The End of Everything Hardcover – Jul 7 2011
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"Stirring...[a] storytelling feat."―New York Times
"A haunting story...evoke[s] the furtive blossoming of adolescent sexuality...that lies beneath the ice cream shops and sprinklered lawns of '80s suburbia."―Entertainment Weekly
"Fans of Tana French and Kate Atkinson will welcome Abbott's haunting psychological thriller ... Abbott expertly captures the nuances of lost innocence and childhood friendships, without ever losing an undercurrent of menace."―Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"A mesmerizing psychological thriller and a freshly imagined coming-of-age story, will draw comparisons to The Lovely Bones."―Los Angeles Times
"THE END OF EVERYTHING will haunt you as only a modern-day Lolita can."―Huffington Post
"The writing is anything but typical, as Abbott's inventive use of language to build imagery reads more like poetry than prose."―Boston Globe
"A sensitive, unconventional tale about the infinitely complex mystery of sexual awakening that lingers in the mind long after the book is finished."―The Guardian (UK)
"THE END OF EVERYTHING is Abbott's most refined and rapturous offering yet."―Los Angeles Review of Books
"An accomplished psychological thriller... a highly skilful novel, taut, addictive, full of stuff to keep you hungrily reading."―Sunday Times of London
About the Author
Megan Abbott is the Edgar-award winning author of four crime novels. She has taught literature, writing, and film at New York University, the New School and the State University of New York at Oswego. She received her Ph.D. in English and American literature from New York University in 2000. She lives in New York City.
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Top Customer Reviews
No. None of that happened.
It is much more of a family drama. Rival sisters (although you don't know they're rivals until the last 10 pages or so) vying for their fathers attention and love. Then there's the best friend, who spends 99% of her time mooning over her lost friends father. I'm going to be honest (reminder that I began reading this book thinking it was supposed to be a mystery/ thriller) I thought the twist in the novel was going to be that the father was a pedophile for how much they were going on about how amazing he was. He's not (that's a good thing, but for some reason it just made the long descriptions of his wonderful smile, and how when he touched your arm you felt special, even more awkward.)
I will admit there were some good plot points that SHOULD have and COULD have been used (me and my shadow picture point at the end of the book) but the problem is, those points DO NOT come up until the last chapter or so. They leave you confused with... wait, that was supposed to mean something?
There was a lot of the 13 year old thinking "... wait there's something at the edge of my memory..." and you expect those stories to add up to something - most of them don't.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Had I realized what this book was going to be about and how it was written, I would not have picked it up. It's a good book, but right now I just want to read something light and fluffy to wipe away the images that were left behind by this story. It's sad, disturbing, and not at all what I was expecting. Instead of a novel that revolves around solving a crime, it's told by thirteen year old Lizzie and is very much a loss of innocence book. I was not prepared to dive into a world of romanticized pedophilia or teenage sexuality. It's not that these issues were glorified, but they're there none the less and not something I was expecting or prepared to read.
This is an exceptionally well written book. Abbott has a great ability to create vivid images and evoke strong emotions. She does a nice job of setting the atmosphere and capturing the mind of a child who knows much, but really doesn't know anything. However, it's her writing talents that are also a detriment. It's hard to read a story where the thirteen year old narrator was seeing the kidnapper as possessing a great love for the child he's taken. Nor was it comfortable to read many of Lizzie's recollections with Evie, as many of them had sexual overtones. There was a strong realistic element to this story, but it wasn't something I wanted to read.
Even though I would have liked for Abbott to have left some innocence in the story, I am glad that she allowed the reader to be disgusted by the characters and their warped relationships. It would have been easy to tell the reader what they should think, but instead she lets them take the events and feel the sickness of these characters for themselves. I don't need a happily ever after ending, but there is a part of me that wishes there was a glimmer of hope in this story.
I feel much the same way about The End Of Everything as I do Lord Of The Flies. There is a terrible sadness for children when they lose their innocence; when the world and life they know is suddenly shattered and they realize things will never return to where they were before. While I think this is a brilliantly written book, I wish I hadn't read it. This is not a book for everyone.
Review title provided courtesy of Little, Brown, & Company.
The early conversations between Dusty and her father (especially the ones about boys and dating)also seemed inappropriate--more like a flirtatious exchange between peers(boy and girl)than an affectionately teasing father-daughter conversation. When you add in the fact that Mrs. Verver(who had supposedly once been sexy and attractive)was now a shadowy character, somewhat irrelevant to her husband and daughters,I think that it paints a picture of an off-kilter family. I don't know if there was any kind of sexual contact between Dusty and her father (although I think that the book's conclusion might be suggesting that), but it seemed to me that Dusty had replaced her mother in her father's affections and that Evie was just an also-ran- loved, but not treasured in the same way that Dusty was. Dusty's strange behavior after Evie's disappearance (going off to her grandmother for weeks at a time, avoiding her father)suggests that she was uncomfortable being around her parents. Was Evie's decision to explore a male-female relationship the result of jealousy over her sister and father's closeness? Was it a way of her dealing with her own "crush" on her father? (He was forbidden to her so she needed a substitute,)I'm not sure what to make of it all.
(1) Unreliable narrator: One of my favorite points of view is first person. The narrator here tells us things which may or may not be true. She inserts herself into a bizarre situation, creating more drama. She lies. She connives. She tampers with evidence!
(2) The narrator bluntly explores her own burgeoning sexuality, in many ways making herself distasteful. Who says all the characters in a novel have to be sweet and kind? She says things that we don't want to hear.
(3) The surprises do not end until the last page of the story. Why write a story, a poem, or a song if you don't have surprises?
(4) The book gave me bad dreams. Ah! Success.
Megan Abbott has me hooked.