Monday, March 28, 2011

Review: The End of the World by Andrew Biss

The End of the World

ASIN: B004RZ26E2 (ebook)
Page Count: Approx. 104
Copyright: 2011

Quick Update - As you can see from the links on the right side of my page, I am looking for a team of reviewers for this blog.  This review is the debut of the newest Literary R&R review team member, Charlie.  Let's make her feel welcome, shall we?!!! =)

Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

Valentine's parents have decided that the time has come at last for their son to make his own way in the world. Valentine, accustomed to a life of cosseted seclusion, isn't so keen on the idea. But go he must, and soon he finds himself venturing forth into the vast world beyond. His new adventure is soon drawn to a halt, however, when he is mugged at gunpoint. Frightened and exhausted, he seeks shelter at a bed and breakfast establishment run by the dour Mrs. Anna. Here Valentine encounters a Bosnian woman with a hole where her stomach used to be, an American entrepreneur with a scheme to implant televisions into people's foreheads, and a Catholic priest who attempts to lure him down inside a kitchen sink. Then things start getting strange.

Charlie's Review:

This short novel, adapted from the play of the same name, is described by Mr. Biss as “A tale of life, death, and the space in-between.”

The main character, Valentine, after being raised in a sedentary, secluded environment, is sent out by his parents to “fend for himself.” He almost immediately becomes a victim of a mugging at gun point. Valentine, rather lost and frightened, seeks shelter at a bed and breakfast named, The End of the World where he meets some very interesting, and I might add, unsettling, characters, ranging from the man in the fridge, to a cleric from within the kitchen sink.

Inherently dark, and at times, intensely verbose, The End of the World exists in a place that we all tend to ponder, which is; what exactly comes next? While I certainly hope not to run into any of these characters, I did find redeeming qualities, as well as lessons, from them all. The references to appliances left me pondering the symbolism behind them, and then again, pondering if I was over thinking them.

Overall, this novel left me with more questions than answers. Occasionally hard to follow, the last few paragraphs redeemed the storyline and left me feeling as if it all made sense after all. And that perhaps, nothing is as simple as it seems.

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