Friday, November 27, 2009

Then We Came To The End, Joshua Ferris

3 1/2 stars

4th in the novels set at work series. You will feel like you are working with these people, for better or for worse.

This first novel generated a lot of buzz before it ever came out. A lot of that buzz centered on the fact that it is written in the first person plural. This 'we' is appropriate to the denizens of the office, though I think that to some extent it kept me from really forming an attachment to many of them. There is also no back story to any of the characters - we just jump into their lives midstream. Again, this is very effective in demonstrating the notion that we don't really know our colleagues as entire people, we just know their at-work personae.

I wanted to love this book, but found that I couldn't quite get there. Pretty much everyone who reviewed it raved about it, which always makes me think I must be missing something if I don't, too. It is entertaining. I was slightly relieved by the middle section, which is told in the third person and is plot-driven - regular novel style. When I came to the end, I found I cared more for the individuals than I would have originally believed.

Here's an interview with Joshua Ferris about the book.

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