Then We Came to the End – Joshua Ferris – 10/10

Then We Came To The Endis written for everyone who has ever calculated the psychological effect of taking lunch an hour later on Fridays, so that the end of the week is that much closer upon returning from lunch. For those who have established countdowns in hours until they have reached the number of hours necessary for a qualification/promotion/escape. For those who have put sticky tape over the trackball of a colleague’s old-fashioned computer mouse in order to provide the office with entertainment for a few minutes.

Joshua Ferris encapsulates the tedium of daily life in a faceless, soulless corporation, rivalry with colleagues, the pervading fear when lay-offs are rumoured, loyalty born of affection to a terrifying boss and the importance of the right kind of tea. His office workers are obsessive, arrogant, insane, depressive, tortured by tragedy, incompetent, orthographically challenged and aloof. There is no plot – the characters render it unnecessary.

My only criticism is that it has not aged well – the lay-offs are in late 2001, after 9/11 and the dotcom bust, but seem anachronistic given the financial chaos in 2008-09.

Reviews by other bloggers: Of Books and Bicycles

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