AUTHOR, THE END OF THE WORLD BOOK
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"... 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."
"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
pages...you 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
—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