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157 Reviews
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is it infallibly the case that a book that polarizes opinion is a truly innovative work?
Having picked up this book on the off-chance, read it and loved it, I wanted to see what other people thought. Well, it seems that a good half of them hated it. This amazed me but also made me wonder whether it was a sign that the author was doing something right. The consistent five star novels out there have their fans and seem to elicit adulation on the one hand and...
Published 19 months ago by Horselover

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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slooooow burn - but worth it in the end - don't give up!
This is an intriguing book which provides a dry, original and darkly humourous commentary on the superficiality of modern corporate life and the dangers of the American Dream, as well as a reflection on individual creativity and resourcefulness. It is a very interesting read if you've got time and are feeling generous.

Like other reviewers I was so tempted to...
Published on 20 April 2008 by Juliet Platt


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat annoying, somewhat OK., 23 Feb. 2009
By 
J. Cronin "dudara" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Then We Came to the End: A Novel (Paperback)
What do a bunch of workers in a post-dotcom boom advertising agency talk about or think about? With the threat of redundancy constantly looming, this book describes the creative escapades and personalities of bored workers in the modern office.

I must say that I didn't particularly like a lot of this book. It reminded me painfully of Douglas Coupland's Microserfs and jPod. Maybe the slow descriptions of mundane events is meant to evoke the triteness and banality of the office life. It certainly nearly made me give up on the book.

However, as the book turns towards the story of Lynn, a partner in the advertising agency, who is struggling to come to terms with breast cancer, we find some merit and humanity in this story. Her employees are both fascinated and sympathetic towards her and it becomes important to the reader to find out what happens.

Overall, I ended up somewhat liking the novel instead of hating it. However, there are better commentaries on the stupidity of modern cubicle life.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most I have enjoyed a book in the last year, 29 April 2008
This review is from: Then We Came to the End: A Novel (Paperback)
I was amazed to see so many poor reviews of this book. This was probably the most I have enjoyed a book in the last year. I can understand what some reviewers have said about the characters not being engaging at the start of the book. The style is very chatty, and at first you only hear small snippets about each character, and so you build up a picture of them quite slowly. But I was still enjoying the book as an amusing satire of office life.

But for me the book changed into a different gear about half way through with the moving and thought-provoking incident which other reviewers have mentioned concerning the hospital appointment. From that point on I really had to know what was going to happen, not just to that character, but to the others as well. At the end of the book there are elements to the plot which affect everyone in the the office and I thought it was an achievement of the book that I cared about what would happen to ALL the characters, not just the funny or pleasant ones but even those who at first had seemed quite unappealing. Don't think of this as "The Office" in book form. It goes beyond just being an office satire.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very refreshing!, 7 Aug. 2010
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This review is from: Then We Came to the End: A Novel (Paperback)
I thought the first person plural a little gimmicky when I opened the book, but I think it's truly justified by the subject matter - corporate life is a bit like being a worker bee and working on behalf of the corporation, dancing to some other tune than your own. (And the book perfectly captures the idiocy and boredom of that too, without itself being boring.)

I thought it was clever and different, but not only that - I thought it had plenty of heart and enough story for me too. Also, it's so hard to write about corporate life - I've seen many try and fail but Ferris pulls it off in my view. Perhaps you need to have worked in a corporation for it to chime as much as it did with me.

But I don't want to big it up so much that you don't like it.

Oh, and though there's black comedy I wouldn't choose it as a comic read - the blurb is a bit misleading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good but not hilarious, 27 Mar. 2008
By 
Amazon Customer "hamble" (somewhere in west europe) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Then We Came to the End: A Novel (Paperback)
"funny" ... "VERY funny" ... "PAINFULLY funny" ... "darkly funny" ... "the comedy debut of the year".

the book promotes itself as something absolutely hilarious. this must be a mistake, because it simply isn't.

what is IS though is quite entertaining, more than readable and very well written.

the plot, if i could find one, could not be summed up in a paragraph, because basically NOTHING MUCH HAPPENS. and i suppose that's the point. the protagonists seem to spend their days at work gossiping about others, judging how they act, interfering with them, misinterpreting what they say, and generally indulging in all the petty and senseless activities that office workers tend to do when they're not working.

