2100348901 Image representing cover of Then We Came to the End 2100349001 Photo of Joshua Ferris May/June Pick 2008 :: San Francisco Public Library

May/June Pick 2008

Then We Came to the End

Image representing cover of Then We Came to the End Then We Came to the End
by Joshua Ferris

For anyone who has ever served time in a gray cubicle (or known someone who has), here is the book that deserves a prime place in your in-box.

Joshua Ferris’ 2007 National Book Award Nominee for Fiction is a wickedly funny debut novel that introduces us to a cast of characters in an unnamed Chicago advertising agency coping with a business downturn in a classically corporate way: through gossip, elaborate pranks, sordid romances, and increasingly frequent coffee breaks.

Among the coworkers fighting for their jobs and their precious perks: Tom Mota, recently divorced and inexplicably wearing three company polo shirts, one on top of the other, every day; Joe Pope, a workaholic and perpetual victim of office sabotage; Carl Garbedian, whose unchecked depression has led him to “borrow” Janine Gorjanc's medication and blackout his windows; Chris Yop, suspected of stealing Tom Mota's chair; and Marcia Dwyer, with whom Benny Shassburger is in love, despite her mean streak and badly dated haircut.

As one colleague after another is laid off, everyone strikes their best business-as-usual pose, pretending to make headway on the mysterious pro bono ad campaign that is their only remaining “work.” Meanwhile, tempers flare, office furniture disappears, and the survivors parse their bosses' decisions in ever-more-paranoid sessions at the nearest bar.

Then We Came to the End will have you laughing (and cringing) all the way to the water cooler.

For On the Same Page, the Library has purchased the 2008 trade paperback edition of Then We Came to the End, published by Back Bay Books. It is also available at the Library in Large Print format and as an abridged audio book in CD format.

Photo of Joshua Ferris About the Author

Joshua Ferris was born in Illinois in 1974. He graduated from the University of Iowa in 1996 with a B.A . in English and Philosophy. He worked as an advertising copywriter in Chicago before attending the MFA program at the University of California, Irvine. His short fiction has appeared in The Iowa Review, Best New American Stories, Prairie Schooner, Phoebe, and New Stories from the South: Best of 2007. Then We Came to the End is his first novel.

Related Program

Then We Came to the End Book Discussion Group:
Wednesday, May 28, 6:30–7:30 p.m.
Glen Park Branch Library Meeting Room,
2825 Diamond St. (near Bosworth)

Of Related Interest

Book website

Powells.com interview with Joshua Ferris

Penguin Books interview with Joshua Ferris

Questions and topics for discussion

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