Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
The World Doesn't End has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Noticeably used cover and pages and binding may show heavy wear. Might have notes, underlining, and or highlights. Accessories such as CD, codes, and dust jackets may not be included. Fast Shipping.
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 3 images

The World Doesn't End Paperback – March 14, 1989

4.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$13.95
$7.75 $3.00

Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
$13.95 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • The World Doesn't End
  • +
  • Autobiography of Red
Total price: $26.59
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Yugoslavian-born Charles Simic, who came to the U.S. in 1954, is known as a creator of poetic fantasy. In this volume, he constructs bizarre, startling and entertaining visions in short descriptive sentences that pile one incongruous turn upon another, building images that are fresh and full of surprise. Like the river in one poem which flows backward, the power of Simic's inner world derives from turning logic on its head and taking a look from another direction. This collection was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1990.

From Publishers Weekly

A master of the absurd and the unexpected, Simic ( Unending Blues ) presents a collection of prose poems that will not fail to amuse and delight. Writing in a series of "short-take" lyrical sentences, he builds observation upon observation to create paragraphs that startle through the juxtaposition of images and gratify through the freshness of his vision. Never one to shy away from the bizarre or the prosaic, Simic carries his poems to their logical--or illogical--extremes: "The dead man steps down from the scaffold. He holds his bloody head under his arm . . . he takes a seat at one of the tables at the tavern and orders two beers, one for him and one for his head." The poems move seamlessly between the ordinary and the extraordinary, and, although one often puzzles to draw conclusions from his fantastic verse, readers will not lose interest or the sense of pleasant surprise at the end of each work. The poem quoted in part above, for example, concludes powerfully: "It's so quiet in the world. One can hear the old river, which in its confusion sometimes forgets and flows backwards."
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Harvest Book
  • Paperback: 88 pages
  • Publisher: Harvest Books; 1 edition (March 14, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156983508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156983501
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #401,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
Charles Simic, The World Doesn't End: Prose Poems (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1990)
Charles Simic won the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for The World Doesn't End, and it is blessedly easy to see why. This collection (which, despite its subtitle, is mostly prose poems, with a few "regular" poems thrown in for good measure) could easily be a primer for the aspiring poet on exactly how to write a prose poem. (Would that more who attempt it had read this!) In the days when prose poetry has fallen so far from the poetic tree that a new subgenre, "flash fiction," had to be invented for the mass of the unpoetic claptrap, Simic gives us a book full of wonderful tall tales, flights of fancy, and utterly poetic language, all without ever once straying from the idea that what he is writing in these small pieces is, in fact, poetry.
"The dog went to dancing school. The dog's owner sniffed vials of Viennese air. One day the two heard the new Master of the Universe pass their door with a heavy step. After that, the man exchanged clothes with his dog. It was a dog on two legs, wearing a tuxedo, that they led to the edge of the common grave. As for the man, blind and deaf as he came to be, he still wags his tail at the approach of a stranger." --untitled (p. 40)
The World Doesn't End caused me to re-evaluate my ideas on what poetry is. Perhaps it is not, as Eliot would have it, language elevated; perhaps, instead, it is language as it should be. The standard as opposed to the elevation, the diction we should be striving for in our daily lives.
The finest book of poetry to cross my desk since Reznikoff's classic By the Waters of Manhattan half a decade ago. Must reading for poetry fans, and engaging stuff in prose form for those who don't do poetry. Just think of it as the best flash fiction ever written. In any case, whatever you have to do to convince yourself to do so, read this book. *****
Comment 37 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The World Doesn't End surprised me in many ways. It was unlike any other volume of his work I have yet read. I was so enthralled I read it cover to cover twice in the first week after I received it. I would have to say that this volume and Simic's "A Wedding in Hell" are two of my favorite volumes of poetry by any poet. Simic has a gift for combining the grotesque/bizarre with the everyday and condensing them down into compact poems that evoke the experience of lucid dreams. I highly recommend this small book!
Comment 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best books of poetry that has been published in the past 15 years. The strength of this Pulitzer Prize-winning volume comes from its deceptive simplicity. The prose poems are easy and fun to read, but Simic can get very strange very fast. One poem starts, "We were so poor I had to take the place of the bait in the mousetrap." On one level, a delightful line. On another level, it is a disturbing image. In the same poem, as the mouse nibbles on his ear, the mouse whispers, "These are dark and evil days." The juxtaposition of the levity and the darkness creates a landmark volume of poetry, truly an essential book.
Comment 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
It hardly seems worthwhile for me to review this book since literally every blurb of it I've read here has been a 5-star rave. Nonetheless, I felt like I should add my $0.02US.

I may be unfairly biased, as this slim volume was my first introduction to Mr. Simic's work. Maybe if I'd read, say, "Walking the Black Cat" I would feel the same way about it, but be that as it may, I can safely say that "The World Doesn't End" is one of the best books I've read in any genre. I clearly remember the experience of reading it for the first time. Mr. Simic's tone is so direct and intimate that he immediately draws you in and then, when he's got you where he wants you, he proceeds to completely take you apart. The ground slips from under your feet. Tiny bombs explode in the foundational tissues of your cortex. Realigments occur.

My only regret is that I can never have the same experience again because... I've already read the damned book! Will someone please figure out a way to erase my memory so that I can go back and do it again? Simic. Are you working on this?
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
In a time when many critics despise the prose poem, brushing it aside, refusing to accept such work into the usual canon of lyric poetry, Charles Simic defies all boundaries, combining prose form with a lyrical quality often absent in accepted "lyric" verse.
Simic's world of fantasy and surrealism don't come off as dreamy as one might think. If anything, he is somewhat of a journalist, reporting on events, images, people, animals, gypsies, etc., but from a purely personal perspective, a perspective we all can identify with because we see the world in similar fashion.
There are few poets more intimate than Simic. When looking through his eyes, which have seen and survived much, one can't get closer to one of contemporary poetry's strongest voices.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Amazon requires I write 14 words. More words. What more is needed than what I have with difficulty peaked out with my beak and that is after I have taken from the short time allotted me to live--isolating myself from my family in the process--to study and learn your language while the farmer's son throws seeds in the dirt, sometimes hitting me, disturbing concentration but you must already know that.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

The World Doesn't End
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: The World Doesn't End

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?