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Publisher's Summary

An astounding debut novel, wickedly funny and big-hearted, about life in the office, signals the arrival of a gloriously talented new writer.

No one knows us quite the same way as the men and women who sit beside us in department meetings and crowd the office refrigerator with their labeled yogurts. Every office is a family of sorts, and the Chicago ad agency Joshua Ferris brilliantly depicts in his debut novel is family at its strangest and best.

The characters in Then We Came to an End cope with a business downturn in the time-honored way: through gossip, secret romance, elaborate pranks, and increasingly frequent coffee breaks. As one colleague after another is seen "walking Spanish down the hall" (office shorthand for being fired), the survivors obsessively parse their bosses' decisions - when they're not competing for the best office furniture left behind or trying to make sense of the mysterious pro-bono ad campaign that is their only remaining "work".

Joshua Ferris has a demon's eye for the details and emotions that make up our lives, and he has written a hilarious and moving novel about the strange selves we become when we walk through the office doors each day.

©2007 Joshua Ferris (P)2007 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Heartfelt and delivered in solemn deadpan. It may even be, in its own modest way, a great American novel." (Darcy Cosper, Los Angeles Times)
"Wildly funny....At once delightfully freakish and entirely credible, Ferris' cast makes a real impression." ( Publishers Weekly)
"It's hilarious in a Catch-22 way, but with an undercurrent of sadness that works counterpoint to all the absurdity." (Stephen King)

What listeners say about Then We Came to the End

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Hilarious in book form, not so much for audio...

I wondered what all the hoopla was about after I had finished listening to the audiobook version of this. I don't have anything against the reader---she was OK. But the book content is a real slice-and-dice job of the original book. This abridged version cuts out a lot of the fun, quirky stuff and you don't get a sense of how funny the book really is. My advice: don't get this version.
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Audible: please try to request an unabridged version!



19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Abridged Reading

We were eager to read this, after listening together to Joshua Ferris being interviewed on the NYT book review podcast, so we downloaded the Audible version and enjoyed it quite a lot. Between listening sessions we talked about the characters and shared our thoughts about the book's narrators. We did not realize until it was over that we were listening to an abridged version. As a rule, we don't read (or listen to) abridgements. So we don't feel qualified to review the book when we're really only read part of it! However, it is clever and entertaining and any former or current cube-dwellers will almost certainly find much to appreciate. The composite narrator (much of the story is told from the perspective of "us") feels as fresh and novel as the first time we read Jay McInerney's "Bright Lights, Big City" 23 years ago. We only wish the Audible version were not an abridgement. We felt, in the end, as if someone were missing.

18 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars

DO NOT BUY THIS IT IS EXTREMELY ABRIDGED

they cut out most of the story. don't buy this version. please just read the actual book.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Reader poor on this one

I really wanted to enjoy this book, but had a very hard time getting into it and gave up after an hour or so. Realized that I would have preferred a male reader - more appropriate to the text - and one with more enthusiasm about the project. Will probably give it another chance, because I really wanted to like the book. Also didn't realize was abridged. Like the previous reviewer, I prefer the whole book.

4 people found this helpful

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a waste

The story is good, the narrator ..... i couldn't get past her computer-like drab tone and flat narration. I returned this book, very unhappily.

3 people found this helpful

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ABRIDGED - Don’t bother

This audiobook is an abridged version of the story (without any warning from Audible). The only reason I knew I missed out on major themes/storylines is because I was reading it as part of a book club.

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This is a nasty abrigement

Like most of Ferris' writing. what we get here is witty, snappy, and winking funny. The problem lies in what we get here: a 400-page novel that is viciously abridged to what we discover is just over 4 hours of listening time. Yes, the download page does indicate this is an abridgement, and, yes, I did miss it, but as I was not expecting anything of the sort, I neither looked for nor noticed the rather buried statement of that fact.

How disappointing. I love Ferris' work and would have loved listening to the entirty of this one.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Why is so much skipped?

I often listen to audiobooks as I read the book. This specific audiobook isn’t advertised as abridged… but it is.

Even before the first chapter, there are paragraphs and sometimes pages completely skipped. In my view, some of the skipped material is the funniest of the book. Super disappointed with this audiobook.

Not because of the reader… or the author… but because of whoever decided the audiobook needed to not be the actual book.

Lame.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Hardly even half the actual book

Where is Tom Mota’s epic breakdown?
Where is Old Brizz and his cigarettes?
Where’s the totem pole?
Why does Marcia have a quasi southern accent if she’s from chicago?
Where’s the rest of the book?
Why even record this version when it completely changes the themes, tone and impact of the original?

Are all the audible books abridged like this? Because if that’s the case then all the books I’ve listened to but not read are probably pretty different.

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Doesn’t tell full book

I like to listen and read along to books to keep my attention up and when I was reading along the story would skip ahead a lot missing pages and pages of story who h I absolutely hate.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Nigel Nicholson
  • Nigel Nicholson
  • 02-08-13

light and funny

This is a charming little diversion into the life of an American office - witty, sardonic, ironic and ultimately a comic confection. Don't expect too much, but it will put a smile on your face.