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The End Specialist Paperback – 29 Sep 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (29 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007429088
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007429080
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 324,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

‘Drew Magary's haunting first novel imagines a postmodern dystopia that would seem far-fetched if it didn't seem so possible. The End Specialist will make you regret ever wondering, even secretly, what it would be like to live forever’
-Stefan Fatsis, author of Word Freak and A Few Seconds of Panic

‘As insanely entertaining as it is ambitious, The End Specialist takes us into an America set in the next few years and coming apart under the onslaught of a dreadful new plague – that of human immortality. Magary possesses an explosive imagination and let loose in The End Specialist, he creates an alternate history of the near future that feels real and is probably inevitable’
-Evan Wright, author of Generation Kill

‘This thoughtful novel cleverly explores the consequences of having a long-term lease on life, from the mundane to the profound … Fascinating’
-Publisher’s Weekly

About the Author

Drew Magary is a writer for Deadspin, NBC, Maxim magazine, and Kissing Suzy Kolber. He's also written for GQ, New York Magazine, ESPN, Yahoo!, Playboy, Penthouse, and various other media outlets. His first book, "Men With Balls," was released in 2008. This is his first novel. He lives in Maryland with his wife and children.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Paul Bowes TOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 Oct 2011
Format: Paperback
'The End Specialist' ('The Postmortal' in the US) is the first novel by Drew Magary, previously better known as an American sports blogger and the author of 'Men With Balls'.

'The End Specialist' takes its cue from Max Brooks' 'World War Z', a superior zombie apocalypse thriller. One of the strengths of that book was that once the reader had allowed the premise - the appearance of a disease that killed and reanimated human beings - almost everything else followed logically, with Brooks' plausible descriptions of events taking on an almost documentary quality and the rapidly shifting point of view building up a composite portrait that was ultimately more convincing than any one person's testimony.

Magary's premise is if anything more plausible than Brooks'. In the second decade of the twenty-first century, an American scientist accidentally discovers a treatment for ageing. Persons to whom 'the cure' is administered cease to age beyond their 'cure date'. Magary follows the life of a young lawyer, John Farrell, who uses his relative wealth and connections to take the cure in the early days of its development, at a time when it is still technically illegal. He is now immortal in the sense that he has ceased to age, although he is still vulnerable to accident and disease.

So far, so good. Magary goes on to follow Farrell's life as a 'postmortal', as the unforeseen consequences of the accidental discovery of immortality work themselves out in a world that hasn't thought very hard about the possible implications - a world that is still riven by political and social divisions, international rivalries and the impending exhaustion of natural resources.

'The End Specialist' is never less than readable, but it isn't as good a book as 'World War Z'.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By S. D. Spicer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Aug 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I couldn't put it down.

Which is rare for a work of fiction for me. I read this almost in a single sitting, pausing only for a few hours sleep. Now I have finished, I'm glad I know how it ends - and this time I didn't read the end prematurely - another unusual thing for me, but I am left wondering deeply.

Currently there's a TV series running in the UK, that has the same central premise - no one dies. but Drew Macary's book makes it sound plausible and real. Here, gene therapy means you don't age and therefore don't die, but you can still die - of injury, illness etc. You just don't get old.

The book examines the moral ethical issues, how old must you be before you can gain immortality, what happens to a life sentence when you could live for ever, should marriage be for life and many more; and comes up with some answers and a whole lot more questions. It's not a heavy read however, so you could give it to someone who doesn't like scifi and they would enjoy it or you could read it somewhere like the beach. What it will do is have you asking people around you "would you choose immortality" and then blasting them with the good and bad points.

The story is pretty good as well. There's some plot twists that you definately won't see coming, the characters are rounded; I felt genuinely sad for one of them by the end. In all it's a book that will have you thinking and involved and I throughly recommend it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mark H TOP 500 REVIEWER on 15 Sep 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I picked up this novel as I enjoy reading first novels from authors and also because the subject matter intrigued me - what if science could find a way to stop the ageing process? On both counts I was pleased I picked this novel as I found the author had an engaging style and he has some interesting insights into just how strange life could become if we could stay young forever. After all, who hasn't contemplated cheating death and avoiding that step into the great unknown that faces all of us.

As a subject the cutting edge of science as regards DNA is fascinating to me. The ability of science to unravel what it is within each of us that controls our resistance to disease, the colour of our hair and every other detail that determines our physical being. So why not extrapolate that to the ability to track down the particular parts of our DNA that stop us getting older? A great idea and this novel takes us from the discovery through the moral debate of if 'the cure' should be allowed to the reactionary groups who both love and hate the fact that someone can choose never to get a day older. The central character, John Farrell, is not someone you are going to feel great about, or at least I never found myself completely behind him and quite often wanted to grab him by the shoulders and shake him up, but for me this is a far tougher trick for a writer to pull off than drawing a purely sympathetic character who readers will be completely in cahoots with. The technique of writing the novel as extracts from a recently found 'diary', interspersed with newspaper articles and message board posts, keeps it interesting and adds to the immersive feeling of being taken through an alternate future.

There were some down points.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sam VINE VOICE on 14 Jun 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Three stars does seem a little harsh on 'The End Specialist', because it doesn't reflect how much I enjoyed reading the novel, or how easy to read and, at times, gripping it is, however I nevertheless feel it is justified for the reasons I shall outline below:

'The End Specialist' is somewhat unusual in it's format-it follows the story of one central protagonist John Farrell and is told from his perspective, however regular interjections come in the form of news articles, social network posts etc. Many of the chapters are between 5-10 pages long or fewer and the longest are probably maximum 15-20 pages. This means that the book is easy to pick up and put down even if you only have a short time to read-you still feel as though you are making progress with the story.

The book's basic premise is a futuristic world where a cure to end death has been invented. Of course the initial joy and euphoria is soon overtaken by unforeseen problems and eventually chaos ensues. Human rights are gradually eroded and the fundamental idea behind it all is the inherent selfishness of human nature. Here I have to give the book some credit-it really does make you think and it is clear that the author has thought quite deeply about all the possible problems that could be caused by a cure for death.

Sadly interesting though the premise is, it is undermined by an often overly-dramatic writing style, which feels quite simplistic at times. Another fundamental flaw is character development; I don't think I'm giving too much away by saying that characters die during the story, but I found it hard to care or even feel a hint of emotion. Even the central protagonist feels very much like a vehicle used to see this world and his emotional depth is somewhat lacking.
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