Then We Came to the End is a very unusual story. For one it speaks in the first person plural, so the story is told from the point of view of a group. A group, in fact, that is quick to judge, criticise, love, admire, condemn, envy, and accept the people they work with.
It’s an advertising agency nearing the end of its glory days, and every single person in the office is nervously waiting to see who gets laid off next. It’s not even truly malicious; they’re just glad it’s not them walking out with their scant possessions in a box.
There is nothing particularly explosive about Then We Came to the End. It’s arguable that there’s barely a climax. It’s a gradual transition from one point to another. Things happen; people change.
It’s a novel on life as it really is: small and boring and solid and filled with mistakes and regrets and hope that this isn’t it and that there’s something better or that if this is it then at least don’t let this mediocrity be taken away.
I’d like to say it’s a little like the British The Office, but there’s something about seeing the words written down that truly drives the pettiness and shallowness of work life home.
On a happy note, it appears that I’m no longer depressed and mopey about my work life, because I didn’t get the same twinge and pain in my chest that I got from The Office. I suppose being able to teach from time to time has made life a lot more bearable.
And that’s it, really. That’s the magic of this novel. It’s life as it really is. Filled with dreary moments that seem important now but shallow next. This is us. This is what we do. It’s all there is. And you know, I think that’s perfectly fine.