Thursday, March 08, 2007
More About Then We Came To The End
Here are some more reviews of Then We Came To The End, the new "office life" novel that has been almost universally praised. Several remark on the narrator's use of the pronoun "we", which author Joshua Ferris employs throughout the novel much as David McInerney famously addressed the reader as "you" in Bright Lights, Big City. Here though, instead of putting the reader into the action, the use of "we" conveys a hint of solidarity among the white collar workers in the story, an acknowledgement that they are facing the same crisis together despite their individual differences and feelings of alienation.
There is also an interview of Mr. Ferris, who used to be one of us. He worked as a copywriter for an ad firm in Chicago where, he says, "I never did advertising that was particularly sexy. I was more a news-letter and bill-insert man." He is unequally unassuming about his writing gifts, claiming, "I have always said that I have absolutely no talent, but a tremendous amount of discipline." He made up for his perceived shortcomings by working on his book 16 hours a day, completing it in 14 weeks. One thing that the white collar world will teach you is how to meet a deadline.
"All in a day's work: Ferris gives voice to office tyrants and flunkies" from BookPage Interview
"When work isn't fun but funny" from Newsday
"Hell Is Other Cubicles" from Slate
"Tender view of life among the cubicles" from The San Francisco Chronicle
"Cubicles of mass destruction" from The Christian Science Monitor