#100: Then We Came To The End by Joshua Ferris
What a way to go. This was a brilliant fucking novel. It’s like an amazing combination of Catch-22 and “The Office.” It’s dangerous to tread the waters of cubicle politics without getting droll and stupid. Just like everyone thinks THEIR office is so much like Dunder Mifflin. But Ferris creates a whipcrack tome that will ring true to anyone who’s ever toiled in the bitter halls of corporate hell.
What’s even more phenomenal is that his narrator is a “we.” Never named or identified, it instantly draws the reader into the story as if they’ve always been a part of it. As if they were one of the office drones populating the cubes.
It treats the atmosphere like a high school, lunches together, best frenemies, deadlines, pranks, hating the bosses. Never once does Ferris go for wacky setups or try to push jokey ideas. And he covers some pretty insane territory, involving homicidal clowns and totem poles. But it all feels natural.
I’ve toiled for years in shitty desk job that I loathe, but I need. At times I’ve threatened the lives of all of my co-workers and bosses. I still tell stories of the people who’ve left, as if they were heroes of lore. How my one co-worker used to buy everyone food, and how we had Smiths dance parties when everyone else left the office. We talk shit on each other, we console each other. We love and hate simultaneously. I spend more time with these people than the people I love, so they become like a family.
Ferris is an excellent author, and I look forward to his next book. As soon as I finished this, I decided to give it to my coworker to read. Even though he’s a fucking idiot. And my favorite person in the office.
This review is part of the Cannonball Read. For more of Brian’s reviews, check out his blog, The Gospel According to Prisco.