I bought this book on a whim having stumbled upon, read and enjoyed a number of entries on the author's blog. I wasn't quite sure what to expect in terms of quality, having never bought a self-published book by an unknown/amateur writer before.
I was however very impressed by the quality, enjoying the collection more than some established writers' output of late.
Chistopher Grapes has a very readable prose; each sentence well constructed, informative and relevant, furthering the story, building character, creating a mood, a feeling and an atmosphere extremely effectively. There is a kind of filmic quality to his style and the book easily captured my attention throughout.
Each of the short stories manages to evoke a particular tone and emotion particularly well and the central themes- loss, grief, identity, purpose, tradition, sentimentality, relationships, purpose, change, longing and finality are all strong ones, dealt with in a believable and immersive way.
As previous customers have noted, each story (except perhaps 'Waves' which I felt was the most underdeveloped of the collection, showing potential but ultimately ending up a bit sloppily handled, almost like Grapes had got a bit sick of it or wasn't sure how to end, perhaps?) managed to say something other than just the literal, in a subtle yet effective way, imparting alternative interpretations and thoughts to dwell upon during and after reading.
I'd definitely recommend The End to anyone who has arrived on this page, as for a very modest price point it has proven an extremely enjoyable and well written read. I look forward to future output by the author.