Friday, May 25, 2007

Book: Then We Came To The End, by Joshua Ferris (2007)

Two weeks ago I said I wanted to rave about Joshua Ferris’ extraordinary novel Then We Came To The End. The fact that I’m determined to make good on that promise should tell you just how extraordinary it is.

The book, set in a struggling Chicago advertising agency in the waning days of the dot-com boom, is about work. Ferris tells the story largely in the first person plural, hence the ‘we’ of the title. Far from being a literary trick, this device illuminates the book’s essential truth: that for the eight hours a day in which “you walk around on the same bit of carpet” (to quote another brilliant examination of the modern workplace), you and your coworkers are all part of something larger. That something larger changes as people come and go, and will retain some trace of you after you’ve gone. The sad fact is none of us has any say in what part lingers. It’s about nothing less than finding the transcendent in the everyday, which sounds way too high-falutin’, so I’ll conclude thusly: Ferris’ darkly funny book is the best thing I’ve read in ages, and it knocked me on my ass.

TV: Current

Watching Al Gore on The Daily Show last night got me wondering. Is Current, his TV network, still on?

Turns out it is. According to my channel guide, here’s what’s airing in the next few hours:

International Insight
Global Scene
Random Insight
Views & Voices
Random & Riveting
Sum of the Parts
Parts of the Sum
Rebel Journalism
Citizen Journalism

Even better, every show has the identical description. News and current events. Hard to imagine SpikeTV is more popular.