Saturday, March 03, 2007

Then We Came to the End

A few bright lights are big on Joshua Ferris's first novel, and the cool kids are in the good crowd here.

I'm loving this, a satire on the everyday workplace that is funny, smart without trying so hard, and I think with this one novel I can take a bunch of books about globalization and "Bowling Alone" kind of titles off of my radar.

The ad agency in the book looks with longing at it's salad days during the dot com boom and as layoffs denude the company (walking Spanish down the hall) is the work term for getting sacked, a whole host of survival mechanisms and fumbling acts of kindness both pollute and enrich the atmosphere as accounts dry up and the only "work" seems to be a pro bono series of breast cancer related spots.

I'm only about two thirds through it; but corporate satire despite being ripe for such a book, seems not to have a really good one lately.

Max Barry (Company) was good and Benjamin Kunkel (Indecision) a bit less so; my generalized loathing for Douglas Coupland remains boundless.

The beating human heart, despite some truly bad behaviour, indeed some outright cruelty by one of the initially downsized, shines through the novel albeit wrapped in a smoky haze.

After a slow start, 2007 looks pretty fine indeed.

I've already mentioned how freakishly good this is.

Posted by Dave

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