Friday, May 16, 2014

First 50 Friday - Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris

The First 50 Project is something that I made for myself to help me get through my backlog of books. I own over 200 books that I have not read, not including ebooks, but my first love is new books. In order to help reconcile my warring book lust and guilt, I came up with the First 50 Project. My goal is to read at least the first 50 pages of all 200+ books. Here is my latest First 50 Book:

Then We Came to the End

3. Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
Little, Brown and Company
387 pp.
Winner PEN/Hemingway Award for Best First Novel in 2008

First lines: 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 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.

Then We Came to the End is set in an advertising agency in Chicago, but it is a satire about the state of the American workplace in general. As the first lines show, it is written in the first person plural. It's hard to summarize because of the interesting viewpoint. 

In the first 50 pages, we are introduced to a few characters: Tom Mota and Chris Yop stand out. We all know the personalities, even if we've never really worked in an office environment. It reminded me a lot of the movie "Office Space" and a little of my current job, although we don't have any personalities quite like the ones depicted in the novel! The book is presented sort of as a string of anecdotes. It makes sense as I am reading it, but it is hard to describe. It has a flow, but it is not always linear, but somehow it works.

Reading the first 50 pages was a lot of fun. If I were a book blurber, I would describe it as a rollicking good ride. I didn't want to stop, and I hope I have time to get back to it soon.

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