rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
I read “Then We Came to the End” for a book club meeting that I have next week. I m still not 100% sure that I can make it to the meeting, but I read the book all the same.
“Then We came to the End” is Ferris’s first novel and is set at the turn of the 21st century at a Chicago advertising agency that is struggling through the dot-com failure era. The workers at the office are being laid off one at a time with very little rhyme or reason as to who gets the ax when.
Layoffs were upon us. They had been rumored for months, but now it was official. If you were lucky, you could sue. if you were black, aged, female, Catholic, Jewish, gay, obese, or physically handicapped, at least you had grounds.
Ferris narrates the book from a 1st person plural point of view, which is different from other books I have read. The book is laced with disaffected humor as we are allowed to observe the copywriters and designers partake in their office hi-jinx and suffer from paranoia that they will be the next layoff. The workers spend much of their time trying to look busy or hanging out at the coffee bar gossiping. The book for the most part is set in the office so, if you’ve ever worked in corporate America and sat in a cube, you should be able to find something in this tale that you relate too.
Overall, I enjoyed the book although I think it could have been stronger. There were a lot of characters and most of them weren’t very deeply drawn so you don’t really “get to know” any of the individuals too well.