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The End of Everything Paperback – 19 Aug 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Main Market Ed. edition (19 Aug. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330518313
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330518314
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 192,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Abbott has already been responsible for a handful of excellent novels- influenced by Hollywood film noir and set mostly during the mid-20th century- but I think this could be her best. At any rate, it's her most daring. . . Fortunately, Abbott's prose is as seamless as it is fevered, resulting in something that reads like a nightmare in which reality is flimsy yet hyper-real. . . Abbott's book might be set in suburbia and about childhood, but, by investigating obsession, sex and everything else associated with the unexamined life, it goes straight to the heart of what noir fiction is about, while, at the same time, helping to reset its parameters.'
--CrimeTime

`The story of a child's disappearance, but with a twist that'll leave you intrigued.'
--Essentials Magazine

'A fine example of the classic coming-of-age trope...an accomplished psychological thriller, familiar and twisting in just the right measures... This is a highly skilled novel, taut, addictive, full of stuff to keep you hungrily reading.' --Sunday Times Sunday Times

'Every so often a novel comes along that gets pretty much everyone reading and pretty much everyone else talking...anyone looking for this year's equivalent, a word-of-mouth phenomenon that does not shy away from dark subject matter, should pick up The End of Everything by Megan Abbott... the book is being hailed as one of the best reads of the summer by broadsheets and women's magazines alike...arguably the greatest achievement of The End of Everything is the way it captures the essence of being a young girl teetering somewhere between childhood and adulthood; tantalised by glimpses of freedom in a mysterious adult world' --Sunday Express

'This is one of those gripping books you'll postpone a night out for, just to be able to finish it. It's an astonishingly insightful tale of two girls learning to deal with their sexuality and very adult relationships at a young age... A fascinating read.' --Heat Magazine

'On the back of the success of The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold and in a similar vein to Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides comes this haunting and gripping tale about two girls on the cusp of adolescence...as the unexpected truth behind Evie's disappearance is tauntingly revealed, the reader uncovers even more dark secrets hidden behind the closed doors of Cloverly Way. An utterly addictive read.'
--Laura Temple

`A shimmering, disturbing tale of a missing teenage girl and her best friend's quest to find her . . . Abbott unflinchingly captures the way in which the hazy, dreamy world of childhood crushes is replaced by the brutal reality of predatory adult sexuality. Brilliantly menacing.' --Marie Claire

`Echoing The Lovely Bones and The Virgin Suicides, The End of Everything explores the torment and frustration of being a 13-year-old girl sat on the white picket fence between innocence and knowing everything. An addictive read, the story unfolds like a dream: hazy and disturbing, you can't quite shake it off.' --welovethisbook

`Dark and unsettling . . . Abbott's ability to reconnect with the secrecy, feverish intensity and unearned worldliness of adolescence is uncanny. Not a whodunit, but a sensitive, unconventional tale about the infinitely complex mystery of sexual awakening that lingers in the mind long after the book is finished.' --Guardian

`This is one of those gripping books you'll postpone a night out for, just to be able to finish it. It's an astoundingly insightful tale of two girls learning to deal with their sexuality and very adult relationships at a young age.' --Heat

`Abbott sensitively captures the nuances of that complicated age and its intense friendships. She has been compared to Kate Atkinson; this book to The Lovely Bones. It is certainly one of those novels that stays with you. Read it. You might even be tempted to type its name on a bit of paper, and hand it to people you meet.' --bookslive

'Megan Abbott's sixth novel concerns the disappearance of a thirteen-year-old girl, Evie Verver, told through the eyes of her inseparable best friend, Lizzie. Think of a darker, less innocent American version of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time, set in the creepy suburbia of the early scenes of John Carpenter's Halloween, and you're just about there. Abbott's style makes the book feel slightly twinkling and dreamlike, but it's also jittery and sly, delivering its shocks stealthily and leaving you unsure right until the last moment exactly what surround the Verver family and their extended social circle. Like Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides, it's ultimately most memorable for its narrator's wide-eyed encapsulation of the gap between the child and adult world than it is for its central dark mystery. "Is being young so magical that they must conjure it up again, can't help themselves?" she asks of her grown-up acquaintances. "I don't see any magic in it at all." Yet magic is often exactly what she presents us with.'
--Daily Mail

'Abbott's prose style, with its long slippery sentences and sharp observations, is perfect for evoking this life stage. . . One feels that Abbott has not told all. I reread the ending several times to feel sure that I understood. Even then, there were things not quite said, not quite spelled out. It's this oblique quality, this sense of half exposure, that makes The End of Everything so intriguing.'
--The Tablet

`The compulsive, dream-like tale of a missing teenage girl, an emotionally complex examination of burgeoning female sexuality that lives long in the memory.'
--Doug Johnstone, Sunday Herald

Book Description

A mesmerising emotional thriller for fans of The Virgin Suicides and The Lovely Bones

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. Bond VINE VOICE on 26 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm quite surprised to say that... I really enjoyed this story. When I selected it, it was really so I could read something that my wife might enjoy as well as myself... however, I could not put it down, I had to read it right until the conclusion.