overall, i found this book to be fairly absorbing, although my sides remained unsplit.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you work in an office, you'll love it, 4 Dec. 2011
By 
Sas (Edinburgh, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Then We Came to the End: A Novel (Paperback)
Admittedly, it's been a while since I read the book so can't really comment in depth, but when I noticed that it only had 3 stars (I'm about to buy it for a friend), I felt I had to say something. I'm genuinely surprised that anyone would rate it anything less than 4...or maybe a 3 if it wasn't really your cup of tea. Maybe it's because I work in an office myself, but I thought this book was great. It captures those ridiculous litte moments of office drama so well - yes, people really do have 'secret' meetings in the stationary cupboard to gossip about their colleagues and call meetings about who it is that keeps leaving teaspoons unwashed in the kitchen sink. It might not be particularly highbrow, but it's a very enjoyable read and would happily recommend it to any of my friends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars And FINALLY I've got to the end..., 22 Jun. 2008
By 
Natalie Bailey (Cambridge, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Then We Came to the End: A Novel (Paperback)
I wanted very much to enjoy this book and it certainly looked promising. I've been reading it on and off for the past four months and I have to agree with the majority of the other reviewers-the characters are not engaging and ultimately you don't end up caring what happens to any of them. In fact there were so many characters that I had trouble keeping track of them. However, where it does succeed is in its astute portrayal of office life. Sometimes it was so insightful and so truthful it was trully astonishing, and I'm not even exagerrating. I would go as far as to say its worth reading just for that...That said, I work in an office all day so I don't really want to go home and read about one however uncannily accurately its portrayed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too slow - nothing happens!, 21 Jan. 2008
By 
Julia Flyte - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Then We Came to the End: A Novel (Paperback)
The beginning of "Then we came to the end" is full of promise. It gripped me immediately and it captured a world so real that I could virtually smell the toner fluid. But ultimately it doesn't go anywhere. It's just more of the same. And while it is beautifully written, the absence of momentum takes its toll. I found it slow going after about halfway. Ironically, it does finish well and it's one of those books that seems greater in retrospect.

It is very well written and it is a novel concept. It just needed more of a plot. I'm not sure why Publisher's Review described it as "wildly funny". The tone is more darkly satirical than humorous, although there are funny parts here and there. The reviews have over-hyped this one.
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38 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And then I came to the end...and I was sad!, 5 Jan. 2008
By 
Cindy Stroud (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Then We Came to the End: A Novel (Paperback)
This is a funny look at the employees of a Chicago ad agency, that is experiencing a downturn and forced layoffs after the boom of the 1990s comes to an end. Because of the bad economy there is not much time to work but lots of time to gossip and worry about who is next to get the Axe! The characters are what drive this book and they are fully fleshed people you probably will recognize from your own life. There is the story-man, Benny, the put-down artist Marcia, Tom the guy who has been laid off but keeps hanging around anyway. The corporate culture is on display here. I had come to love the characters so much I was sad to see it end... I had not felt like that since finishing "Misfits Country."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars If you've ever wondered 'what's funny about breast cancer?' -- this book won't help you find out, 6 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Then We Came to the End: A Novel (Paperback)
There really is nothing to enjoy here - seriously. I read through the whole volume on the promise that it would reveal itself to be a work of genius ultimately. It didn't. It starts out in a banal tone - I thought this was intentional. It then drifts into an unremarkable narrative of an unlikeable woman with breast cancer. Then it wraps up in a very lacklustre manner. Was the pay-off supposed to be funny? Was it even a pay-off? I like gallows humour. There wasn't even any of that. Reading this was as a real chore, and I have been an office worker in my time. I didn't find this engaging or humorous in any respect. If you must read it, don't say I didn't warn you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, 1 May 2014
By 
D. Elliott (Surrey, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I read this book on recommendation of my teenage daughter. I found it very entertaining. Having worked in an office environment for over 30 years the level of friendship between the personalities was very familiar. The tales told of the individuals are really about something and nothing and yet for all that is fascinating. The book is written in the first person plural, the "we" of the title. The chapter about their boss changes tempo completely and is an excellent portrayal of someone not being able to face up to the facts. I would definitely recommend this book; expect lots of tales rather than one comprehensive story line.
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Then We Came to the End: A Novel
Then We Came to the End: A Novel by Joshua Ferris (Paperback - 4 Jan. 2008)
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