Synopses & Reviews
The remaining employees at an office affected by a business downturn spend their time competing for the best office furniture left behind and enjoying secret romances, gossip, elaborate pranks, and frequent coffee breaks, while trying to make sense of their only remaining "work," a mysterious pro-bono ad campaign. A first novel.
"The Office meets Kafka. It's Seinfeld rewritten by Donald Barthelme. It's Office Space reimagined by Nicholson....[U]nderneath the politicking and the sackings and the petty jealousies you can hear something else: the sound of our lives (that collective pronoun again) ticking away." Nick Hornby, Housekeeping vs. The Dirt
"With so many books on office life, it's nice to see someone add fresh spark and originality to the subject. Nick Hornby praised this as 'a terrific first novel,' foreshadowing a positive public reception." Library Journal
"[An] assured debut and an entertaining read." San Francisco Chronicle
"[W]hat 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
"Ferris' writing displays a strong descriptive flair, but the greatest asset of Then We Came to the End is the nuance of its narrative voice, which has the gossipy warmth and seeming closeness of a conspiratorial co-worker leaning over a partition to impart the latest rumor." Chicago Tribune
"I read this novel remembering why I ever wanted to read fiction, why I want to write....It is also one of the funniest novels I have ever read." Geoffrey Wolff, author of The Duke of Deception and The Age of Consent
"[A] very funny debut novel....Set at a Chicago ad agency at the turn of the century, Ferris's novel is for anyone who chuckles over Dilbert, can recite lines from Office Space, or has an appointment on Thursday nights with The Office. Then We Came to the End is a vicious sendup of cubicle culture that somehow manages not to lose sight of its characters' humanity." Yvonne Zipp, Christian Science Monitor (read the entire CSM review)
Winner of the Hemingway Foundation / PEN Award, this debut novel is "as funny as The Office, as sad as an abandoned stapler . . . that rare comedy that feels blisteringly urgent." (TIME)
No one knows us in 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 depicted in Joshua Ferris's exuberantly acclaimed first novel is family at its best and worst, coping with a business downturn in the time-honored way: through gossip, elaborate pranks, and increasingly frequent coffee breaks.
With a demon's eye for the details that make life worth noticing, Joshua Ferris tells an emotionally true and funny story about survival in life's strangest environment--the one we pretend is normal five days a week.
One of the Best Books of the Year
Boston Globe * Christian Science Monitor * New York Magazine * New York Times Book Review * St. Louis Post-Dispatch * Time magazine * Salon
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.
About the Author
Joshua Ferris's first novel, Then We Came to the End
, won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Barnes and Noble Discover Award, and was a National Book Award finalist. It has been translated into 24 languages. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker
, Best New American Voices, New Stories from the South, Prairie Schooner
, and The Iowa Review
. He lives in New York