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The End Of Alice Paperback – February 18, 1997
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From Library Journal
Lawrence Rungren, Bedford Free P.L., Mass.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
In rich, imaginative prose, Homes tells a compelling tale with all the fascination of a fatal car wreck and a cobra preparing to strike. If you found Nabokov's _Lolita_ disturbing, if you couldn't stomach Ellis's skillful but satirical and cold _American Psycho_, stay away from this book. It has both the warmth and tenderness of the former, and the in-your-face graphicness of the latter (probably even more in-your-face because of the warmth and tenderness). People have referred to the pedophilia, masturbation, and murder; don't forget homosexual prison sex and rape ... and how do you feel about saving scabs in a drawer for chewing and sucking on later?
Some of the other Amazon reviews here have been utterly hilarious: Homes should include them in splash pages of subsequent editions. There are the usual encomia and expressions of disgust, but "Billy Graham could just as well have written this"? uhum37 also complains that "every character remains profoundly moral" -- another judgment I cannot understand for the life of me, but I will nevertheless respond that the characters are telling their own stories (the 19-year-old's is additionally filtered through the sensibility of the narrator, for the most part -- and of course they are apt to regard themselves as moral.
Reviewers also ask the wrong questions. "Does this story need to be told?" one reader queried on 6/4/97. Of course not. No story "needs" to be told, whether it's Alice In Wonderland or Waiting for Godot.Read more ›
The narrator is a 54-year old pervert who serving time in Sing Sing for the rape and murder of a 12-year old girl. He has served 23 years already when he receives a letter from a 19-year old girl who is planning to seduce a 12-year old boy. A correspondence follows which forces the pedophile's memory to reveal the most shocking and lurid details of his crimes.
This was easily one of the most disgusting books I ever read. The act of reading it made me nauseous, but yet I applaud the author for her courage to write it and do recommend it to the few brave souls who are willing to experience its horrific roller coaster ride.
But be forewarned: the disgust and revulsion last long after the book is finished, and its essence is impossible to forget.
"Having always been most intrigued by the shadowy side of the human psyche, I was initially fascinated with the twisted, dark tale unfolding. At times, it was difficult to follow, but the human mind is a complex thing. The 19-year-old's descent into depravity was worth the price of the book. Which, upon finishing the novel, makes me glad I bought it [discounted].... Because by the end, that is about all the book is worth. As an avid collector of books, I will not be saving this one for my library. The final fourth of the book was so very disappointing. I was not shocked, nor repulsed by the final revelations, I was far too annoyed with the story by that point. For all that the book was built up to be, by reviewers and by the initial reading of the first 200 pages, it suddenly spiraled out of control, crashed and burned. A discordant finish with jangling ends to such a rich, darkly disturbing composition. Nabakov, it is not. It stands on it's own, good or bad." KM 06/19/2000
Addendum and Update: 5 years later after reading this book, like the majority of other reviewers, I have been unable to forget it. The disgust and horror remains. This book does have the ability to take you to the darker places of the soul and leave an indelible mark there. Evil is a very human quality, not relegated to the isolate domain of demons and bogeymen.
Frederich Nietzsche said: "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.
And when you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you."
"The End of Alice" is a look into the abyss.
Few books have that lasting effect on the psyche like this one.
You'll either love it or hate it, but you might never forget it.
As for the story itself, I was blown away. Homes really gets into the heads of the main characters and accurately (I think) captures the thoughts, emotions and motivations of, in turn, a 19-year old girl bursting with sexuality, a 12-year old boy on the cusp of discovering his own sexuality and a 60-something sex offender struggling with his inner demons. I found all three portrayals to be convincing. And what a story! At various times in the book, I was repelled, confused, aroused, disgusted or amazed, but I was never, ever bored. Some of those scenes will stay with me for many years, I'm sure. It's a challanging and controversal book, to be sure, but it reveals some truths about sexual power and attraction better than any non-fiction book could.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Highly graphic and profoundly disturbing book that I simply couldn't stop reading. Extremely well written and the intelligent and articulate style made the taboo subject material... Read morePublished 10 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is a deeply disturbing book and it needs to be. For every half-hearted attempt at unraveling the commercialism of sexual deviance, there is a writer who does their homework. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Devora Gray
The subject matter of this novel is not to be taken lightly. Had anyone else attempted to write a novel like this it could have been a complete disaster, but this novel is done in... Read morePublished 4 months ago by cassandra cavazos
let me start by saying that my negative review has nothing to do with the content of the book.the antagonist of my current project is a pedophile so i bought this book as a means... Read morePublished 14 months ago by caleb golden
There's a point in the story where the narrator, with an air of self-satisfaction that runs the length of the novel, gleefully accuses the reader of getting off on all the naughty... Read morePublished 17 months ago by M. A. Bucci
VERY DIFFERENT/NOT FOR THE WEAK STOMACH/TABOO TOPICS, OVERALL INTERESTING READPublished 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
It was hard to put down. Not unlike seeing a car crash, it is disturbing but you can't help but look. A.M. Read morePublished 20 months ago by wanderingkiwi
I thought this one was going to be like Tampa by Alissa Nutting, but nope, it put me to sleep.
Very lyrical, though, but the carefully crafted words didn't do anything... Read more
Disturbing and poignant. Unforgettable, like a bad car accident- when you close your eyes the images are burned into your eyelids-.Published on February 5, 2014 by Desiree M