Then We Came to the End

  • by Joshua Ferris
  • Narrated by Ian Porter
  • 13 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

How we hated our coffee mugs! Our mouse pads, our desk clocks, our daily calendars, all the contents of our desk drawers... Then We Came to the End is about how we spend our days and too many of our nights. It is about being away from friends and family, about sharing a stretch of stained carpet with a group of strangers we call colleagues. It is about sitting all morning next to someone you deliberately cross the road to avoid at lunchtime.
Joshua Ferris' fabulous novel is the story of your life, and mine. It is the story of our times.


What the Critics Say

A Richard and Judy Book Club selection. "Outstanding...incisive, urgent, funny, and snappily written...The comedy debut of the year." (Sunday Times)
"It's a long time since I've read a novel so painfully funny, or so absurdly true." (Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday)
"Very funny, intense and exhilarating...For the first time in fiction, it has truly captured the way we work." (The Times)
"As [Joshua Ferris] starts to tell of a world of stained grey carpets and personalised coffee mugs, a place where the characters' faied attempts to connect with their co-workers' essential humanity fuel the desultory plot, the spirits sink. Yet there is something horribly compelling about Ferris's eerily successful attempt at nailing the ways in which office life becomes the only life, where the sight of a male colleague's oddly "geisha size feet" is more familiar than a spouse's smile, and where workplace status is more important than crucial doctor's appointmnets. It is a chilling study of intimacy without love or commitment in an atmosphere of dread as one by one the workers start to get laid off." (The Sunday Times)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Bizarre and very clever

When I started listening to this, I really didn't know what to make of it - was it supposed to be funny? There is a certain amount of wry humour, but it is interspersed with episodes that aren't comic at all. Too many characters are introduced in too short a time, and most of them are not well depicted; I lost track of who they were. They're all fairly unpleasant people, too. There is no plot as such, just a series of anecdotes and reminiscences. I was seriously thinking about giving up, and yet - and the Sunday Times reviewer said, it was strangely compelling.
I'm so glad I did persevere, because as I got used to the style and the characters, I actually found myself starting to care - just a little bit. I wondered where on earth it was all going to lead, because as I said, there is no plot - was it all just going to tail off? But there is a lovely little punchline, that neatly answered one of the questions that had been puzzling me all the way through: who exactly is the narrator?
Don't buy this if you want a straightforward story simply told. It's bizarre! And very clever.
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- Mirium

Sort of sub David Foster Wallace

Any additional comments?

What made it enjoyable? The mundanity. This is a book about the boredom of the workplace and how we fill the void of it with narcissistic fantasies and gossip.

The characters here though are so petty, childish and self-interested (and perhaps that is to be expected in an Ad agenecy?) that you pray for bad things to happen to them.

If you like the idea of the subject matter I'd read/listen to David Foster Wallace's 'The Pale King' instead.

Having said that I did enjoy the utter silliness of the enterprise.

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- Joss

Book Details

  • Release Date: 19-08-2008
  • Publisher: ISIS Audio Books