- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 12 hours and 22 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Hachette Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: April 4, 2017
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B06XXR5V4G
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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The End of the Day Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
As a Harbinger, Charlie doesn’t have to inflict any horror or suffering. He’s not a sadist, albeit his job involves a fair bit of masochism. His job is to go to people before Death visits them in order to give them some memento or trinket that reflects something important to or about their life. Then he listens to them and serves, as he says repeatedly, as a Witness or a Bridge to Honor Their Lives.
Death is a nice guy, also. Death visits people, particularly interesting people and listens to them. Sometimes Death just listens and goes away. Death seems quite reasonable. Death doesn’t even have to appear in a frightening guise, unless the subject expects to see Death in a scary guise. (Charlie sees Death as an elderly, well-dressed man.)
The book is structured around Charlie’s jobs. One time he goes on an epic trek to the glaciers of Greenland. Another time, he wanders around Nigeria, helping out a lesbian comic and her partner, who are facing prejudice. Still another time, he wanders around the American South visiting racists.
The book is well-written, the stories are engaging, but the structure of the book is repetitive. After about half-way through the book, however, I began to wonder when the character development and the plot would kick in.
Charlie doesn’t change throughout the book. He loses his girlfriend and accepts that with resignation. He acquires a girlfriend and accepts that without enthusiasm. He gets kidnapped and tortured several times, and while that makes him unhappy and hurt, he deals with it as part of the job, learning that while Death will retaliate against those who try to coerce Death, merely getting revenge for torturing Charlie is not in the cards. Charlie crosses paths with Patrick Fuller, who wants to be his friend, but nothing happens there. In fact, we never find out what purpose Patrick plays in the book – he’s just there. Charlie remains introspective and mildly depressed from start to finish.
Likewise, I thought a plot might kick in at some point, but it didn’t. Charlie has jobs and he does his jobs and will keep doing his jobs, as assigned, because he is a witness and a bridge and he is honored to honor the living. Seems reasonable.
My three-star rating is not to indicate that I did not like the book. I liked the book. I liked the stories and the characters. However, I don’t think that I would recommend it generally, although I can see how the introspective quality of the book – with just enough leftwing self-righteousness about Global Warming, Racism, and Persecution of Homosexuals – would be attractive to some. As for me, I was waiting for character development and a plot to kick in.
It's brilliant and beautiful and tragic and heartbreaking and painful and joyful and utterly, utterly heartwrenching. It flows and ebbs and just when you thing it can't get more brutal it does. It makes you complicit but allows for a measure of peace.
Claire North was an automatic "to buy" for me prior to this, but I might just start buying the hardcover in bulk to give out as presents.
Charles applied for the job of Harbinger of Death. He is single, has a girl friend and he has all of the emotions, problems, and background of any common person. But...he travels the world to either warn or indicate the possibility of death to his clients. He brings them a small gift determined by his employer. He sometimes crosses paths with other Harbingers or Death herself.
The writing is very powerful with an open poetic style which appears often. In Charles travels, he sees and experiences, many of the problems and awful events in the world. He travels to the ice covered north to warn a person of death and directly sees the results of global warming. He travels to various places in Europe to see the results of the mass murders of people through ethnic cleansing. When in Africa he sees the effects of the rules against homosexuality and a male dominated society. The author uses her character and his job to bring out the ills in the world, and how they are or have affected people directly.
She does a great job winding the story line through these topics, and brings you up close and involved with individuals rather than just ideas. The book at times is funny, often soul searching and sometimes brutal. Charles is a solid character and very believable. This is definitely a one of a kind bit of writing and for most, worth a read.