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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not the Bible story we know and love!
`Not the End of the World' is the story of Noah's Ark, albeit a very different version to that which appears in the Bible - or any version thereof children might have heard. It describes what it was `actually' like aboard the Ark for those that God spared - namely, Noah and his family, as well as all the animals. It paints a vivid, often horrific picture of the coming of...
Published on 14 Jan 2007 by Matt Pucci

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unsure...
I'm not sure who this book is aimed at... the potential 'truths' behind the Noah's journey are revealed, most of which aren't suitable for kids. So, is this book for adults? Or religious folk?

Confused. I didn't enjoy, but perhaps because I'm the wrong target audience?
Published 17 months ago by Amazon Customer


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not the Bible story we know and love!, 14 Jan 2007
By 
Matt Pucci "mattpucci.com" (Here, there and everywhere) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Not the End of the World (Paperback)
`Not the End of the World' is the story of Noah's Ark, albeit a very different version to that which appears in the Bible - or any version thereof children might have heard. It describes what it was `actually' like aboard the Ark for those that God spared - namely, Noah and his family, as well as all the animals. It paints a vivid, often horrific picture of the coming of the flood, the sacrifices that had to be made, and the conditions aboard the Ark, and in this way, the book succeeds in raising some important questions.

The story is told primarily through the voice of Timna, the youngest daughter of Noah. Timna is obedient, but she is scared. She is nave but intuitive. She is loyal, but also gravely doubtful... and when she sneaks aboard a dangerous stowaway it appears that the consequences may be far worse than she anticipated.

By telling this story through Timna ("A daughter is not the same blessing as a son, after all") the author succeeds in bringing into question the motives of a supposedly all-knowing father - and, by extension, those of God Himself. However, by the end of the book both the father and daughter have learned important lessons about trust, faith, and humanity. Ostensibly a children's book, `Not the End of the World' is gritty, realistic, and full of unexpected plot twists and as such some children may find this novel quite upsetting. However, this is testament to the power of McCaughrean's writing, which is breathtaking in places.

I would suggest this book is suitable for older children of a less sensitive disposition, or parents willing to read it themselves and discuss it further. That said, this is simply a great read for anyone aged 8 to 80!

Matt Pucci
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, Thought provoking, Heart breaking, Brilliant., 12 Sep 2005
This review is from: Not the End of the World (Paperback)
So you think you know the story about Noah, his Ark, the cute animals and the flood? Well think again because this book explores so much more.
Written in the first person, it vividly depicts what it's like being the only daughter trapped on Noah's ark. Imagine a family where your dad's always right even when he sometimes seems cruel to you, where girls are less important than boys, where your elder brothers seem to veer from devout to fanatical, where kindness is seen as weakness and your mum does't seem to care what happens to you. Imagine you're responsible for trying to keep alive sharp toothed, sharp clawed wild beasts in a constantly moving, stuffy dark space where there isn't enough food - where you and some of the other inmates ARE FOOD. And imagine what you would do, when the flood comes and your friends, relatives, acquaintances, strangers the young, the old and the desparate beg you to take them on board when your dad forbids it because it's been foretold that these people have bought about their own destruction. Think about it.
This is a brilliant book that shouldn't be confined to kids. I bought it for my 11 year old niece but having started it in the afternoon, soon found myself so caught up in the dark, fetid, frighening atmosphere of the ark that I read through the night to be with Timna, the girl narrator right to the end.
I was appalled by the injustices, enraged by the cruelty and found myself choking back tears at the acts of kindness. At almost every page, you'll ask yourself 'what would I do?' Forget what you think you know about Noah's Ark and read this incredible, brilliant book by Geraldine McCaughrean.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another way of looking at the flood, 8 Jan 2013
By 
Lady Fancifull "Tinkerbell" (UK) - See all my reviews
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A book like this makes a reader awed at our species amazing capacity to weave narrative fable, connecting events through patterns, giving them the shape of a story.

Geraldine McCaughrean has taken one such narrative fable, Noah's flood, and told a different, darker, more imaginatively real version of what this might have been like.

Just as Grimm's fairy stories were prettified by Perrault, and Angela Carter unlayered a darker version of those stories, it is as if the Biblical version of those two by two animals and the sainted little family of Noah was an airbrushed story, without much real gristle and sinew, and McCaughrean has really imagined inside this story, and given a version which feels both more mythical and more true.

