5.0 out of 5 stars Intense Drama
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 normal) things that people go through. I would say it's a hard feat to achieve, writing about the life of an aging pedophile in prison or a young girl following in his footsteps on the otherside...
Published on May 30 2004 by Allison
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Undercooked and overrated
I would have to disagree with most of the other reviewers, who seem to be divided about equally into the "it's shocking, so it must be good" and the "it's shocking, so it must be bad" camps. Instead I would suggest a third "it's kinda but not really shocking, and even if it sometimes is, so what?" camp.
Even on the level of pure prose, an...
Published on Aug. 6 2003 by Daniel Paikov
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3.0 out of 5 stars Quite disturbing,
This review is from: The End Of Alice (Paperback)This book is a very disturbing story but is well written. I have read and will be reading other books by this author as her style is unique. Not a book for the faint of heart.
2.0 out of 5 stars Give me a bucket,
This review is from: The End Of Alice (Paperback)...
Let me say that you will only enjoy this novel if the idea of pedophilia--and the advancement of pedophilia--arouses you in any way. I read with one eye closed, afraid to read the each successive paragraph for fear of what would happen next. It's one thing to dislike a character or two in a novel, it's another thing to despise all of them.
I am giving the book 2 stars (instead one) only because it is written fairly well. But the disgust factor knocks the rest of the stars out of there.
5.0 out of 5 stars so *not* an old Johanne piece of work,
By A Customer
This review is from: The End Of Alice (Paperback)Disturbing and portentuous at its best, lyrical at its worst, this book is one of the better ones written by fiction starling A M Homes, who [is great. More consistent that Moody, infinitely more readable than Eggers, and darker than Lorrie Moore, it's a terrible world if readers would find this a novel one with unredeeming qualities. Sho there.
5.0 out of 5 stars Are U Brave enough?,
By A Customer
This review is from: The End Of Alice (Paperback)Slip right on into the skin of a paedophile going about his daily business. Obviously schizophrenic (having to cope with the "real" world and the "other" one), then murdering his victim in panic of being discovered (a situation not exclusive to paedophiles). An eye-opener for those who can still see.
5.0 out of 5 stars THE NOVEL IS ALIVE AND WELL: BLOWS YOUR MIND!,
This review is from: The End Of Alice (Paperback)Like rolling hills, interwoven themes in "The End of Alice" take the reader here and there--often playfully "tossing" him (her); and as the themes appear and disappear, the reader is moved along, unable to put the book down. This book really is not about sex--although there is a lot of sex in it--but more about "inner psyche" (whatever that is) and the art (and craft) of novel-writing. Surely the novel is not dead; it's ALIVE AND WELL! Reminiscent of Virginia Woolf's writing, A. M. Homes gives us a rare treat; she's daring and dark, yet often funny too. Sex, perhaps, is just a device for Homes' undaunting creativity (and expression). --And if her lacy-collar blouse is buttoned to the neck, so what! She pours it all out, without censorship. Yes, the novel is alive and well. Kudos to Homes! Blows your mind.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Skilled Seduction,
This review is from: The End Of Alice (Paperback)A.M. Homes has accomplished something remarkable here. She has unflinchingly examined the dual taboos of pedophilia and childhood sexuality without ever bringing her hand to our eyes to block out these truths: An adult might seduce a willing child. A child might seduce a hesitant adult. Without passing judgment, this recognition of the odd fantastical world of prepubescent sexuality is stunning. Ms. Homes does not deal in stereotypes and caricatures here; she creates complex, fully-fashioned individuals, each with their own quirks and reasons, each with a unique psychology driving them.
The End of Alice may be the most horrifying not in its final and bloody depiction of the title, but in its success in allowing the reader to sympathize - even momentarily - with a creature as sickening as a pedophile. It is hard to read about a sociopath as a whole person. It is hard to get into the grey areas of the world, to slide from the easy black and white of wrong and right. But here you have it: the monster as man, the monster as teenage girl, the monster as someone you smile at on the street. The monster in you.
After multiple reads over the past five years, this book still holds me fascinated - by its subject, by its skill, and by the poetry in Homes' language. This isn't exactly a pleasant read, but it will shake you in a way you may not have been shaken before - and it is worth it.
4.0 out of 5 stars Poignant, Cutting Edge Work from an Up & Coming Author,
This review is from: The End Of Alice (Paperback)Sometimes it is necessary for one person to look at and analyze the darker elements of our human condition, ensuring that we as a mass populous are able to understand it better. A.M. Homes is that person who examines dark elements for us, and is that person who may just become VERY successful in doing so.
The End of Alice is written in a very silky, and laid out fashion. The jumps from the narrator Chappy's story (both while incarcerated and while he was free) and his 19-year-old wannabe protege are cinematic to the point that a reference to the great work of Oliver Stone may be suiting. However, the changes occur without disruption in the flow of the overall story, which to me, is the sign of an excellent writer.
Alice deals with some very heavy social issues, and I feel that I should place a disclaimer on this book, in case there are those who may be offended easily. There is a great deal of descriptive sexual relations scene, which just go one step smutty, and are deliberatly shocking to us. ALso, keep in my mind, the relationship between Chappy and his protege is an intellectual one, where a student wants to learn the motivation for pedophilism from another.
Putting the subject matter aside, Homes weaves a surrealistic dreamworld for us to get lost in, and does a brilliant job in doing so. I would definetly recommend this to any reader who can handle the matter, and is up for the challenge.
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not as good as "Music for Torching",
This review is from: The End Of Alice (Paperback)A.M. Homes is good. But this book dwelled too often on
material aimed at disgusting the reader merely for effect. There
wasn't enough substance behind the writerly trick for it to stick
to me. The better parts of the book are actually the creepy,
non-disgusting ones, in which we are simply living in the skin
of a character we know is a sleazebag. To have set him up and
portrayed him as a sleazebag really didn't require Homes to go
imitating Bret Easton Ellis. In fact, at times the really ooky
child molester parts just feel like knockoffs on an established
style that surely played well at some writer's roundtable... not
*cheap* knockoffs, mind you, but still knockoffs.
Music for Torching is by far a better work for Homes: more
3.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, Disturbing, Horrifying, Erotic in the worst way.,
This review is from: The End Of Alice (Paperback)(...)I got this for the squick factor--the need to be shocked and the need to have a hard core, descriptive and graphic read. And that is what I got. Beneath the meandering, flowery and wordy prose is a story that shocks, horrifies... It was like a car wreck with visible fatalities; horrible yet you cannot draw your eyes away from this carnal, gory mess laid out for you.
It is a twisted sort of love story; between both our nameless inmate and the co-ed writing him, and also between Alice and her 'man'. It comes to a steam-of-consciousness end that I could not put down... And don't think about crawling into bed with your lover for a couple of nights, once you're done with it. The imagery lingers and so does the bad aftertaste it leaves in your mouth.
2.0 out of 5 stars Lolita thief,
This review is from: The End Of Alice (Paperback)Nothing in this book is really original, unless you count the sick fetishes like eating scabs. If you want to read the best book on pedophiles, read Lolita. It will make you cry and puke at the same time. The End of Alice will only make you do the latter. One of the flaws is the excessive introspection by the main character. Unlike Humbert Humbert, he's just too charmless and pathetic to derive any sympathy from readers. At the end, I didn't really identify with him. I could have gotten a better story from Penthouse Forum.
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The End Of Alice by A.M. Homes (Paperback - Feb. 18 1997)
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