Welcome back Buzz Book Club readers! This week my June selection, Then We Came to the End, came to an end — and what an ending it was! This final section combined things that I'm frightened of (scary clowns) with a little bit of hope and some sharp final insights into the fear, apathy, and intimacy that make up modern work life. Plus, this was hands-down the funniest section of the book despite (or because of?) how twisted it was.
If you're new to the Book Club, this is how it goes: Every week I'll suggest chapters to complete by the next post. In these weekly Book Club posts, I'll posit a few questions to prompt discussion in the comments section.
After the jump you'll find some questions that struck me as I read this section.
And stay tuned for the announcement of my July book club selection!
To discuss the final section of Then We Came to the End
- Tom really falls apart in this section, and yet what he does (shooting people with a paintball gun) is sort of hilarious. His conversation with Joe in jail seems like a pivotal moment: Tom tried so hard to be apart from the group by being outrageous, and it landed him in a bad spot; Joe, meanwhile, also stood apart from the group but just by being his normal self. What do you think is the book's ultimate message about group-think, individuality, and the workplace?
- In this section, we learn the fates of most of the characters — Benny and Marcia are engaged, Jim is now a boss, etc. Which surprised you, and which seemed perfectly in line with what you were expecting?
- Speaking of the characters: The book starts with the word "we" and ends with the words "you and me" — and we still don't know the identity of either the "you" or the "me." And yet, I feel like I know the character of the narrator so well. What do you make of that choice?
- There's so much that's poignant about Hank's scenes at the end of the book, from the fact that none of his old coworkers remember him to the revelation that his book includes the chapter about Lynn that we read earlier. I found this to be moving and brilliant on Ferris' part. What did you think?
- I could totally see this working as a movie (with the right director, perhaps). Could you see this being adapted for film? Who could you see playing Karen Woo, Benny, Joe Pope, Genevieve, Lynn Mason, Tom and the others?