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The End of the World by [Biss, Andrew]
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The End of the World Kindle Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Length: 99 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Wildly imaginative and breathtakingly surreal, The End of the World from award-winning author Andrew Biss will give you a once-in-a-lifetime read. Coupling majestic themes of mortality and the purpose of life with ample amounts of humor and absurdity, this story of Valentine's foray through a purgatory-like landscape will have you reflecting on your own life and turning the pages to find out what happens next. One-of-a-kind books like this don't come along too often. Grab it now before life passes you by!" --Kindle Fire Department

"Get ready for a zany roller-coaster ride that becomes more bizarre the further you get into this surreal story. Told with great verve and spiced through with wit, this hugely entertaining story will grab you, hold you and won't leave you until the ride is over. Even then, the story will stick in the memory."
--Amazon Review

"A surreal, clever literary novella...Weird, funny and philosophical - recommended."
--Helen Smith, #1 Amazon Bestselling Author of Alison Wonderland

"The End of the World is very much Alice in Wonderland meets Beetlejuice...Humorous, deceptively light and drier than dust...Jerky for the mind."
--The Compulsive Reader

About the Author

Andrew Biss is an award-winning author and playwright whose work has received critical acclaim in both the U.S. and the U.K. In 2011 he was named a finalist for the prestigious Heideman Award. His plays are published by Bedford/St. Martin's, Smith & Kraus, Inc. and Meriwether Publishing Ltd. He is a graduate of the University of the Arts London and a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 373 KB
  • Print Length: 99 pages
  • Publisher: Vacancy Books (March 12, 2011)
  • Publication Date: March 12, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004RZ26E2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #901,915 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
This book was recommended by a friend, so I downloaded the sample to see for myself. I found I was hooked from the first amusing paragraph and it wasn't long before my mouse wandered back to the 1-click button so I could read the rest.

The book begins with a verbal exchange between a mother and her stay-at-home son. From the first few words, I found myself chortling at the curiously philosophical conversation. The son later meets Anna the landlady, in whose household he spends most of the story. The various other 'lodgers' in Anna's house keep the young man in a state of naive bewilderment with a succession of eccentric propositions and unexpected questions. The only challenge he is able to rise to is when he is accosted by a priest who emerges from a kitchen appliance, in a scene which reminded me of the prison cell visit by a priest in Albert Camus' 'L'Etranger'.

If you can imagine your literary sensibility having feet, with one foot planted in surrealism and the other in existentialism, this book will tickle your toes in a singular fashion with its extravagantly eccentric banter. The story races along at a cracking pace, with barely a pause to draw breath, and includes many wonderful lines like:
"I stood in the doorway, sensing failure but clinging to hope."

- and of a bottomless coffee pot offered as part of the extensive breakfast menu:
"But surely that defies the laws of physics."
"Not if you pay your rent on time."

The mid part of the story veers into the macabre and even horrifiying, as death insinuates itself between the pages. Although death may be peaceful, it can also be horrific. This phase passes, however, and as the story concludes, it finds resolution in a surrealist form of reincarnation.
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Format: Paperback
When Valentine's parents decide the time has arrived for him to cut the apron strings and take his rightful place in the big, bad world lurking just outside the safety of their doorstep, Valentine finds himself almost immediately launched into a surreal vista where priests pop from kitchen sinks, house guests run about without their stomachs intact, and snake-oil entrepreneurs spring unbidden from vintage refrigerators.

The End of the World is a brilliant, intelligent tour de farce delivered well-wrapped in a cutting wit so slyly subtle that the reader will return again and again out of sheer appreciation for the dialogue of its exceptional characters.

For such a wee book (98 pages) it certainly packed a wallop, giving me pause to think, laugh and sometimes fight the urge to cry.

I don't know how Andrew Biss managed to pull off this splendid cross between The Egyptian Book of the Dead and Portnoy's Complaint, but pull off he did - amazingly so - and I can't say when I've enjoyed character repartee quite so much as I did within the pages of this well-recommended book.

The M.A.D. take: A definite buy for those with a love of all things paranormal and an appreciation of intelligent writing.

I'd like to further add that as one who has experienced a life-long fascination with the continuation of consciousness post-mortem, I think the author has hit upon a rather obscure and not widely known truth that the mind may shape it's after death experiences in much the same way it is conjectured to do so during life.

Here I am reminded of Hamlet who spoke ..."There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy"
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was fortunate enough to win a copy of Andrew Biss's The Impressionists, a collection of vignettes, all told in the first person, of normal people with sometimes extraordinary challenges. I recognized a fun authorial voice, so when The Impressionists left me wanting more, I went ahead and invested in The End of the World.

Intentionally absurd from the first word, The End of the World tells the story of what happens to a truly unremarkable man between his drollery-filled, circumscribed life with his parents and his next incarnation. The narrator isn't quite self-aware enough to know that the result of a barely registered mugging is his own death. Suddenly, a sort of halfway house hotel called The End of the World becomes visible amidst the grimy cityscape, and he walks right in.

The characters he meets at this hostel for souls in limbo or, to use the Tibetan term, Bardo, (most of whom emerge from kitchen appliances or have body parts missing) all impart a point of view of their universal situation that the narrator had never considered before, which is all the more interesting because in the end, it is revealed that they're mere figments of his imagination. In this eerily detailed place, the narrator learns to accept and maybe even enjoy the lack of control. Philosophical arguments are hidden in strangely beautiful nuggets that the reader will enjoy swallowing and perhaps even wish, again, that there was a bit more to the story.

I didn't even realize The End of the World was pushing a message until the very last line, which felt so deliciously appropriate that I couldn't help loving the whole short, lopsided, cheeky book.
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