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The Island at the End of the World: A Novel

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Overview


A chilling post-apocalyptic tale of how far a father will go to protect his children?from the author of The Amnesiac

In a world nearly destroyed by catastrophic floods, one family has been spared. Many years ago, as the waters rose, a father and his three children took to their ark and drifted to the safety of a small island. Life there is a quiet idyll of music and farming?and young Alice, Finn, and Daisy are grateful for their salvation?until the day a stranger swims ashore. ...

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Overview


A chilling post-apocalyptic tale of how far a father will go to protect his children?from the author of The Amnesiac

In a world nearly destroyed by catastrophic floods, one family has been spared. Many years ago, as the waters rose, a father and his three children took to their ark and drifted to the safety of a small island. Life there is a quiet idyll of music and farming?and young Alice, Finn, and Daisy are grateful for their salvation?until the day a stranger swims ashore. A terrifyingly plausible adventure story, The Island at the End of the World is a mesmerizing novel from an exciting new writer.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In this unconvincing allegorical postapocalypto, Pa lives on an island with his three children, Alice, Finn and Daisy. They are survivors of a civilization-destroying flood; mom Mary wasn't so lucky-she died while trying to save one of her children. Into this setting washes up Will, a handsome young man who comes ashore and seems to know much about the family. Befriended by Finn, Will faces off with an increasingly hostile Pa, especially after Pa discovers that Alice has fallen in love with Will. As the novel progresses, flashbacks (largely via journal entries) detail life before the flood and the events leading up to the world's drowning; through these same entries, an incredible truth is hinted at, and it's Will presence that allows for its revelation. Unfortunately, though, the "shocking" surprise ending isn't very shocking, and Taylor's take on life after the apocalypse fails to persuade in either its allegorical implications or the day-to-day drama of its Swiss Family Robinson-style situation. (Sept.)

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Library Journal
Taylor (The Amnesiac) turns the postapocalyptic genre on its head with this absorbing story of a modern-day Noah. A father and his three children, 13-year-old Alice, eight-year-old Finn, and six-year-old Daisy, live in an ark set down on an idyllic mountain after a world-destroying flood. With a few animals and three books—some fables, the Bible, and Shakespeare's collected works—they live simply, hunting, farming, and celebrating the passing lunar cycles. But all's not well: Pa won't answer Alice's and Finn's persistent questions, and pressure on the family is brought to a head by the arrival of a young man from the world that no longer exists. If the alternating narratives—Pa's wine-stoked mix of the holy and the profane, Finn's spelling-garbled, unschooled boy's voice, and Alice's blend of overwrought teen- and florid Shakespeare-speak—are sometimes rendered in a way that is a touch over the top, they throw off allusions like sparks from a barreling locomotive as this compact but powerful novel races toward an ominous conclusion. VERDICT With the forthcoming October release of the film version of Cormac McCarthy's post-apocalyptic The Road, there's bound to be reader interest in this title.—Neil Hollands, Williamsburg Regional Lib., VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143116257
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/25/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,226,039
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Sam Taylor is a journalist turned novelist.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Strange & Pointless

    This is one of the strangest books I have ever read. The back of the book and cover of the book were very intriguing and I couldn't wait to read it! The writing style is very unique.I would say in a bad way. It took me a few chapters to really get the hang of it. There isn't much punctuation and a lot of the sentences just stop with no end. The story itself is very weak. The idea was wasted by easily guessed plot twists and undeveloped characters.
    The book is made of two parts. The first part is boring and makes you wonder 'why am I still reading this?' the second part is a little more interesting and holds your attention, because you think something will happen. The actual ending I thought was okay. Not horrible. It seems like Sam Taylor wanted to make a point with this book. I didn't think it had a point.
    I wouldn't recommend this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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