Friday, May 02, 2008

CW Book Selection for May 2008 "Then We Came to An End" by Joshua Ferris

If you’ve ever worked in an office, then you are keenly aware of the interesting blend of personalities and family unit that forms when individuals are thrown together for a common purpose. As Americans we spend more than 80 percent of our lives at work. The resulting formula means that most of our live we are engaged with behavior ranging from madcap comedy, high drama, peculiar personalities and friends we will bond with for life—sometimes all in one setting. Author Joshua Ferris offers the most modern and insightful look at our workplace relationships, which are rich for examination in his novel, “Then We Came to An End,” Charlotte Weekly’s book club selection for May.

Ferris’ novel is set at an advertising agency in Chicago just after the dot com bust. Be warned: this book is not for the meek. Be prepared to laugh hard. Really hard. You will see yourself and everyone you’ve ever worked with in this novel. People either get fired or die – the former being worse because they keep hanging around the office and finding reasons to return. The workers lament about the infrequent appearance of free bagels and the office worker who is always happy and sees goodness in everyone and everything (you know who you are). The pointless meetings are lambasted with equal measure to the coworkers who e-mail the entire group about personal trivialities.

My best advice: Don’t read this book in public. The continual outpouring of rip-roaring laughter may send people scurrying away. Join us on Tuesday, May 20 at 7 p.m. at Barnes & Noble at 11025 Carolina Place in Pineville. Please R.S.V.P. at

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