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by Alistair McCartney

Download The End of the World Book: A Novel eBook
ISBN:
0299226301
Author:
Alistair McCartney
Category:
Social Sciences
Language:
English
Publisher:
University of Wisconsin Press; 1 edition (February 13, 2008)
Pages:
320 pages
EPUB book:
1934 kb
FB2 book:
1418 kb
DJVU:
1668 kb
Other formats
lrf lrf rtf lit
Rating:
4.1
Votes:
217


Alistair McCartney's first novel, THE END OF THE WORLD BOOK, might be the life's work of anyone else but for this superbly assured young California novelist it is merely the beginning of a long career.

Alistair McCartney's first novel, THE END OF THE WORLD BOOK, might be the life's work of anyone else but for this superbly assured young California novelist it is merely the beginning of a long career. Is it a novel at all? Not according to your grandfather who looked for a beginning, middle, and end as the alpha and omega of what should happen first second and third.

This is no ordinary novel. An encyclopedia of memory-from A to Z-The End of the World Book deftly intertwines fiction, memoir, and cultural history, reimagining the story of the world and one man’s life as they both hurtle toward a frightening future. Alistair McCartney’s alphabetical guide to the apocalypse layers images like a prose poem, building from Aristotle to da Vinci, hip-hop to lederhosen, plagues to zippers, while barreling from antiquity to the present.

Alistair McCartney's first novel, fortuitously titled The End of the World Book is just out and making a big . Read It Before the End. By Thriftbooks. com User, March 4, 2008. The End of the World Book", University of Wisconsin Press, 2008

Alistair McCartney's first novel, fortuitously titled The End of the World Book is just out and making a big splash on the literary scene. Darkly comic and deeply erotic, I can promise you that once you read it, you'll never look at apocalypse or global warming in quite the same way again. The End of the World Book", University of Wisconsin Press, 2008. Read It Before the End Amos Lassen Alistair McCartney's debut novel, "The End of the World Book" is an encyclopedia for the 21st century.

Alistair McCartney’s alphabetical guide to the apocalypse layers images like a prose poem, building from Aristotle to da. .Alistair McCartney is the author of The End of the World Book: a Novel (University of Wisconsin Press, 2008).

Alistair McCartney’s alphabetical guide to the apocalypse layers images like a prose poem, building from Aristotle to da Vi This is no ordinary novel.

Alistair McCartney is the author of The End of the World Book, a finalist . The publisher calls this an autobiographical novel.

Alistair McCartney is the author of The End of the World Book, a finalist for the PEN USA Literary Award in Fiction and the Publishing Triangle’s Edmund White debut fiction award. His writing has appeared in 3AM, Animal Shelter, Fence, 1913, Gertrude, Lies/Isles, and other journals. That utterance right at the beginning of the novel, I know nothing about death, absolutely nothing, was something I wrote nine years ago, in the first draft. Was it always your intention to call it such, or did it begin as autobiography and then become a novel in later drafts? Or perhaps you had no inclination to brand it at all?

The End of the World Book: A Novel. Listen to books in audio format instead of reading.

The End of the World Book: A Novel.

Other readers will always be interested in your opinion of the books you've read. Whether you've loved the book or not, if you give your honest and detailed thoughts then people will find new books that are right for them. 1. The End of the World Is Better with Friends. Herron M G. Год: 2016.

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This is no ordinary novel. An encyclopedia of memory—from A to Z—The End of the World Book deftly intertwines fiction, memoir, and cultural history, reimagining the story of the world and one man’s life as they both hurtle toward a frightening future. Alistair McCartney’s alphabetical guide to the apocalypse layers images like a prose poem, building from Aristotle to da Vinci, hip-hop to lederhosen, plagues to zippers, while barreling from antiquity to the present.     In this profound book about mortality, McCartney composes an irreverent archive of philosophical obsessions and homoerotic fixations, demonstrating the difficulty of separating what is real from what is imagined.Finalist, Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction, The Publishing Triangle

Finalist, PEN USA Literary Award for Fiction

  • Fordg
"The End of the World Book: A Novel" is definitely not a novel in any traditional sense of the word. It is largely an autobiography, mixed with fantastic dreams (in which death is a recurrent theme) and homoerotic allusions, captured in the form of an alphabetical glossary that is reminiscent at times of Ambrose Bierce's "The Devil's Dictionary."
A great benefit of this format is that one can pick up the book, read a fourth of a page, and put the book down again with a whole new train of thought started by one of the entries.
  • Buriwield
L is for lateness, tardy, not one to be on time. I read this years ago but was not into reviewing books at the time. T is for Time, a subject covered in a dryly witty manner in the author's encyclopedia of himself. Categories ranging from literature to pop culture to his own life, and each gets eccentric, idiosyncratic explanations that lead to autobiographical entries. They can be read as amusing stand-alone, but the entries cumulatively form a personal narrative. It may seem dryly academic or too 'intellectual' for some, but McCartney infuses a self-revealing voice. He's aware of the clever device while questioning it. In undoing traditional structure, and mastering the deconstructed narrative, he maintains a sense of wit and wonder about life and death, reality and fiction, and the elusive nature of memory.
  • Mataxe
This book contains some marvelous writing, by an author who is imaginative, iconoclastic, erudite, sensitive, and blessed with a keen observation. But despite what it says on the front jacket, the only things that make this a novel are its subversive blending of fact with fiction, and the depth to which it reveals its principal character. There is no plot, and little obvious reason why you should read any one section before another. But you will want to read on, if only for the writing and the chance to immerse yourself in what I can only call the surreal psycho-autobiography of an interesting man.

