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Buzz Book Club: Then We Came to the End, The End

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


  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. 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?
  4. 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?
  5. 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?
Join The Conversation
Nyrina-Windu Nyrina-Windu 9 years
I need me a good book to read for the Holiday. So I just might have to check this book out.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
FYI, I enjoyed this book! It was a fun, light read. Ferris really captured the voice of the office environment and tells the story in a way that manages to make it fresh and interesting. Impressive.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
1. I think the message is that we are stronger/happier when we adhere to our own individual expectations than when we try to fall in line with the expectations of a group. Also, we learn that we can never presume to know everything about an individual. 2. Jim being a boss surprised me! I was happy Benny and Marcia got engaged because I thought for sure they would fall out of touch. I wasn't surprised that the girl that had the office affair (whose name slips my mind at the moment) is now a single mother. 3. I really think the use of 'we' is brilliant, because it knocks-you-down-throws-it-in-your-face that so much of this book is about the voice of the office collective. 4. I have to admit that I wasn't particularly struck by the Hank part although I was happy that he succeeded with writing his own book! I wasn't terribly surprised that they had forgotten who he was though - he was a part, but not a dominant part, of the "we" group. The part where they all got together at the bar was sad though and Benny's desperation for everyone to relive their "old days" shows how much of his own self-identity was dependant upon that office "we". 5. I think I could see this as a movie definitely! It'd be a good 'Hollywood ensemble' type of flick. Karen - Lucy Liu? Or that girl from 'Gilmore Girls'? Not a lot of Asian actresses to choose from... Benny - Seth Rogan (someone with curly hair!) Joe - Tobey Maguire Genevieve - Amy Smart Lynn - Allison Janey Tom - Matthew Perry? or Jack Black?
Hanna1117 Hanna1117 9 years
My boyfriend is reading this - when he's done I am so stealing it from him!
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