ad campaigns. The tone relaxes and some honest moments happen between some of the characters and the novel redeems itself.

There are a few scenes in the novel that felt like the author's catharsis from jobs past. And so it took on some qualities of the film Office Space. But I'd say it was a bit more relatable than that because the characters in the book weren't overdramatized like in the movie (i'm thinking the Steven Root character mostly here).

Overall, a worthwhile read, perhaps a little too parallel to many people's lives nowadays. I know it was for mine. But it provided a bit of laughter and a bit of hope for anyone who has been or is vulnerable to a lay-off.
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Reading Progress

07/19/2010 page 150
39.0% "The perspective of the narration is starting to annoy me."
07/23/2010 page 300
78.0% "ok. I see the appeal now. I think Lynn Mason is the most interesting character by far."

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message 1: by Pam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pam I really liked this


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