×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life
     

The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life

3.5 51
by Robert Goolrick
 

See All Formats & Editions

It was the 1950s, a time of calm, a time when all things were new and everything seemed possible. A few years before, a noble war had been won, and now life had returned to normal.

For one little boy, however, life had become anything but "normal."

To all appearances, he and his family lived an almost idyllic life. The father was a respected professor, the

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
bookluvrFC More than 1 year ago
This is an autobiography. It is also an excellent description of society in America among the wealthy when socializing meant heavy drinking and brittle, false selves. It chillingly captures the full brunt of addiction and sexual abuse. The writer is in full control of his craft, creating an atmosphere that gets the reader to experience this life as much as just reading about it could do.
pagegrrrl More than 1 year ago
I just finished this book and I rarely write reviews, but I had to in this case. This is a heartbreaking, witty and beautiful memoir that is one to savor slowly, even as you want to rip through it. I will forever be touched by Mr. Goolrick's story. Not only should you get it immediately, but pass it on to friends. The beauty of such a tragic story just floored me. The writing is monumental and you will be cheating yourself if you don't pick this up today.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I tend to only read memoirs, and this one, though gut wrenching at times, was the most beautifully written piece of personal history I've ever read. Goolrick makes you feel as though you are watching his experiences, like a fly on the wall. I hope Goolrick found closure in telling his story, but if he did not, he must fine peace knowing what good it will do for others who've experienced similar pasts.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As the product of an alcoholic home, I have never before read anything that better articulates the complex and convoluted love/hate/fear relationship between a child and his/her alcoholic parent. This memoir is touching, disturbing, and yet redeeming not only for those of us who have lived and survived such a home but also for the people in our lives as a point of understanding.
eak321 More than 1 year ago
After reading the novel "A Reliable Wife," I wanted to go back and read Goolrick's memoir, which was published first (but written second). I found it fascinating that he started publishing so late in life, so I wanted to see what he was about. I wasn't crazy for the title of the memoir, though, mostly because it reminded me of the old R.E.M. song and I couldn't get the tune out of my head. I enjoyed reading many of the recollections of Goolrick's past. I was intrigued by his descriptions of his parents and their nightly cocktails and parties, as if they were characters on the TV series "Mad Men." And, naturally, I was disturbed and saddened at the parts where he talks about abuse, neglect, and how that affected him into his adulthood. I wasn't crazy for the assemblage of the book. The memoir jumps around in time with the start of each chapter and even within the chapters themselves. Like different memories or objects spark feelings and memories within each us, we follow Goolrick's jumping thoughts throughout the book. It's not that it was difficult to follow, but I think putting the earliest (and most horrifying) events first would have drawn me into the memoir more. Up until that point, I struggled to continue and didn't feel like the memoir was leading anywhere. Everything leading up to the final chapters of the book felt almost randomly included. After reading the final chapters, you realize why the other chapters and thoughts were included, but it feels a bit too late. In this instance, I would have put forth a more chronological sequence of events. The writer (and book editors) know why certain memories were included, where the story is going, and is emotionally invested, but the reader doesn't have these clues or emotional investment. All in all, it was an interesting read once you get past several chapters, and I found Goolrick's insight and conclusions in the final chapters very moving and powerful. (I'm also intrigued by how to make butter using only cream and mason jars.) However, like I previously noted, I would have preferred a different order to the book to make me appreciate it more as a whole.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A self divulging memoir about a lineage of dysfunction, and one man's sequalae. Written honestly and creatively, its emotional and entertaining. Easy read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this memoir for its courage, but also the unique, bracing quality of the author's voice. It is worth the journey.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great writing...raw emotion, a must read. Anyone who understands anything about being raised around alcoholics cannot afford to miss this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Stunning and heartbreaking. This book is a masterpiece. I felt as though I was right there with the author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautifully crafted tale of a time and place gone by. So many things rang true and familiar in this one -- the cocktails, dresses, even the southern understaanding that some seemingly innocent words or phrases are just gauche... drapes, for example. You had to live that place and time to know that (my mother would have added "couch" to his list). Unlike some others, I very much appreciated the non linear structure of the storytelling here...it is how memories work, after all. But the revelations of sexual abuse at the end are starkly written, unforgiving and yes, brutal. As is sexual abuse. Very hard to read, disturbing beyond imagination. Our vernacular today has incorporated terms like "molestation" perhaps too well. This memoir reminds us exactly what that word actually means and its ongoing and pervasive destructive power.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
L.A.Carlson-writer More than 1 year ago
Unimaginable in so many ways as this book reads like a dream and a nightmare. Explicit in parts and heart-breaking throughout. It's obvious while listening to Robert Goolrick speak he is an intelligent man who maybe ahead of his time in many ways. This memoir will give you considerable pause especially in the wake of national news regarding sexual abuse. It is also a testament to what is not acceptable as parents; it's not okay to rob your children of love, devotion, encouragement and protection. But it will also remind all of us that our main responsibility as human beings is to treat each other with the highest form of humility. I'm profoundly changed in ways I can't explain after reading this story. One can only wish Goolrick continues to find peace and comfort in being a successful writer and author. He appears to be the kind of person we just want to cheer for.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having read A Reliable Wife and loving it, I recently loaded Heading Out to Wonderful in my Nook. Before reading it, however, I came across this title, and when I read that it was Goolrick's memoir, I decided to read it first to learn more about this exellent writer. I have just finished reading it (within the past 24 hours) and my heart breaks for this man. To think that, despite all of his pain, he could write so beautifully and successfully is amazing to me. I can only say that I wish him continued success, and hope that he has found satisfaction and some measure of happiness in his life and will continue to do so.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read all the wonderful reviews on this book before I downloaded it to my nook, but I did not agree with them. I found it very difficult to read. I found myself skimming a lot of it. Just seemed like a lot of repeats and ramblings. I do hope that it does reach those who have been abused and especially the abusers. The author's remarks at the end of the book, I thought, was the best part.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago