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Then We Came to the End Paperback – Sep 1 2008

3.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (Sept. 1 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141027630
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141027630
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 259 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,716,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In this wildly funny debut from former ad man Ferris, a group of copywriters and designers at a Chicago ad agency face layoffs at the end of the '90s boom. Indignation rises over the rightful owner of a particularly coveted chair ("We felt deceived"). Gonzo e-mailer Tom Mota quotes Walt Whitman and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the midst of his tirades, desperately trying to retain a shred of integrity at a job that requires a ruthless attention to what will make people buy things. Jealousy toward the aloof and "inscrutable" middle manager Joe Pope spins out of control. Copywriter Chris Yop secretly returns to the office after he's laid off to prove his worth. Rumors that supervisor Lynn Mason has breast cancer inspire blood lust, remorse, compassion. Ferris has the downward-spiraling office down cold, and his use of the narrative "we" brilliantly conveys the collective fear, pettiness, idiocy and also humanity of high-level office drones as anxiety rises to a fever pitch. Only once does Ferris shift from the first person plural (for an extended fugue on Lynn's realization that she may be ill), and the perspective feels natural throughout. At once delightfully freakish and entirely credible, Ferris's cast makes a real impression. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Outstanding, hugely satisfying, exceptionally well-executed ... An incisive, urgent, funny and snappily written novel Sunday Times Magazine As impressively confident as Donna Tartt's The Secret History and as technically dazzling as Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections ... Exceptional, funny, radical Telegraph Brilliant, funny, stomach-turningly accurate Observer

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I really wanted to love this book. I had read several reviews that promoted it, and I was very confident I would love it. Unfortunately, my expectations were far too high. Had this book been half as long, which I argue it could be, I would probably have enjoyed it far more. But I ended up continuing to pick it up and work away at it just to finish it and start another one. I know people like it, so I feel a little bad, but it was just too long.
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Format: Paperback
This book is the first in which the reader is a character in the book. The book is written from the stand-point of "we" as in the members of the office, incuding you, the reader.
I enjoyed this because as things happened in the book, I could formulate my own opinions and or reactions as a character as well!

The book isn't the laugh out loud, hilarious story that I thought it would be, but it was more of a look at daily life with a twist of dark humour, rediculousness, and even the odd bit of offensiveness that had me dropping my jaw wondering how grown adults could get away with in a job setting.

In amongst the drama and gossip, there is a true heart with true feeling. A heart that tells the story of a woman so terrified of hospitals and doctors that she puts off going to get a lump in her breast checked out. A true fear in the office workers as layoffs start and people worry about how to pay their bills. These are real life worries and fears and strike a chord in the reader.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and recommend it, althought it may not be for all who may be easily offended.
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Format: Paperback
-'Tour de force' is an old-school phrase. Rarely used these days, when everything is 'the bomb'. (Yes, I know that's also passé...) And it's perfectly applicable in this case.

-I've always loved the energy of début novels. Because they can be audacious, they often hum, sizzle with chutpah. (After all, I've always said it takes a certain 'arrogance' to write anything, a fiery confidence, and first-efforts require an especially large dollop. This one is no exception.

-It was also quirky. Without being overly so.

-I was often incredulous at Ferris's ability to keep things going. To maintain everything in the way and to the extent that he does. It's easy to forget that he's not got a linear narrative going, and that what he's doing might actually be harder.

-I went back and forth on the first-person plural perspective. Especially when it changed entirely...only to veer back. Normally I'm suspicious of (what I'd refer to as) gimmicks like this. But because of the overall accomplishment, I was willing to just let it go. Sorta. Kinda.

-He captured so much so well when it came to creatives and office life and all that. Annoyingly so. (I'm laughing here. I am. Really.)

-Despite the way the delivery of the narrative came across as stilted at times (there was something decidedly unnatural about it), that same stiltedness imbued the characters with an additional- Well, I guess it reminded me of the 'cringe factor' of the original UK version of 'The Office'.

-I hated almost everyone in the book...but had to keep reading. To me that's the very definition of powerful writing: you just can't stop.
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Format: Paperback
I highly recommend this book, but with reservations.

It is funny, but it is ultimate a very moving story about the human condition. As pretensious as this sounds, the use of the first person plural effectively reflects the universality of the hopes and fears experienced by the characters. Approach it as a fable, and you won't go wrong.

The departure from the first person plural late in the book is a masterstroke, and makes the plight of the character who is the subject of that part more personal and "real" by comparison.

The book is too long, and I was grinding along to finsh it because I had admired so much of what Ferris accomplished earlier in the book; however, I found myself surprisngly moved by the ending, despite the fact that it is relatively verb-free.

Not for everyone, but if you think you might like this book, and if you manage your expectations, I suspect you will enjoy it.
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Format: Paperback
I'm losing my job since a large US company bought us for our products, which they will make in Malta and India -good luck to them.
This story is about the personalities and altered environment of an office that is closing as the people are layed off. I loved the book, but my friend did not so it depends how you take it. I thought it was exaggerated of course to add humour (tongue in cheek) but reveals all the different characters in your work space that come to light when something like this happens. Like THE MONSTERS ARE DUE ON MAPLE STREET old Twilight Zone episode (my favourite) we all change under adversity.
Pretty cheap if you buy it used and worth a read -then pass it on.
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