Then We Came to the End is author Joshua Ferris’ first novel. It takes place in a Chicago advertising agency during a year of layoffs. Written mostly in the first person plural, it is a darkly comic look at office life and the inter-personal politics of privileged office workers. I found it to be reminiscent of Kingsley Amis’ Lucky Jim, with its rich humor and underlying sense of foreboding. The writing is often lyrical, with long languorous sentences describing life in a cube farm, like an urban version of Garrison Keillor.

The characters are clearly drawn and, with one deliberate exception, believable. They might or might not remind you of people you have worked with, but they are certainly plausible office-mates. You get to know them well enough that you have sympathy with them, even with the obnoxious bastards (and there are a couple of those).

This is a very entertaining book.



Book cover

Metadata Info

  • Title: Then We Came to the End
  • Author: Joshua Ferris
  • Published: 2007
  • ISBN: 031601639X
  • Buy: Amazon search
  • Check out: Seattle library
  • Rating: 4.0 stars