Sunday, April 26, 2009

Then We Came to the End

Then We Came to the End: A Novel Then We Came to the End: A Novel by Joshua Ferris

rating: 3 of 5 stars

Spoiler!

It takes place in a Chicago advertising office going through a period of layoffs, and though I'm tempted to say it's not really ABOUT the office, it might be. This is one of those books that make me feel like I'm missing something. I'm not very good at reading between the lines, and I feel like there must be more to this book than I got out of it.

Most of the "action" is gossip going around the office, who's sleeping with whom, who's going to be the next to get fired, etc. One of the bigger gossip items is that their boss has breast cancer. There's a stand-alone chapter in the middle of the book from the boss' point of view which made me think maybe this book is supposed to be about a woman dealing with breast cancer. But it's not. (Honestly, I think if it were, the book would be too depressing, so I decided it has just the right amount of breast cancer.)

Most of the book is written from the point of view of "us". "We went looking for donuts," for example. That the author used this strange technique makes me think that it's really supposed to be commentary on corporate life, but as I have no experience in corporate life, it seemed like a lot of nonsense to me. And not the fun office nonsense of The Office. Just weird office nonsense.

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