alistair mccartney.

biography - books - reviews - events - other publications - contact


"... a giddy literary jape ... The literary 'insurgency' that The End of the World Book proceeds from is almost entirely French – the not-quite-novels of Maurice Blanchot, Pierre Klossowski, Raymond Queneau and Louis-René des Forêts invariably called récits (accounts) ... an interrogation of literature – how we think about writing, what we choose to write about and why... "
The Los Angeles Times (full review)

"Novel? Memoir? Encyclopedia? Fantasia? The End of the World Book ... is all these things at once. And its brilliant. ... so sharp and alive that you feel as though bright, perverse balloons of insight are expanding-or exploding in your mind as you turn the pages. if you like Australian literary maverick Murray Bail or order-obsessed imagination of Peter Greenaway, you won't want to miss this."
The Seattle Times (full review)

"... a surreal and self-referential encyclopedia for the 21st century. Arranged alphabetically, McCartney employs a short, free association style to expound on disparate topics, including Princess Diana, head lice, extinction-and everything in between. ... fans of alternative literature and Borges may discover a kindred spirit. "
Publishers Weekly

 "McCartney's playful, almost free-associative prose comes on like the work of a performance artist ... or an avant-garde stand-up comic; it's often scabrously funny."
Library Journal

"Alistair McCartney's debut fiction work turns the 20th-century writing format on its ear... a literary box of delicacies ... It's tempting to gorge on entire chunks, but take it slow, letter by letter, and savor the eccentric beauty of McCartney's prose."
The San Francisco Bay Area Reporter (full review)

"... adult sense of imminent apocalypse ... and flashes of brilliance ... there's little doubt that his quixotic compilation can be more inventive in its brevity than many novels."
The Advocate

"McCartney seems, like Wilde arriving in America before him, 'to have nothing to declare but his genius.' I dare anyone to read The End of the World Book without being moved by its restless romanticism, its perfect paragraphs and the whisper of mortality that seeps through these won't find a more unusual book this year..."
—Kevin Killian, Lambda Book Report

"The alphabetically arranged sections ... are stunning in their wit, wisdom ,and sharpness. Some are poignant; others are downright disturbing. The love of knowledge—and experience of loss—is the connective tissue of this novel ...  which provides us a view into the idiosyncratic mind of someone who has lived at the land's end for most of his life. ... The view from there is challenging, disturbing, and engaging."
The Gay and Lesbian Review

"The End of the World Book heralds the arrival of a daring new voice in literature, the literary equivalent of Todd Haynes' collaged post modern films, Slava Mogutin's edgy urban photographs, Hernan Bas's paintings of decadent dandies, and the Magnetic Fields'merging of irony and classic poignant pop."
William J. Mann, author of Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn

“Like no other book written before... immediately makes you laugh or think with the next entry..."
The Lesser of Two Equals Blog

“a postmodern narrative that slips between genres, geography, and identity, written as a series of encyclopedia entries. ...a multifaceted exploration of identity...The vision that emerges is thoughtful and dark, but not tragic, and ultimately defiant."
—Gulf Coast Quarterly (full review in Irene Keliher’s “Looking for the Post-Gay, The New Frontiers of Queer Fiction")


– Alistair McCartney on the National Book Critics Circle blog
Interview by Dan Callahan