The story begins rather slowly, it builds layers and fully flushes out each character. It loads the story with weight and suspense, which if you don't have a little patience you'll not enjoy, but then in the resolution of the story the flood gates open, the plot unfolds at a real explosive pace.

Some of the language employed is strong, some of the language may, for the moderate middle England reader maybe too strong. But on the whole the story is told, and is about a delicate subject (child abuse at its core).

I read the story in the evening, in bed and it left me unable to stop turning pages.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Sally Zigmond VINE VOICE on 29 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Lizzie and Evie are best friends. Both are on the cusp of adulthood. They are always together. They share everything: their hopes, fears, bodily changes, school work and even their clothes. Closeness doesn't come into it.

But when one hot summer's day, Evie goes missing everything Lizzie thought she knew is destroyed. She thinks she knows what has happened and in some ways she is right but her idea of truth is neither what others see nor is it the real truth. Truth is a complex commodity. In fact, Lizzie sees everything in every detail but she is naïve and confused in her own feelings to understand what it is she sees.

I have read many stories about the dark undercurrents of Middle America and of young girls coming of age but never one that is so subtly clever without calling attention to its cleverness. I do think, however, it's a mistake to liken it to The Lovely Bones because this is a far, far better novel. It lacks its gaucheness, its sensationalism or gruesomeness. Yes, gruesome things happen but what is most frightening are the small things such as Mr Verver's hand hovering above Dusty's stomach in the moonlight. Now that's scary.

This is an impressive novel, so light in its touch, so sure of its effects. This is the first novel I have read by Megan Abbott but it certainly won't be the last.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ripple TOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 July 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"The End of Everything" covers difficult ground and will take the reader on a traumatic journey. The narrator is 13-year-old Lizzie who lives with her mother and older brother. There is a clear lack of a male role model in terms of her father. Her best friend and neighbour Evie lives with her parents and older sister, Dusty. Things start to go horribly wrong when Evie disappears one day after school although quite quickly it becomes painfully evident who has abducted her. This is disturbing enough, particularly when seen through the eyes of a 13-year-old child, but what Abbott bravely explores are the thoughts and feelings of adolescent girls and their relationships with the opposite sex as well as the intensity and confusion of life at that age.

Abbott's previous books have been in the genre of crime fiction and this becomes evident as the book skillfully reaches its painful and complex conclusion as it is clear that clues have been left for the reader to piece together where it is heading while other bits are held back. Has Evie shared information with Lizzie and what Dusty know about her younger sister? Most painfully, what impact does her disappearance have on her father? Lizzie gets little support from her own home in coping with events and so she gets more and more involved with Evie's father's pain and her role in finding out what happened to Evie becomes pivotal.

There's no doubt it's a difficult and uncomfortable read, but there's a compulsion to find out what happens. The only reason that I would mark this down by a star in rating is that at times the voice of the narrator is difficult to follow.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By I Heart Books on 30 Jan. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found it quite hard to rate this book. In the end I decided to give it three stars because it kept me reading and I was interested enough to get to the end.

However, this is a very disturbing book and it is very hard to believe that it was the voice of a 13 year old, particulary the 13 year old Lizzie that we are introduced to in the book. It would have been a lot more believable if the narrator had been Dusty, or even Evie. Furthermore, it is very hard to believe that a 13 year old girl would make the same choices as the two characters in this book made. Suspension of disbelief would have to play a large part in this, even if you could swallow down the lump of discomfort that had settled somewhere between your throat and your stomach at the subject matter. For, yes, this is a very uncomfortable book. The protagonist, and indeed other characters, have an unhealthy fixation on sex. One could say this fixation was almost a perversion for some and there is an inexcusable acceptance of the behaviour of certain characters. Reading through sometimes made me feel sick but I persisted because somewhere in there was a good story. Having said that, the story did start to unravel for me a little bit because I found a lot of what happened so very hard to believe. It would have worked so much better if the narration was through the eyes of a 16 year old. 13 just seemed too unreal for a lot of what happened and, indeed, for a lot of the adult decisions that were made by the protagonist.

Evie was another thing altogether. I can't really nut out the part that disturbed me most without ruining the story for those who wish to read it. Suffice to say that you will know it when you get to that part and maybe you will even wonder at it the same way I did.
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