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Then We Came to the End | [Joshua Ferris]

Then We Came to the End

No one knows us quite the same way as the men and women who sit beside us in department meetings and crowd the office refrigerator with their labeled yogurts. Every office is a family of sorts, and the Chicago ad agency Joshua Ferris brilliantly depicts in his debut novel is family at its strangest and best. The characters in Then We Came to an End cope with a business downturn in the time-honored way: through gossip, secret romance, elaborate pranks, and increasingly frequent coffee breaks.
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Publisher's Summary

An astounding debut novel, wickedly funny and big-hearted, about life in the office, signals the arrival of a gloriously talented new writer.

No one knows us quite the same way as the men and women who sit beside us in department meetings and crowd the office refrigerator with their labeled yogurts. Every office is a family of sorts, and the Chicago ad agency Joshua Ferris brilliantly depicts in his debut novel is family at its strangest and best.

The characters in Then We Came to an End cope with a business downturn in the time-honored way: through gossip, secret romance, elaborate pranks, and increasingly frequent coffee breaks. As one colleague after another is seen "walking Spanish down the hall" (office shorthand for being fired), the survivors obsessively parse their bosses' decisions - when they're not competing for the best office furniture left behind or trying to make sense of the mysterious pro-bono ad campaign that is their only remaining "work".

Joshua Ferris has a demon's eye for the details and emotions that make up our lives, and he has written a hilarious and moving novel about the strange selves we become when we walk through the office doors each day.

©2007 Joshua Ferris; (P)2007 Hachette Audio

What the Critics Say

"Heartfelt and delivered in solemn deadpan. It may even be, in its own modest way, a great American novel." (Darcy Cosper, Los Angeles Times)

"Wildly funny....At once delightfully freakish and entirely credible, Ferris' cast makes a real impression." (Publishers Weekly)

"It's hilarious in a Catch-22 way, but with an undercurrent of sadness that works counterpoint to all the absurdity." (Stephen King)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

2.6 (75 )
5 star
 (2)
4 star
 (20)
3 star
 (17)
2 star
 (21)
1 star
 (15)
Overall
2.8 (15 )
5 star
 (1)
4 star
 (5)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (3)
Story
2.9 (15 )
5 star
 (1)
4 star
 (6)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
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  •  
    Steve Lake Elmo, MN, USA 12-30-07
    Steve Lake Elmo, MN, USA 12-30-07 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    93
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Abridged Reading"

    We were eager to read this, after listening together to Joshua Ferris being interviewed on the NYT book review podcast, so we downloaded the Audible version and enjoyed it quite a lot. Between listening sessions we talked about the characters and shared our thoughts about the book's narrators. We did not realize until it was over that we were listening to an abridged version. As a rule, we don't read (or listen to) abridgements. So we don't feel qualified to review the book when we're really only read part of it! However, it is clever and entertaining and any former or current cube-dwellers will almost certainly find much to appreciate. The composite narrator (much of the story is told from the perspective of "us") feels as fresh and novel as the first time we read Jay McInerney's "Bright Lights, Big City" 23 years ago. We only wish the Audible version were not an abridgement. We felt, in the end, as if someone were missing.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy San Mateo, CA, USA 01-07-09
    Amy San Mateo, CA, USA 01-07-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    90
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Hilarious in book form, not so much for audio..."

    I wondered what all the hoopla was about after I had finished listening to the audiobook version of this. I don't have anything against the reader---she was OK. But the book content is a real slice-and-dice job of the original book. This abridged version cuts out a lot of the fun, quirky stuff and you don't get a sense of how funny the book really is. My advice: don't get this version.
    -----
    Audible: please try to request an unabridged version!



    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathy L. Cole North Platte, NE United States 01-06-09
    Cathy L. Cole North Platte, NE United States 01-06-09 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    436
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Reader poor on this one"

    I really wanted to enjoy this book, but had a very hard time getting into it and gave up after an hour or so. Realized that I would have preferred a male reader - more appropriate to the text - and one with more enthusiasm about the project. Will probably give it another chance, because I really wanted to like the book. Also didn't realize was abridged. Like the previous reviewer, I prefer the whole book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Riverton, UT, USA 02-08-10
    David Riverton, UT, USA 02-08-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    49
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "The Title Is An Aspirational Goal"

    Having heard good things about this book and the author's second I picked this up. While there was one LOL moment and a few where I chucked to myself it is by and large not very funny nor interesting. Honestly, the best thing I have to say about it is that it is quite short so I actually finished it instead of giving up.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue Visalia, CA, United States 01-02-08
    Sue Visalia, CA, United States 01-02-08 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Unsatisfying"

    After hearing good things about this book I was VERY disappointed. It was filled with the natterings of clueless office people and a long and uninteresting first person commentary by a work-obsessed lonely woman facing a mastectomy.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren Chicago, IL, United States 01-09-14
    Lauren Chicago, IL, United States 01-09-14 Member Since 2011

    I guess I'm a baby...I just love to be read to.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    143
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    158
    57
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    22
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Recommendation from a Colleague = BORING"

    Ugh...what a disappoint. A colleague of mine recommended it so I gave it a try and I really didn't like it. The prose was irritating and self-serving. The end was so stupid. The whole book is character development and I didn't feel connected to any of them. Don't waste your time with this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jack Dublin, OH, United States 12-01-11
    Jack Dublin, OH, United States 12-01-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good, maybe not great"

    Interesting book. In the beginning you think it is just going to be a knock-off of The Office. It turns out to be more. The author takes an interesting and generally entertaining look at the workforce. He takes it from the perspective of a narrator within the office for most of the book.

    The book has some excellent humor but can drag at a few points. It ends well and you will be happy you read it.

    As for the audio book, I listened to most of it and read the book itself. The items removed from the audio book are questionable at best. At least two key stories from the book were deleted from the audio book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lydie North Potomac, MD, United States 11-27-12
    Lydie North Potomac, MD, United States 11-27-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Poor Judgement on the Part of the Abridgers"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The reader is poor and the abridged version takes out some of the most important parts of the book. I felt cheated when I found out what I missed.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Todd Gladstone, MI, USA 04-13-07
    Todd Gladstone, MI, USA 04-13-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Terrible"

    I have nothing good to say about this audiobook. The plot is plodding, uninteresting, as are the characters. The attempts at humor are amateurish.

    0 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth Toledo, OH, USA 04-16-07
    Beth Toledo, OH, USA 04-16-07
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    29
    2
    Overall
    "pretty good"

    this was pretty good. I would recommend.

    0 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 10 results
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  • Nigel Nicholson
    London England
    2/8/13
    Overall
    "light and funny"

    This is a charming little diversion into the life of an American office - witty, sardonic, ironic and ultimately a comic confection. Don't expect too much, but it will put a smile on your face.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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