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Walk To End Of World Mass Market Paperback – May 5, 1955

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Berkley (October 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425042391
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425042397
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,041,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In the mood for a good piece of postapocalyptic, feminist sci-fi? Well, then, I've got a doozy for you! Suzy McKee Charnas' first novel, "Walk to the End of the World" (1974), is just such a book, combining a tough little tale with a healthy dose of sociopolitical rumination. Taking place many years after mankind has destroyed its planet with wars and pollution, "leaving it to the wild weeds," it introduces the reader to the society of the Holdfast, a seaside community whose inhabitants subsist on the seaweed, kelp and hemp they manage to farm. Charnas reveals an extraordinary wealth of detail regarding the Holdfast's customs, religion and cultures; her depth of imagination, not to mention writing skills, are most impressive, especially for a beginner novelist. Perhaps the most salient aspect of life in this postapocalyptic world is the degraded status of its female members. Known simply as fems, they are blamed by the men for the wars of destruction, and looked on as witches fit for nothing more than breeding and drudge labor. Fathers in the Holdfast never learn who their sons are, as these male cubs are quickly placed in the so-called "Boyhouse" right after birth to quickly remove the female taint. Society, for the most part, is based on a hierarchy of Youths and Seniors, and homosexual relationships amongst the Youths and amongst the Seniors are the norm. The use of hemp to elicit dreams is encouraged amongst the Youths in their fruition into men (an entire society based on pot ingestion!), whilst automatonlike Rovers (soldiers constantly kept narcotized by the drug) guard the various private companies that work in five-year shifts to farm the district. It is in this unique setting that Charnas introduces us to the book's four main characters.Read more ›
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I love scifi and have been reading it for a long time, and can't believe I never heard of this author. This book is great feminist scifi - a little dated, to be sure, but well worth reading. In this future (or it could be past), men and women live a harrowing existence... Men think women (who are called fems) are little better than animals, while women are secretly trying to free themselves. Very interesting look at sexual dynamics.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
“The men heard, and they rejoiced to find an enemy they could conquer at last. One night, as planned, they pulled all the women from sleep, herded them together, and harangued them, saying, remember, you caused the Wasting” (3).

Suzy McKee Charnas’ Walk to the End of the World (1974) is the first of four novels in her Holdfast Chronicles sequence (1974-1999) that charts the slow forces of change in a post-apocalyptical future where women (“fems”) are chattel. Kate Macdonald, in her wonderful review of Ammonite (1993) characterized Nicola Griffith’s novel as “instantly […] feminist: not stealth, or muted, or sub-conscious.” Walk to the End of the World falls squarely, and powerfully into this category. Told with intensity and vigor, Charnas brands the reader with her vision, a searing and festering landscape where white men have either exterminated the remaining “unmen” (the “Dirties”) or subjugated them (the “fems”) after a manmade cataclysm. Complex societal institutions maintain control in a mostly illiterate world via appeals to collective memory, intensive drug facilitated indoctrination, and the deconstruction of the family unit in favor of exclusively homosocial relationships.

Walk to the End of the World does not hold back its punches—this is a serious and disturbing novel. “Fems” are subjected to horrific violence as slaves to man and are forced to great extremes to survive.

Brief Plot Summary/Analysis (warning: *Spoilers*)

In the grand historical narrative espoused by the men who control the community of Holdfast, a past rebellion facilitated by “fems” and other unmen overthrew the Ancients, already weakened by the betrayal of their own sons.
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