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August 19, 2013 / minusbar

Book Review: The World of the End, by Ofir Touché Gafla

Book Review: “The World of the End” by Ofir Touché Gafla

“As an epilogist, Ben Mendelssohn  appreciates an unexpected ending. But when that denoument is the untimely demise of his beloved wife, Ben is incapable of coping. Marian was more than his life partner, she was the fiber that held together all that he is. And Ben is willing to do anything, even enter the unknown beyond, if it means a chance to be with her again.

One bullet to the brain later, Ben is in the Other World, where he discovers a vast and curiously secular existence utterly unlike anything he could have imagined: a realm of sprawling cities where the deceased of every age live an eternal second life, and where forests of family trees are tended by mysterious humans who nevr lived in the previous world. But Ben cannot find Marian.

Desperate for a reunion, he enlists an unconventional afterlife investigator to track her down, little knowing that his search is entangled in events that continue to unfold in the world of the living. It is a search that confronts Ben with one heart-rending shock after another, with the best and worst of human nature; with the resilience and fragility of love; and with truths that will haunt him through eternity.”

Ofir Touche Gafla has, in my personal opinion, done a very good job on this book. The World of the End is very different from previous books that I have read, but I found that I enjoyed it very much.

The genre of the book is questionable. I don’t mean that it doesn’t qualify as Science Fiction, because it definitely does (what with the imaginative Other World and all). There’s just a little bit of many things: mystery, romance, suspense, scifi, and maybe even a little bit of horror. It’s all blended together very smoothly.

The characters are likable enough, even though I wanted to bang the protagonist’s (Ben’s) head against the wall several times for being so dense. All part of the story though! There are multiple character perspectives in the book (up to and including a photograph), and they all work together to tell the tale.

Gafla also has a very amusing way of writing dialogue. It may be a bit confusing at times, since the reader is suppossed to be left guessing as to the plot, but the macabre sense of humor is…well, humorous. Although, I would recommend that you avoid certain parts if you are sensitive to the subject of suicide. Gafla also is prone to embellished speeches on the part of his characters. I found it both frusterating and interesting. He loves to wax elegant on many subjects.

The ending I will not say much of, only that it’s fitting for certain occupations and themes in the novel. It was at the same time one of the most satisfying and frusterating endings I have come across yet.

In the end, I enjoyed the book very much, even though I had originally thought that I would not. If you are looking for action, blood, or magic, then you should probably keep looking. If, however, you are looking for an insightful novel full of twists, turns, and tales of woe (and pretty much every other type of tale there is), then this book is definitely for you.

Available for purchase here! 


A Daily Dose of R&R


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