World's End (Contemporary American Fiction) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $16.00
  • Save: $5.20 (33%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 6 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
World's End (Contemporary... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Eligible for Amazon's FREE Super Saver/Prime Shipping, 24/7 Customer Service, and package tracking. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

World's End (Contemporary American Fiction) Paperback – July 20, 1990


See all 10 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$10.80
$4.77 $0.01
$10.80 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 6 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


Frequently Bought Together

World's End (Contemporary American Fiction) + Water Music (Penguin Contemporary American Fiction Series)
Price for both: $22.79

Buy the selected items together

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Series: Contemporary American Fiction
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (July 20, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140299939
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140299939
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

T. Coraghessan Boyle, author of Water Music, a hilarious reinvention of the exploration of the Niger, returns to his native New York State with this darkly comic historical drama exploring several generations of families in the Hudson River Valley. Walter Van Brunt begins the book with a catastrophic motorcycle accident that sends him back on a historical investigation, eventually encompassing the frontier struggles of the late 1600s. Any book that opens with a three-page "list of principal characters" and includes chapters titled "The Last of the Kitchawanks," "The Dunderberg Imp," and "Hail, Arcadia!" promises a welcome tonic to the self-conscious inwardness of much contemporary fiction; World's End delivers and was rewarded with the PEN/Faulkner Award for 1988.

From Publishers Weekly

"A triumph; resonant, richly imagined and written with unfailing eloquence," exclaimed PW of this saga of the Van Wart and Van Brunt families, which limns and links the Hudson Valley's early Dutch settlers, the Indians they displaced, and their descendants in the McCarthyite 1940s and wild 1960s.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

T. C. Boyle is the author of eleven novels, including World's End (winner of the PEN/FaulknerAward), Drop City (a New York Times bestseller and finalist for the National Book Award), and The Inner Circle. His most recent story collections are Tooth and Claw and The Human Fly and Other Stories.

Customer Reviews

To each his/her own... I love his satiric wit and also enjoyed all the historical info.
Bev Davis
Very well done, and especially interesting if you are dutch, live in the hudson valley region in new york, or have other ties to colonial america or earlier.
"booksifound"
This really isn't as confusing as it sounds, although it helps that there is a two page list of principal characters at the beginning.
Paul McGrath

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
T C Boyle's Pen/Faulkner Award winning novel "World's End" looks like a daunting read. It's after all over 450 pages long and boasts a cast of characters that spans several generations and makes Tolstoy's "War and Peace" seem like a cosy family drama. It's hard work initially figuring out who's who and this is complicated by Boyle making us jump backwards and forwards alternating between the 17th and 20th Century, but once you get into a groove, it's no sweat. "World's End" is a multigenerational family saga with all the pyrotechnics you'd expect but Boyle expertly skirts and avoids melodrama. The themes of real estate, power, race, class and betrayal are worked to their fullest and the effect is nothing short of stunning. All quite old fashionedly powerful stuff except for Boyle's quirky sense of humour (eg, Walter van Brunt's accidents) that nudges the novel somewhere left field. Boyle's own empathy for the hippy movement of the 1960s also lends an authencity to the "present day" developments. The novel is really about Walter's search for his mysteriously missing black sheep of a father, Truman - an enigma till the end - and as he drives himself and others crazy discovering his past and how the histories of three feuding clans are inextricably bound by blood, hatred and deceit, he comes face to face with the shocking truth that in three hundred years, nothing changes and humanity is powerless against the forces that threaten to engulf them. Boyle is a great storyteller. His prose is exotic, colourful, always compelling and a joy to read. Reading "World's End" takes commitment and dedication but the reward makes it all worthwhile. This is one novel nobody who loves serious literature should miss. Highly recommended.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
Boyle shows us with breathtaking style how the powerful stay powerful and the powerless stay powerless. By writing about the same two families in both the 17th and the 20th centuries and spelling out in shattering detail how little changed their social relations are, Boyle gives the American Dream a good dope slap. Anyone who finds this book boring or hard to follow needs to stop watching so much television and get an attention span.
Boyle was one angry young writer and I think his venom has ebbed somewhat over the years, which is a good thing for him personally, but might cost his writing. I stopped reading him at _Road to Wellville_, which I thought was silly, but after hearing a recent interview with him about _Riven Rock_, I may try to catch up.
I think that _World's End_ is his best book because it is about his hometown. Maybe he has lived in southern California long enough now to write about that area and its people just as well.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
29 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Paul McGrath on November 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
Here's what you get with this one. You get a narrative about an aimless twenty-year old of Dutch descent in late sixties, upstate New York. He's conflicted and anxious for reasons he can't understand, not to mention that he sees ghosts. He loses his foot in a motorcycle accident at the site of an historic Indian marker. You also get a narrative about his mother and father in the late forties who take part in what is seen by the locals as a communist rally, and that has tragic results for both of them. Lastly, you get a narrative about his forefathers in 17th century New York, the most important plot-wise of whom loses HIS foot in an accident.