The book takes the form of an encyclopedia of short alphabetical entries, never more than a page or so, but some as short as a single sentence. The topics for the letter E, for example, are: Eakins, Thomas; Ear; Eastern bloc; Economics; Egypt; Einstein, Albert; E-Mail; Encyclopedia, history of the; Enigmatic; Enlightenment; Erasers; Eternity; Experiments; Exposure; Extinction; and Eyes, bloodshot. In the article on E-Mail, for instance, McCartney imagines how Jane Austen might have used it. The article on the Enigmatic begins "Leonardo da Vinci had it easy," and goes on to imagine how hard it is to represent enigma in today's technological world. The article in between these two, on the Encyclopedia, essentially describes the method of the whole book, and is worth quoting in full:

"The first encyclopedia was created by Aristotle in 322 BC; it was an attempt to bring together all the ideas of the time, but he also made things up. After that, in terms of encyclopedias, there was a long dry spell. In fact, there were none, that is, until the publication of the END OF THE WORLD BOOK in 2008, and the announcement of a policy of continuous and simultaneous revision and destruction: everything in the world is marked fragile; destroy with great care. Here at the END OF THE WORLD BOOK we firmly believe that we must keep categorizing and that this is the only thing keeping the world, and us, from ending. We also believe, firmly, that each category destroys the thing it describes; with each category we move that little bit closer to the end."

The author keeps returning to certain themes, which come to resonate more and more as he approaches them from different angles. One such theme is philosophy, and its losing battle to organize a life that is essentially random and subject to fate. McCartney seems equally fascinated with the artifacts of popular culture, such as old movies, hula hoops, urban graffiti. Central to everything else is his identity as a gay man -- and here I have to say that while I cannot share the talismatic power of his numerous physical references, they work because they take me into his mind, rather than what he does with his body. I said earlier that there seems to be no strong reason to read the book in its alphabetical order, but I need to modify that in the case of two of the most pervasive themes: family and death. As the book progresses, the reader gets a deepening aquaintance with the author's parents, the earlier generations of his family, and his present partner; this balances the otherwise solipsistic quality of the writing by placing it in a wider human context. And while death is clearly the single most important theme in the book, as the title indicates, the author's attitudes to it do seem to undergo a change, from fatalistic at the beginning to almost optimistic at the end. Indeed, despite its apocalyptic premise, THE END OF THE WORLD BOOK is full of life and laughter, and a fascinating glimpse into an unusual mind.
  • Malien
Alistair McCartney's first novel, THE END OF THE WORLD BOOK, might be the life's work of anyone else but for this superbly assured young California novelist it is merely the beginning of a long career. Is it a novel at all? Not according to your grandfather who looked for a beginning, middle, and end as the alpha and omega of what should happen first second and third. Here McCartney cleverly enough goes back to the beginning, to the actual alphabet from whose shapely cuneiforms all stories are eventually told and molded. Thus the book pretends to be a sort of encyclopedia which, from A to Z, displays the definitions and what you might call feature articles on all sorts of topics which especially interest our protagonist, a young man very much like his creator, right down to the mysterious lock of dark hair dangling down his forehead a la Oscar Wilde of the late 1880s.

Though a Californian now, Alistair was raised in Perth Western Australia, the home town of our dear departed Heath Ledger, and much of the interest in THE END OF THE WORLD BOOK lies in the implicit and explicit contrast between a fairly rugged, almost 19th century part of the world, and the Los Angeles of giant neon and towering klieglights and the gang-related violence and terror of living there today. This is a novel of place, like the Wessex novels of Hardy, and as such the writing boils over when the particular scents and sounds and sights of each of McCartney's two dramatic continents are allowed to take center stage. And yet this is not to slight the cleverly written and often comic ccharacter passages, as the eccentrics and lovers who populate the boy's existence spring to life with fully developed hearts, minds and bodies. At its best, this encyclopedia amazes with its range, and its depth too.

He certainly seems to know a lot about apocalypse, perhaps too much. At first I took the title to be a simple, somewhat childlike turn on the famous "World Book Encyclopedia" of my youth--the "End of the World Book" standing in for a state of affairs in which authority is invoked only to be revoked. But entry after entry alludes to a great darkness, a numen from which the texts themselves seem to shy away as though uncertain of its derivation, its very phenomenology. In a certain sense the modern world disappoints the hero-seeking Alistair of the novel: he laments that while Rimbaud and Baudelaire drank absinthe to derange their senses, their modern counterparts subsist of humble green Nyquil. Every bit of "Fact" here is somewhat askew, like the lessons learned by Alice in Lewis Carroll's novels, so i would not be so sure that Praxiteles was the first and best of Greek porn directors, nor that in the 18th century Edmund Burke wrote about the pornstar Kevin Williams who, in one scene, sodomized by one man, feels beautiful; in a second scene, sodomized by two simultaneously, becomes sublime. The double, or twin, haunts the author, who sees everything with a double consciousness, and might account for his living a double life of sorts--might even account for his love of stripes, for a field of one color might not be multifold enough for a man who sees everything twice, once as an Australian schoolboy in Catholic school uniform, one as a gay grown up in Venice, with a peachtree outside his front door so generous as to be scary. Fruit falls so fast it gets bruised unless the author's boyfriend, the imaginary performance artist Tim Miller, thoughtfully lays a woolen blanket on the lawn to prevent what one might call the "marks of the fall" from spoiling the face of the peach.