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The narrator is Chappy, a pedophile who's been locked up in Sing Sing for 23 years for the rape and decapitation of 12-year-old Alice. The tale alternates between Chappy's own story (both outside and inside of prison), and letters he receives from a 19-year-old girl who knows of Alice's fate and wants to start playing with 12-year-old boys. The girl's letters disturb Chappy, bringing his memories vividly to the fore. In prose that is both lyrical and horrifyingly direct, A.M. "Amy" Homes takes us into the minds of the correspondents. Chappy is bright, analytical, and reminiscent of Nabokov in the way he talks about his "Lolita." But the sex is graphic and often bizarre, and the author's tone is chilly, so it's not a book to be picked up lightly. As Daphne Merkin writes in the New York Times, it's a "splashy, not particularly likable book whose best moments are quietly observed and whose underlying themes are more serious than prurient."
In this deeply disturbing novel, Homes (In a Country of Mothers, LJ 8/93) seems to be attempting to create as repulsive a protagonist as possible-a nameless pedophile serving his 23rd year at Sing Sing. Alongside his narrative is the tale of a 19-year-old college coed obsessed by a preteen boy. A large part of the novel centers on the half-real, half-imagined ties that develop between the convict and the college student as a result of her increasingly graphic letters to him. The rest is a reminiscence of his affair with a 12-year-old seductress named Alice that ends in her gruesome murder. Deliberately shocking and confrontational, Homes's purpose seems to be to force the reader into a kind of Dostoevskian identification with the blackest and most perverse elements of human nature. An optional purchase for larger libraries.
Lawrence Rungren, Bedford Free P.L., Mass.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I finished it out of sheer morbid curiosity; I really kept telling myself to stop reading it, but I couldn't. So for that alone, the author did something right obviously. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amie Smith
I ordered this book on Amazon after reading reviews of it online (including on the Amazon sites) and thought that the concept of it, as well as the point of views it is written... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Vader Llama
Skip the reviews that say things like, 'great if you have an open mind.' All you need is a love for literature, a good story, and brilliant writing. Read morePublished on Aug. 16 2007 by Reader and Writer
The End of Alice went above and beyond what I expected when I read the summary. It is very descriptive and not for the faint of heart or those unwilling to accept that criminals... Read morePublished on Feb. 23 2006 by Brandy
If Hannibal Lechter were to pen a cheap Harlequin romance novel, this is would be the outcome. The author's overuse of ridculous adjectives and graphic sexual deviance does... Read morePublished on June 14 2004
The End of Alice is not for everyone; especially those off-put by racy subject matter. Homes has a natural ease with which she writes about the most perverse (and at the same time... Read morePublished on May 29 2004 by Allison
It's a childish book. As I made my way through all the vomit, semen, bowel movements, scabs, etc., I was reminded of how scandalized children are by bodily secretions, and yet how... Read morePublished on March 19 2004
a note of warning, when hearing the words "shocking", "spectacular", "erotic" and the likes from the literati, immediately flee to the next book. Read morePublished on Jan. 29 2004 by Literary Drunkass
This is the most revolting, disjointed, lean story there is. It seems to me that the author relies heavily on shock and leaves the story bare and lean. Read morePublished on Jan. 17 2004