A terrific literary debut

We’re such fans of The Office — both the current NBC version and its British predecessor — that we initially felt like Joshua Ferris’s comic novel about office life, Then We Came to the End (out 3/1), would be superfluous. We’ve had our fill of satires of workplace dysfunction, we thought.

But no. End is the real deal: an engrossing, often surprisingly moving drama about archetypal office drones you know all too well from your own job (though these ones happen to work at a Chicago advertising agency right after the dot-com bust).

Everyone’s here — the psychopath, the depressive, the aloof middle manager, the gossip hounds, and so on — but they’re compassionately presented as honest-to-God characters, not caricatures. And funny as it is, End is ultimately very wise about (flawed) human nature.

“>BUY Then We Came to the End (Little, Brown; 385 pages, hardcover)

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A terrific literary debut