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.
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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Bizarre and very clever
Sort of sub David Foster Wallace
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.