A Novel by Alistair McCartney
"A book that takes possession of you right from the opening and will not let you go. Challenging and gripping, a rumination on death and memory that speaks eloquently to our sense of loss, both personal and communal. The writing is exquisite. In the best possible sense, I know this book will haunt me for the longest time." —Christos Tsiolkas, author of Barracuda
"Engrossing and reverent, The Disintegrations strangles death. A philosophy of the concrete and a reckoning of the ethereal, this novel dreams of all that has become lost in a world of remainders. We who remain may not find relief, but it leaves us dazzled and astonished and brutally satisfied with a gratitude for living." —Lily Hoang, author of A Bestiary
"I know nothing about death, absolutely nothing," asserts the narrator of this inventive autobiographical novel. Yet he can't stop thinking about it. Detached from life in Los Angeles and his past in Australia, uncomfortable around other humans, he researches death on the Internet; mulls over distant and intimate stories of suicides, serial killers, and "natural deaths"; and wanders about LA's Holy Cross Cemetery. He's looking for answers, all the while formulating his own disquieting philosophies.
Within this dizzying investigation into the mystery of death is another mystery: who is the companion igniting these memories? This enigmatic novel blurs the line between fiction and nonfiction, story and eulogy, poetry and obituary. Wry yet somber, astringent yet tender, The Disintegrations confronts both the impossibility of understanding death and the timeless longing for immortality.
"An awe-inspiring tour de force, a circuitous thanatopsis, a maze that constantly reiterates its structure until everything it contains is subsumed within a new ulterior obfuscation. McCartney not only shows us that death is a language unto itself but also provides us with a dictionary with which to parse it." —Mark Gluth, author of No Other
"An uncanny and mesmerizing study of the dread and terror in contemplating death as both remembrance and disappearance, and an intimate reveal of how our fears of erasure are a ghostly double for our awe at being alive."
—Manuel Muñoz, author of What You See in the Dark
"In this long-awaited second novel, a narrator's fascination with the geography of a nearby cemetery becomes a map of the losses and disappearances that have defined his own life. As he sorts through half-memories of deaths both notorious and obscure, a composite emerges of violent light and seductive shadow, a Book of the Dead—and a Book of California." —Joyelle McSweeney, author of Dead Youth, or, The Leaks
THE END OF THE WORLD BOOK.
A Novel by Alistair McCartney
This is no ordinary novel. An encyclopedia of memory—from A to Z—The End
of the World Book deftly intertwines fiction, memoir, and cultural
history, reimagining the story of the world and one man's life as they
both hurtle toward a frightening future. Alistair McCartney's alphabetical guide to the apocalypse layers images like a prose poem, building from
Aristotle to da Vinci, hip-hop to lederhosen, plagues to zippers, while
barreling from antiquity to the present.
In this profound book about mortality, McCartney composes an irreverent
archive of philosophical obsessions and homoerotic fixations,
demonstrating the difficulty of separating what is real from what is
"If I've read a more deeply impressive, beautiful, sweeping, mindful, and innovative first novel than Alistair McCartney's The End of the World Book, I have no memory of it. McCartney
is a writer of peerless, brilliant originality and pure, giant talent."
— Dennis Cooper, The Weaklings blog
"Beguiling, comical, earnest, and wise beyond its author's years. Crossing sporadic bursts of linear narrative with a detailed taxonomy of altercation, McCartney has engineered a compelling compendium of integrated distractions, somewhat in the manner of Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy. Read it from A to Z. He knows who you are: you will be
— James McCourt, author of Queer Street
"The End of the World Book is in turn informative, playful, erotic,
imaginary, witty, perverse, charming, autobiographical, and full of
wonders; the letter K, for example, begins with Kafka and ends with
Freddie Krueger. If the world is ending soon, I recommend you read it
while there's still time."
— Jim Krusoe, author of Iceland and Girl Factory