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10 Reviews
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4.0 out of 5 stars We work in an office
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...
Published 20 months ago by shum_gum

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "Then we came to the end" - but it took too long
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...
Published on Oct. 27 2008 by Stephen Bailey


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4.0 out of 5 stars We work in an office, Nov. 17 2012
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Crazy layoff story !, March 6 2012
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "Then we came to the end" - but it took too long, Oct. 27 2008
By 
Stephen Bailey (Vancouver, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars NOT Like "The Office" In Book Form, Aug. 4 2007
By 
Just J (Toronto, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
I picked this up, thinking it was basically 'The Office' in book form.

It's not.

Ultimately, you don't really care what happens to any of the characters and I don't think it really rings true to what it's like working in an office. There were none of those moments where you chuckle to yourself and think, 'Yeah. I've thought that before, too.'

Don't get me wrong: it's perfectly readable, but it's not a page-turner and it's not particularly funny. I felt like this book was overrated.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great first novel, March 31 2007
By 
Mark Wakely (Lombard, Illinois) - See all my reviews
While Then We Came to the End has been touted for its humor- and it is a funny book- to read it as strictly a spoof of ad agency life would be to diminish what Joshua Ferris has accomplished in his clever novel. Filled with characters that inspire sympathy and revulsion, familiarity and curiosity- often at the same time- this notable first effort captures well what pressure-cooker corporate life can do to the human spirit, no small achievement for any novelist much less a brand new one.

Told from a collective "we" point of view, the characters nevertheless have distinct voices and viewpoints, with their own hopes and desires for life beyond ad life, desires (at times) at odds with their coveted, chosen occupation. Lording over Chicago from their lofty office perches, there's a pervasive sense not only of "how did we get here?" but also a disbelieving, disheartening "so this is it?" in their daily grind. Some resent the hucksterism inherent in the advertising world- despite having fought to be a part of that world- as if the ad world should somehow be more than what is, a corporate job that just so happens to rely on teams of brilliant, creative and quirky individuals for its ultimate success. Worse, by nature some of these unique individuals are nearly the antithesis of the very idea of teamwork, which alone provides some interesting conflict. Characters strive to do their best work, or creatively avoid doing any work, as rumors swirl about layoffs and clients lost and found. With their uncertainties and insecurities surprisingly at odds with their handsome, enviable salaries, they praise and complain, encourage and slander, all the while desperate to avoid the dreaded humiliation of being the next in line to be shown the door. It's this fear of the seemingly inevitable that propels the book forward, and how each character deals with that fear (or its reality) makes the book engaging.

Ferris breaks from the "we" to the first person singular only once, and that's for a stern woman supervisor who's been diagnosed with cancer. Her ruminations on her life and circumstances are poignant without being maudlin, and add an extra, unexpected dimension to the book.

Like other first novels based on real places and events, Then We Came to the End does a fine job of letting outsiders in as it exposes the unglamorous aspects of ad agency life. Readers who spend their allotted time in cubicles and offices anywhere will undoubtedly recognize many of these characters- and maybe even themselves- since corporate life is corporate life no matter where it's found.

Mark Wakely, author of An Audience for Einstein
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant start, Aug. 17 2008
By 
A book that is deeper, truer and more profound than I think it realises itself. The book shuffles between two modes: funny office humour, and scenes that may best be described as elegaic and even epiphanic. The office scenes are usually subtle and always hilarious, but sometimes feel like they belong in a lesser, not-so-transformative novel. But that is a testament to how wise the novel is.

The middle section, as has been written about elsewhere, is a foray into the perspective and world of a character whom you don't expect to hear so intimately from, and yet it is the strongest, most devastating portion of the book, and worth the cover price in itself. Ferris employs the first person plural for most of the novel; not only does it set the right tone, but it serves as a kind of unanswered question for the duration of the novel that is answered, with a sense of grand summation, in the very last line.

This novel walks a tightrope and never missteps. Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, but yes: too long, Dec 10 2011
By 
Robert Pattison (Toronto, Ontario) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Randomesque thoughts on a randomesque novel, April 29 2010
By 
Schmadrian - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
-'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. Given that nothing really happens in the story (or more accurately, everything that happens seems the very stuff of office life: inconsequential and banal), more kudos to the author.

-This isn't a novel for everyone. It's an extended riff on a slice of life, without the usual spine of a compelling story, so some people might not take to it. Having said that, for those who appreciate a great writer in his element, 'Then We Came To The End' is wonderful stuff.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining but you'll forget about it in a month, July 23 2008
By 
Lyra Tallis (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
I picked this book up without ever having heard of it or the author before. It was actually the reviews that are plastered all over the book that caught my eye. They go on about how this is the funniest book to come out in a long time, various famous authors rave about it, etc etc.

In fact this book is entertaining and you're definitely in familiar territory (if you've ever worked in an office). The bit about the chair swapping is quite funny. But when it comes down to it, it's forgettable. It's a quick read and moderately funny and entertaining though I wouldn't suggest it for the beach if you're looking to get away from work... There's nothing in here that's groundbreakingly original. You'll forget you read it in a month or two.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, Feb. 22 2012
This book looks like it would be a fun read, while the book has funny moments, it is anything but a fun read. The author uses an unconventional writing style that confuses the reader. The book has no real plot aside from a series of vignettes, and wild expectations. This book is an example of why I hate buying books, even though you didn't enjoy it, the author and publisher still got paid.
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