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The World of the End Hardcover – 25 Jun 2013


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Amazon.com: 38 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A difficult worthwhile read 11 May 2013
By I Teach Typing - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The tragic and strangely romantic summary of this book, a man kills himself to be with his wife in the afterlife but can't find her, sounds campy and does not do it justice. This is complex, at times difficult but ultimately worthwhile. The structure of the novel, with chapters alternating between the afterlife and modern Israel with a fairly large cast of characters in each, makes this a challenging read. You spend most of the book thinking hard trying to weave the storyline threads and at time bizarre facts into a single picture. When I was 2/3 through the book I thought this is like trying to do both sides of a two sided jigsaw puzzel ... at the same time. The afterlife is surreal at times but not so far removed from reality to become annoying. The modern "real life" characters have some of the most unusual character flaws you will ever read. The ending is astonishingly good and happily the convoluted subplots around those badly broken people do ultimately make sense.

While this book is definitely not for everyone, if you like complex often seriously flawed characters in twisting plots this is superb.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Both Deeply Strange and Profoundly Familiar 4 Nov. 2013
By Dmitry Portnoy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Six months since I finished this book, it still will not leave my head. It depicts an afterlife without judgment but with laws that have surprising and inevitable consequences: an original, intricate, completely convincing creation, that if Keats is right about beauty being truth, we might get to experience. But exploring it is only half the puzzle. The other half involves a fractal jigsaw of incandescently vivid characters, some dead, some alive, some who never lived, each with unique limits and drives, convictions and crimes, the hero must solve to find his beloved wife.

Reading the book, I did not know if all these jagged pieces would fit; if when all is revealed, I would drive off a cliff or smack into a wall or arrive at some some stupendous, astonishing ending. Find out for yourself. Gafia both knows and loves human beings, and has a rich yet rigorous philosophical imagination. The tale may be a tragedy or a comedy, but it is no joke. The writing is exquisite, funny, precise, whether describing the universe, or the world inside someone's head. The translation is copyrighted by the righter, who either did it himself, or made sure it was exactly right.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Surreal Supernatural Love 16 Jan. 2014
By Christina Paige - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The end of life is not the end of the world: it’s just your transition to the world of the end.
The Other World is remarkable similar to the life you’ve left, only now you won’t gain weight if you eat all your favorite foods. Forgiveness is universal, but people can still make themselves damned miserable.
Ben would be perfectly happy to be dead if he could just find his beloved wife Marian – after all, he committed suicide to be with her again after her untimely, accidental death. But in spite of all the resources for finding the ones you’ve loved and lost and are looking for – everything from relatives (including in-laws) to Human Resources’ computer records, and a private eye who bursts into uncontrollable giggles any time he hears a lie – Ben is striking out. What has become of Marian?
Ben’s quest is complicated by encounters with other souls: Robert, who has been obsessively waiting outside the processing area for arriving souls for ten years; a former girlfriend who shows him how to almost fly; and a man who is not quite dead, but coma status is close enough to let him spend time in the Other World. Each of these souls makes different choices, showing us, and Ben, not only the scope of free will, but how we impose limits and force our version of reality on the world.
Ben never knew it, but someone had fallen in love with him during that final year of his life. Her story is also told, and it is even more bizarre than Ben’s, fraught with humor, horror, pathos, mistaken identities, and bad timing. And throughout the double narrative a mystery unfolds, as two souls try to find each other across an abyss bridged by the internet and a shared passion for the literature of Salman Rushdie.
Gafla’s writing style is somewhat like Fforbes wonderful Thursday Next series. If you love comedy laced with tragedy (or visa-versa), if you appreciate unusual, provoking, sublime storylines with a twist, you will love this book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Richly surreal & unforgettable 24 Mar. 2014
By Prof J - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a profoundly thought-provoking, memorable novel. I found it to be beautifully written, even in translation--I found myself stopping and re-reading passages to savor the language. I did not find it difficult to read (unlike other reviewers here). It was a gripping page-turner, I couldn't put it down! It does have a complex, dense, surprising, compelling plot. It also has superb character development and very profound ruminations on writing and writers. I was surprised at how uplifting the experience of reading it was. My only disappointment is that more of Gafla's novels have not been translated into English yet.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
wonderful 31 Aug. 2013
By Yona Sharon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
loved the idea of thinking differently about "life after death". not in a religious way and not depending on how you have lived your life
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