If you enjoyed the movie Office Space (which you should see if you haven't!) you'll enjoy this story set in a Chicago ad agency as it is being forced to downsize itself out of existence. You can be a fly-on-the-wall to the gossipy intrigue among the staff of rather cynical "creatives" as they plot to avoid layoffs. The pressure is on for them then, to come up with the winning idea for a pro bono ad campaign about breast cancer that is funny and will cheer up the victims. The author manages to present multi-dimensional characters, that could be just caricatures, and infuses sad situations with a wry humor. Maybe not great lit, but perceptive writing about the challenges of being a human being in a modern corporate environment. Highly recommended! — Heather Bellanca
This wickedly funny, big-hearted novel about life in the office signals the arrival of a gloriously talented 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."
About the Author
Joshua Ferris's first novel, Then We Came to the End, has been translated into 24 languages. His fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, Granta, and Best American Voices. Ferris was chosen for the New Yorker's "20 Under 40" list of fiction writers in 2010. He lives in New York.
"What looks at first glance like a sweet-tempered satire of workplace culture is revealed upon closer inspection to be a very serious novel about, well, America. It may even be, in its own modest way, a great American novel."—Los Angeles Times
"A masterwork of pitch and tone. . . . Ferris brilliantly captures the fishbowl quality of contemporary office life."—The New Yorker
"Not too many authors have written the Great American Office Novel. Joseph Heller did it in Something Happened (the one book of his to rival Catch-22). And Nicholson Baker pulled it off in zanily fastidious fashion in The Mezzanine. To their ranks should be added Joshua Ferris, whose THEN WE CAME TO THE END feels like a readymade classic of the genre. . . . A truly affecting novel about work, trust, love, and loneliness."—Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times