Intermingled in these narratives are the stories of those who interacted with our twenty-year old and his family--primarily a wealthy Dutch family and the local Indian tribe--and all those in the present story are descendants of those in the past. In general, the wealthy family is cruel, the regular family is cowardly and the Indians are oppressed. Oh. And there are a number of striking--if not improbable--coincidences between past and present of a kind similar to the amputated foot thing.

This really isn't as confusing as it sounds, although it helps that there is a two page list of principal characters at the beginning. You may find that you don't have to refer to it after every page, but refer to it, you will.

They're all pretty good stories, though, and despite the obvious forays into magical realism Boyle mostly keeps it real. The characters are distinctive and he is very good at maintaining narrative tension. It is one of those books in which you find you regret that a chapter has come to an end, only to become completely immersed within a few pages of the next.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "booksifound" on April 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is all about the struggles of mankind. In a way it is about class struggles, family struggles and life through the generations, but it doesn't read that way. It comes off as a great depiction of two notable dutch families in the hudson valley. It has engaging characters which keep a sort of continuity through the generations. Very well done, and especially interesting if you are dutch, live in the hudson valley region in new york, or have other ties to colonial america or earlier.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Myers VINE VOICE on August 26, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an extreme rarity in that I don't have a strong feeling for it as a whole, one way or the other. Clearly, Walter's search to understand his father is the best part of the book. Unfortunately, a rather skewed atavism with historical circumstances dumped on the reader in shovelfuls comprises the greater part of this work. It seems to me that if you're going to handle atavism, you need to do it with a great deal of subtlety (Conrad, Faulkner and, especially, John Cowper Powys come to mind.) But if there's one thing not to be found here, it's subtlety. The historian in me sympathizes with Walter at the late-sixties rock concert, where, "In fact, there were few who had any grasp at all that history had preceded them." But the sort of history Boyle offers here is too gimcrack and off-the-cuff to serve as a replacement for lack of knowledge. In fact, if there is a lesson to be learnt about history here it is NOT, "Those not aware of the past are doomed to repeat it." It is rather, and emphatically, "You are doomed to repeat the past whether you are aware of it or not." Boyle and his character Walter seem confused at times as to whether they want to be history professors or hipsters or existential heroes. The end result is none of the above. There is also the quibble of sloppy writing, several instances of which I could cite, but when Boyle has Walter rise to his FEET while in Barrow, it becomes exasperating.

I fail to understand this mediocrity after Water Music, which is a great, erudite, comic novel that I wouldn't hesitate recommending to anyone. But, then, to whom is this book dedicated? "In memory of my own lost father" Seen in this light, the work becomes at least excusable, if not really understandable. I hope Boyle laid his personal demons at least partly to rest regarding his paternity with this book. He's a truly great writer.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?