Seen mainly through the eyes of a young daughter of Noah (funny that, as so often the Bible, written by men, neglects to record the females who were part of history and part of myth) this is textured and thoughtful, gruesome and funny. What might it have been like, all those two by two lions, worms, antelope, woodlice and dungbeetles cooped up together with a fanatical fundamentalist family believing itself to be the ones worthy of salvation, in a stinking hold of a ship? Did the sons who sorted the two by twos have the skills to ensure a male and a female of each - how DO you sex a tortoise? Think far less the nursery brightly coloured wooden two by two animals, clean and shiny, think of lice, fleas, blowflies et al. And less the sainted white bearded patriarch and his fine strapping named sons, Shem Ham and Japhet (and who were they to people the new world with, pray, why their wives, no more named than those two by two dungbeetles!), think more crazy end of world salvationists, Jonestown and the like.

McCaughrean is a childrens' writer, and this is a book for children. But like the best writers for children, she possesses a truthfulness in her understanding of, and memory of childhood. Most of us, as adults, forget how astonishingly thoughtful, truth-questing, pragmatic and imaginative childhood can be. Adults prettify the Grimm for their children. The best writers for children are also writing without patronising their readers, and what is suitable for the on-the-verge-of-puberty and beyond child, will also be suitable for an adult. Food here for thought for both child and adult.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astounding, 13 July 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Not the End of the World (Paperback)
I'm baffled that no one else has reviewed this wonderful book. It is beautiful, moving and exciting. Using different voices, McCaughrean explores the gritty truth behind the story of the Ark. There have been numerous exquisite children's storybooks about this wonderful tale (Jane Ray's illustrated version and Judith Kerr's wonderful Mrs Monkey and the Ark spring to mind) but this is for older readers. McCaughrean takes a long hard and not always positive look at life on the ark for Noah's family. The characterisation, the plotting, the style of this book are just outstanding and I hope that many many people will read this book and think about its implications. A wonderful piece of writing.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 25 Aug 2005
By 
R. K. Harvey "harvey_rebecca" (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Not the End of the World (Paperback)
This book shines a completely new look at the story of Noah's ark. I was amazed that this was a children's book as the issues that the book deals with are quite dark at times, such as the violence of some of the brothers. But such an enjoyable read that raises a lot of moral and religious questions. Don't be put off that this book has been classed as a children's book as adults will love it as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting and well thought out. Probably not appropriate for a child under 12 though as it's pretty gruesome!, 2 Mar 2014
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It raises some interesting questions about the story of Noah's Ark and after reading this novel, I consider the story in a very different light to how I did when I was first told it as a child. It can be quite jarring and upsetting at points but from an intellectual point of view, it is an incredibly interesting children's novel.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable book, 21 Dec 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Not the End of the World (Paperback)
I can only echo the other reviewers. This is a book that stays with you. It changed the way I thought about a story I thought I knew. This book asks hard questions. What does it mean to believe something with certainty? What does it means to sit in judgment on others? What are the limits of authority and obedience? This is all delivered in a gripping cliff hanging story and some optimism. There is real horror in the violence of the story of the flood, and McCaughrean is unflinching in her telling.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the great children's authors around today, 7 Jan 2009
By 
lovemurakami "tooty2" (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Not the End of the World (Paperback)
I absolutely adore Geraldine McCaughrean's writing. She offers to the world of children's books poetic prose, wonderful storylines and characters you become attached to. Not the End of the World gives us a different view of the biblical tale of Noah's Ark, told by his daughter Timna and showing Noah as a religious zealot. A must read from one of the best children's authors of our time far better than alot more well known authors who shall not be named.
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4.0 out of 5 stars great book, 10 April 2014
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Great book overall, the ending was a bit sudden though.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves the story of Noah.
Great book for all to read.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 31 July 2007
This review is from: Not the End of the World (Paperback)
I picked this up out of curiosity having recalled a review of the book from a year or so back. So glad I did. It's clear from the opening page that the author has quite extraordinary gifts, both as a writer and a story-teller. Her characters are beautifully rounded and the setting so vividly described in every detail that you feel as if you know th eark like the back of your hand by the time the tale is told. For a 'childrens' book, this is sometimes very adult and disturbing and I dare say that the bible-bashers will be just a little discomforted by the depiction of the mad zealot Noah. They will be even more upset about the implied nature of the almighty. So that's good.
Truly, this author should be enjoying global fame and fortune, way in excess of the author of that leaden nonsense that is Harry Potter.
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Not the End of the World
Not the End of the World by Geraldine McCaughrean (Paperback - 31 Mar 2005)
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