Then We Came to the End

I finished Joshua Ferris’ Then We Came To the End today. I picked up the book at the airport on my way back from my West Virginia interview back in March. I only now found the time to finish it (I read 200 pages while at the Phoenix airport Friday).

I found the book really easy to read. Ferris uses first person plural – we – throughout the book to demonstrate the herd-like mentality of office drones. It really works to give a greater meaning to the story and what these characters felt. I was also interested because to a lesser degree I use the first person plural in my memoir. It’s a technique very rarely used and I think Ferris really makes his story stand out by using it.

Ferris does some interesting things with the narrative. There’s a section in the middle of the book that switches from first person plural into third person for no apparent reason. The reader doesn’t figure out why Ferris does this until the end, and I think that’s what makes this book work – the writer takes some chances with his story and the way he tells his story, ultimately giving the narrative greater meaning.

Check it out if you get the chance.

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I was talking to my brother Bo yesterday. I mentioned my couple days of traveling coming up. I drove from Mankato to Fargo yesterday. Now, I’m waiting to catch the train to Minneapolis, where I’ll catch a taxi to the airport, and then a plane to Hawaii.

“Wow,” Bo said. “Planes, trains, and automobiles, huh?”

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On a final note, I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to post once I’m on the ship. Some of the information is classified so I’ll need permission to post on a blog. Therefore, if you don’t hear from me for a while, don’t fret. I’ll post when I can. If nothing else I’ll do a big photo dump at the end of the trip.

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