Monday, November 05, 2012

Books read in 2012: No. 88 -- The End of the World

by Andrew Biss

Started: Nov. 5
Finished: Nov. 6

Amazon link: The End of the World

Notes: I was drawn to this novel some while back because, like readers do, I found the book description of interest. The tale is about a fellow named Valentine who leaves his parents' home to make his own way in the world, then he's robbed at gunpoint. Valentine ends up in a mysterious tavern or inn, and it seems like he might be dead, my guess being he was killed during the robbery. At this inn, he meets a number of odd characters. I was also drawn to this tale because it sounds somewhat like Neil Gaiman's Worlds' End storyline from The Sandman graphic novels; I have no idea if there is a casual connection, but it seems possible. Guess I'll find out.

Mini review: The writing here was crisp and clean, and there were some interesting steps into spiritualism, even Buddhism. However, I didn't care much for the main character, which especially hurts a tale told in the first person. Why didn't I like him? Well, for one thing, he was so whiny all the time, and while not a total idiot, he seemed constantly outside of the know, to have very little grasp upon reality, which I could stomach in a possibly less intelligent character, but not here where the character seemed to have the possibility of being quite bright though sheltered somewhat by his parents. In the end, I did feel somewhat sorrowful for the main character. Also, I want to point out that I didn't detest this character, I simply didn't find him all that likable. He reminded me a little of a less obnoxious version of the Ignatius Reilly character from A Confederacy Dunces as if written by someone trying to emulate Neil Gaiman.


Charles Gramlich said...

There's been a number of those "Crossroads" types books written. They are generally pretty interesting.

The Diary of Serial Killers said...

The review you have shared seems very analytical because you have described the book in short but qualitative manner. For me, your review will be a viewpoint to consider for the reason aforementioned. What I personally look in any book is that its story should not create choas in my mind while reading and you have said that the writing is crisp and clean. It is making me to read it.