my initial moments reading this book were filled with eager anticipation and mild confusion. i owe this both to the skill of this first-time novelist at capturing the particular and compelling timbre of a corporate creative environment with uncanny accuracy, and the peculiar manner which he employed to do so. once i was able to comprehend the mechanism of the “first-person-plural” narrative voice, and stopped waiting for the narrator to identify as a singular individual, rather than what i like to call “the global we” i was better able to settle to the meat of the story.

never having been a corporate creative type, i do count some of my closest friends among them, and i can easily sense the rightness of Ferris’ portrayal of this group of people and their surroundings. the petty alliances and betrayals, the contempt and dependence grown from too much familiarity, the currents and eddies of myriad social and occupational entanglements; all of these resonate with a genuineness and authenticity one can judge even without having experienced it firsthand.

Ferris deftly captures the crawling unease amongst the characters caused by the drift of layoffs and quiet corporate calamities mounting around them. the responses of this group to these pressures are fascinating and absurd. they turn on each other with a mixture of scorn and compassion that is singularly convincing. moreover the array of individual reactions are fascinating, unpredictable, and utterly compelling. all this told with the unabashed lack of objectivity in vaguely stream-of-consciousness meandering, complete with temporal shifts, repetitions of scenes and exchanges that perfectly depict the storytelling style of the consummate office gossip.

amusing and well-told, fundamentally interesting and poignant in its honesty.