The End of the World by Andrew Biss
* An odd, yet oddly touching tale of
life, death, and the space in-between
Publisher: CreateSpace (April 26, 2011)
When Valentine's parents decide the time has arrived for him to cut the apron strings and take his rightful place in the big, bad world lurking just outside the safety of their doorstep, Valentine finds himself almost immediately launched into a surreal vista where priests pop from kitchen sinks, house guests run about without their stomachs intact, and snake-oil entrepreneurs spring unbidden from vintage refrigerators.
The End of the World is a brilliant, intelligent tour de farce delivered well-wrapped in a cutting wit so slyly subtle that the reader will return again and again out of sheer appreciation for the dialogue of its exceptional characters.
For such a wee book (98 pages) it certainly packed a wallop, giving me pause to think, laugh and sometimes fight the urge to cry.
I don't know how Andrew Biss managed to pull off this splendid cross between The Egyptian Book of the Dead and Portnoy's Complaint, but pull off he did - amazingly so - and I can't say when I've enjoyed character repartee quite so much as I did within the pages of this well-recommended book.
The M.A.D. take: A definite buy for those with a love of all things paranormal and an appreciation of intelligent writing.
I'd like to further add that as one who has experienced a life-long fascination with the continuation of consciousness post-mortem, I think the author has hit upon a rather obscure and not widely known truth that the mind may shape it's after death experiences in much the same way it is conjectured to do so during life.
Here I am reminded of Hamlet who spoke ..."There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy"