Monday, March 24, 2008

Possible ToB Winner Review

So, I read Then We Came To The End by Joshua Ferris, which is headed to the semifinals in the Tournament of Books. It was fantastic. Seriously, one of the best books I've read in a long time. It's extremely funny, with a unique voice (the corporate "we") that manages to explore group dynamics without losing the individuality of the group members. Who doesn't love a book with the awesome first line, "We were fractious and overpaid."? Excellent stuff. There is a lot of funny here as Ferris explores the contradictions, excess, and search for meaning in an ad agency just as the dot-com bubble bursts. The group dynamics shift and change as layoffs loom over the entire office and the employees wonder whether or not their boss has cancer. This would have been a fantastic bit of office humor, but Ferris goes deeper than Office Space for insights into finding meaning in one's life, how to face death, and how we break when pushed too hard. Brilliant, amazing, fantastic first novel, and I can't recommend it highly enough.

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