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Inspired Wordsmith
Stephanie
Posts: 2,613
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Welcome from your moderator

Hello and Welcome!
 
I'm Stephanie, and it's my pleasure to be your moderator for our discussion about the novel, Then We Came to the End. 
 
Please consider this your book club, and post your ideas, thoughts and questions frequently.  Variety makes for interesting conversation.  If you have any questions about the forum, don't hesitate to ask.  I or another of the long-time members will be glad to help you along.
 
Happy Reading!
Stephanie
Melissa_W
Posts: 4,124
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Solutions: 33
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Excellent read - two thumbs up!

[ Edited ]
I just finished reading Then We Came to the End and it is a great read - an interesting take on narrative and a good story, too.  I really came to care about the characters in the book (Benny, Marcia, Hank Neary, Jim Jackers, Linda, Joe, Old Brizz, Tom Mota, Carl) and it was really interesting to read each one's backstory.  Almost like a break at the water cooler :smileyvery-happy: which may have been the point.  A book worthy of being one of the Ten Best Books of 2007 (NY Times) and 2007 Discover Winner for BN.
 
Shout out and congrats to Joshua - gotta support the Iowa alums wherever we land!


Message Edited by pedsphleb on 03-29-2008 12:35 AM
Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
Inspired Correspondent
Librarian
Posts: 483
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: Welcome from your moderator

Hi------I'm a few chapters in on this book. After reading Last Night at the Lobster, this seemed like a great choice to read. I enjoy novels about working environments. After reading About the Author, I am wondering if Joshua Ferris has had any experience in this type of working environment. He certainly brings this office to life.
Librarian
Frequent Contributor
Kat727
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎04-28-2007
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Re: Welcome from your moderator

hi everyone! i absolutely loved this book! you could relate to the story and i really cared about the characters. 
peace and love
Kaylee/Kat
Frequent Contributor
Jessica
Posts: 968
Registered: ‎09-24-2006
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Re: Welcome from your moderator

Don't forget to check out the Web site!
 
Frequent Contributor
Jessica
Posts: 968
Registered: ‎09-24-2006
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Re: Welcome from your moderator



Librarian wrote:
Hi------I'm a few chapters in on this book. After reading Last Night at the Lobster, this seemed like a great choice to read. I enjoy novels about working environments. After reading About the Author, I am wondering if Joshua Ferris has had any experience in this type of working environment. He certainly brings this office to life.
Librarian


Hi Librarian,
 
Apparently, he did work in a Chicago ad agency for a while before returning to school for his MFA.
Frequent Contributor
LucyintheOC
Posts: 69
Registered: ‎03-05-2008
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Re: Excellent read - two thumbs up!

Yes, I agree -- an interesting take on narrative. I'm about a quarter of the way into the book, and I'm enjoying it, despite the fact that the author's style exhausts me! I've wondered more than once how did Ferris find the stamina to keep up the engergy that his writing style demands! Holy cow! I think I'm pooped from reading....but on to the end I trudge because I also have grown attached to the characters and their stories.
Melissa_W
Posts: 4,124
Topics: 516
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Blog Posts: 3
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Joshua Ferris just won the Hemingway/PEN award!

Hey all, Ande's new post in the Book Explorer's forum talks about the PEN awards - Then We Came to the End won the Hemingway/PEN award.
Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
Frequent Contributor
Jessica
Posts: 968
Registered: ‎09-24-2006
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Re: Welcome from your moderator



Librarian wrote:
Hi------I'm a few chapters in on this book. After reading Last Night at the Lobster, this seemed like a great choice to read. I enjoy novels about working environments. After reading About the Author, I am wondering if Joshua Ferris has had any experience in this type of working environment. He certainly brings this office to life.
Librarian


Hi Librarian,
You know, when I scheduled Then We Came to the End it didn't dawn on me that I had two "workplace novels" back-to-back. It will be interesting to compare the similarities between the last days of corporate restaurant jobs and corporate cubicle jobs...
Inspired Wordsmith
Stephanie
Posts: 2,613
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Excellent read - two thumbs up!

Lucy,

I know what you mean about the pace- I'm having to read this book in bursts, there are no hours long sit-downs with this book for me.  The bursts work though, because the characters, while handed to us in snippets, are still memorable enough that I don't need huge chunks to keep up with them. 
 
Group: What did you think of the pace?  How do you think it works for the novel?  Negative aspects?
Stephanie
New User
puerilesoul
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎04-02-2008
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Re: Excellent read - two thumbs up!

I agree that the pacing is very strange to me. There are times when I feel I can't read it straight through. However there are also times when it gets much more gripping and I find myself awake at night. I'm about 4/5ths done with it, and it definitely reached some very interesting peaks that gripped. Ultimately what makes this book great is that, even with the change in style, it is still structured quite Aristotelian, (even if the climax might be actually anti-climactic).
 
What I'm most impressed with is the duress of the first-person plural POV. I know for a fact that in the long run I would not be able to pull that off.
Inspired Wordsmith
Stephanie
Posts: 2,613
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Excellent read - two thumbs up!

I'm also impressed with the narration, although it was a little strange to feel that there was one person in the "group" that I never got to know.  I never got a true feel of the collectiveness that I suppose was the intent, because the individuals all seemed so at odds with each other, I kept wondering - Where does this one fit in?  How does he feel about Karen or Benny or Marcia?  
 
Group: Did the first-person plural narration work for you?
Stephanie
New User
shannonsteiner
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎04-07-2008
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Re: Excellent read - two thumbs up!

I loved the book. I agree, it must have taken Joshua Ferris a long time to write it and make sure all the various characters' timelines didn't overlap or intersect where they shouldn't have. I loved feeling like I was right there with all the gang at the office. It was a great read! I worried about 3 or 4 chapters in, that it was going to feel long, but once I got through the middle interlude section, I wanted to get to the end. The last chapter was so good. I loved the fast-forward of time, and the retrospective on "the way we were"... fabulous book!
Inspired Wordsmith
Stephanie
Posts: 2,613
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Excellent read - two thumbs up!

I agree about worrying that it was going to feel long- but you're right, the pace picked up considerably after that "interlude" (I like that term, very apt here). 

There were a few things I still wanted to know, and other perspectives I wished I were privy to, but all in all, it was a satisfying ending.

Stephanie
Contributor
lenoreva
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎04-15-2008
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Re: Welcome from your moderator

I am an advertising copywriter so I write in the corporate "we" all the time.  But to tell a whole story using it?  What a great (yet exhausting) idea!  I did read his notes at the end that it took him a long time to figure out how to make it work.
 
Pacing was a bit slow at the beginning, but it is very worth it to keep on reading (almost finished - I'll be back when I am done).
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