Photo © Kelly
Then We Came to the End
Little, Brown &
the Book and Author
wickedly funny first novel about life in the office.
Joshua Ferris’s first
novel, Then We Came to the End, was published
in March, 2007 by Little, Brown & Company. It has
sold in 18 countries and has been shortlisted for the
National Book Award and longlisted for the Guardian
First Book Award. His short fiction has appeared or
is forthcoming in Granta, Tin House, New
Stories From the South, Best New American Voices, The
Guardian, The Iowa Review and Prairie Schooner.
He attended the University of Iowa and the University
of California, Irvine. He currently lives in Brooklyn
with his wife.
Author and book website
Then We Started Hearing about
Dave Weich, Powells.com
Things I’d Rather Be
Doing – interview
Fresh Air from
WHYY, April 23, 2007
YouTube Promo Video for
Then We Came to the End
Excerpt from Then We Came to
WE WERE FRACTIOUS AND overpaid.
Our mornings lacked promise. At least those of us
who smoked had something to look forward to at ten-fifteen.
Most of us liked most everyone, a few of us hated
specific individuals, one or two people loved everyone
and everything. Those who loved everyone were unanimously
reviled. We loved free bagels in the morning. They
happened all too infrequently. Our benefits were astonishing
in comprehensiveness and quality of care. Sometimes
we questioned whether they were worth it. We thought
moving to India might be better, or going back to
nursing school. Doing something with the handicapped
or working with our hands. No one ever acted on these
impulses, despite their daily, sometimes hourly contractions.
Instead we met in conference rooms to discuss the
issues of the day.
Ordinarily jobs came in
and we completed them in a timely and professional
manner. Sometimes fuckups did occur. Printing errors,
transposed numbers.Our business was advertising and
details were important. If the third number after
the second hyphen in a client's toll-free number was
a six instead of an eight, and if it went to print
like that, and showed up in Time magazine, no one
reading the ad could call now and order today. No
matter they could go to the website, we still had
to eat the price of the ad. Is this boring you yet?
It bored us every day.Our boredom was ongoing, a collective
boredom, and it would never die because we would never