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5.0 out of 5 stars You'll love it, or you'll loath it -- no middle ground . . .
It's hard to know how to write a review of such a strange and disturbing book. I can start with the "abouts." It's about a convicted pedophile and killer who has been in prison in upstate New York for twenty-three years, a deeply bent personality, but also a tragic figure. He's nameless, an untrustworthy narrator with a confused memory of events and a sometimes very shaky...
Published on July 18 2003 by Michael K. Smith

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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,...
Published on Aug. 6 2003 by Daniel Paikov


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2.0 out of 5 stars What for?, Sept. 19 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The End Of Alice (Paperback)
Why was this a bestseller, given all the important and intellectually engaging books out there? This book is unimportant--it's only possible importance being that it makes me worry about those walking among us who made it a bestseller.
Perhaps I should instead only fear decisionmakers at publishers, and at distributors like QBPC and BOMC that made "Alice" a featured selection. That's the thing that "hooked" me--buying into a commercial blurb about some groundbreaking and important literary coup--and made me, too, one of the scary multitudes who propelled this waste of time to financial and popular success.
I read much of this as "sex is boredom," and the repeated descriptions of masterbation and similar sexual release bored me and distressed me at the same time. Homes is a fine wordsmith, so why does she, so to speak, "spill her seed" over and birth such an impotent waste of a read as "Alice?"
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3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, but inevitably disappointing!, June 19 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The End Of Alice (Paperback)
Having always been most intrigued by the shadowy side of the human psyche, I was initially fascinated with the twisted, dark tale unfolding. At times, it was difficult to follow, but the human mind is a complex thing. The 19-year-olds descent into depravity was worth the price of the book. Which, upon finishing the novel, makes me glad I bought it [discounted].... Because by the end, that is about all the book is worth. As an avid collector of books, I will not be saving this one for my library. The final fourth of the book was so very disappointing. I was not shocked, nor repulsed by the final revelations, I was far too annoyed with the story by that point. For all that the book was built up to be, by reviewers and by the initial reading of the first 200 pages, it suddenly spiraled out of control, crashed and burned. A discordant finish with jangling ends to such a rich, darkly disturbing composition. Nabakov, it is not.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Yuck, this is brilliant!, Oct. 26 2000
This review is from: The End Of Alice (Paperback)
This was easily the most disgusting book I've ever read. That said, the narrative ability of A.M. Homes, the ability to get inside the head of her characters, is unbelievable. I have read few authors able to do what Homes is able to do. Her pedophile is so real, I could see him, sense him. I had nightmares the two nights during which I read this book. The interesting facet of the book to me was less the unbelievably frank, explicit sexuality and violence; that was what it was. What interested me was the pedophile's claim that he is inside each of our heads. I shrugged that off immediately, since I am far from a pedophile. However, as I found myself going through the gamut of emotions - repulsed, angry, confused, saddened - I also found myself at moments aroused. What does that say about me? What does that say about our society? This book is certainly worth a read, for readers with an open mind, a curiosity, and a strong stomach.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Intense Drama, May 29 2004
This review is from: The End Of Alice (Paperback)
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 using such detail and intimacy, as if you could've been them in another life.
I rarely read such horrible things written so beautifully and eloquently. The pedophile's thoughts and letters are very intelligent, lending a side to criminals that tends to be pushed to the back; that not all of them are mindless brutes. As many people have said, this is like a twisted, darker version of Lolita and it's well worth such praise. I highly recommend it to anyone wishing to engage themselves beyond the normal criminal/victim dramas.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I've ever read!, July 21 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The End Of Alice (Paperback)
I found "The End of Alice" to be one of the most interesting and unique books I have ever read. I thought it to be more of a grotesque love story than a horror story. Basiclly the first 13 chapters or so goes through out the narators correspondance with a 19 year old girl. The girl opens up her whole life to this 54 year old convict and tries to model herself after him. The convict eventually falls in love with her and his past comes back to haunt him. Around the 14th chapter things start to get interesting, this is where the misterious Alice comes in and everthing starts to fit together. By the end your expecting a death, but you'll be shocked by the gruesome details. "The End of Alice" is a book filled with love, jealousy, and most of all blood! I suggest it to everyone because it's so shocking yet so wonderful. Homes really knows how to catch someones attention
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5.0 out of 5 stars Grippingly Grotesque, June 5 2000
This review is from: The End Of Alice (Paperback)
A 19 year old girl's desires for a young boy drives her to correspond with a paedophile who had been locked up in prison for the past 23 years.
This book is written in first person narration, that being of the paedophile. The text is easy to read and the story grips you right from the start.
Disgusting and grotesque ideas presented in this piece makes your guts retch and jaws drop in horror, almost making one laugh at the monstrosity and shiver at the possible reality of it all.
The narrator tries to relate with the reader personally, making one want to know more about what's going on with himself, and the object of his new passion - the 19 year old's obsession. Who is Alice? How did he get to be arrested? Read to the end to find out.
Very interesting reading, not suitable for the pious, faint hearted or underaged.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting and seductive...but hesitate, Aug. 29 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The End Of Alice (Paperback)
The most riveting, seductive book that I have ever read...and hesitate to recommend to others. Homes is an amazing writer. The inner world she creates inside the pedophile's head weaves it's own spell upon the reader, drawing one into a maze of logic unto its own *reality*. The reader is seduced into a point of view that warps the truth and charms in a perverse and oddly mesmerizing way. What bravery in tackling such repulsive subjectmatter. I recently read an interview with Homes, and she spoke of the anger that the book has evoked in people. Well dear reader, be warned. If you are able to face the shadow in your own self, and endure a little squirming in your *safe* little seat...read this dangerous and dark insightful tale. I myself will order her newest novel with great anticipation, " Music for Torching".
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE NOVEL IS ALIVE AND WELL: BLOWS YOUR MIND!, July 30 2002
By 
Mike (New York City, USA) - See all my reviews
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars At once creepy and riveting, Aug. 3 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The End Of Alice (Paperback)
The End of Alice brought attention to Homes due to the controversial topic -- attested to by the comments listed here. You are not sure whether you should despise the book for its content alone, or whether you should actually admit that you couldn't put it down. I agree that Homes will only get better from here and if she continues to fearlessly write about topics that challenge the reader she has a very bright future and I will continue to read her every chance I get. I found this book no more disturbing than I do the evening news and was intrigued by the psychological relationship that developed between these two unlikely pen pals. I didn't want to put this book down and when I finished I picked up two other Homes books, In a Country of Mothers and Jack, which confirmed for me her developing talent.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not For the Faint of Heart, Aug. 4 2000
By 
Jennifer Hall (Rockmart, GA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The End Of Alice (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book, but could see how some could find it upsetting or offensive, due to its subject matter and graphic details of sex, pedophilia, incest and violence. I work at a very small town library, and this is the only book we have by this author. I may well be the only one who has ever checked it out, because it doesn't seem it would fare well with most of our patrons.
The End of Alice is very well written and interesting. I read it in one sitting. However, I could never see myself recommending it to anyone I know. It seems to be the kind of novel you must be open-minded to read and enjoy, and not be offended by. But if you are looking for a book with a challenging subject, one that will at times have you wincing as you read it, give it a try. Don't tell them I sent you!
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The End Of Alice
The End Of Alice by A.M. Homes (Paperback - Feb. 18 1997)
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