World's End

World's End

4.4 7
by T. C. Boyle
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Haunted by the burden of his family's traitorous past, woozy with pot, cheap wine and sex, and disturbed by a frighteningly real encounter with some family ghosts, Walter van Brunt is about to have a collision with history.

It will lead Walter to search for his lost father. And it will send the story into the past of the Hudson River Valley, from the late 1960's

…  See more details below

Overview

Haunted by the burden of his family's traitorous past, woozy with pot, cheap wine and sex, and disturbed by a frighteningly real encounter with some family ghosts, Walter van Brunt is about to have a collision with history.

It will lead Walter to search for his lost father. And it will send the story into the past of the Hudson River Valley, from the late 1960's back to the anticommunist riots of the 1940's to the late seventeenth century, where the long-hidden secrets of three families—the aristocratic van Warts, the Native-American Mohonks, and Walter's own ancestors, the van Brunts—will be revealed.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Boyle has been developing a growing reputation among lovers of rich comic writing for his handful of previous stories and novels. But World's End is one of those dramatic leaps forward that show an accomplished writer ambitiously and successfully lengthening his stride. It could easily be called a multigenerational saga, but that would give no idea of the depth of social and historical perspective Boyle brings to his tale. Set in the spectacular Hudson Valley country, an hour north of New York, World's End has all the elements of magic, fable, legend, and a sense of weather and landscape one more often finds in Southern writers. But it also shows a remarkable grasp of the continuity of culture over more than 300 years, effortlessly linking the stories of early Dutch settlers in the valley, the Indians they displaced and their descendants in the McCarthyite late 1940s and wild 1960s. The story, which moves with exceptional and convincing ease across the generations, is of the linked fates of the Van Brunt and Van Wart families. These have come down in modern times to Walter Van Brunt, a dreamer addled by drink and dope who loses both feet in motorbike accidents and who is haunted by figures and voices from the past, and Depeyster Van Wart, deeply conservative manufacturer and landowner, hanging on desperately to ancestral memories in a world he despises. Boyle is totally attuned to changing mores over the centuries, and broad enough in his sympathies to identify with the best in both conservative and rebel. Many of the book's central issues of loyalties and betrayal come to a head in a e riveting passage built on the Peekskill riots of 1949, in which leftists trying to attend a concert at which Paul Robeson was to sing were attacked by embittered locals inflamed by the presence of ``niggers and kikes.'' Boyle, a native of the area, is so deeply steeped in its history that he can absorb a real incident and transform it organically into a horrifying episode in a novel. World's End is a triumph; resonant, richly imagined and written with unfailing eloquence. BOMC Alternate. (October 8)
Library Journal
Encompassing 300 years of Hudson River Valley history, Boyle's new novel revolves around young Walter Van Brunt's search for his long-lost father, Truman, who betrayed friends and family alike in the Peterskill Riots of 1949. World's End is a wild, overarching saga of class warfare and duplicity, a vision of the present ``impaled on the past.'' But it's a vision more engaging in outline than in detail. Boyle treats these burghers and yeomen with such disdain that we know exactly how poor Walter feels to find himself abandoned at a party ``full of drunken, grinning, suspicious, long-toothed, dog-faced, silly-ass strangers.'' A queasy complement to Boyle's first historical novel, Water Music ( LJ 11/15/81), recommended for larger collections. Grove Koger, Boise P.L., Id.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140299939
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/28/1990
Pages:
480
Sales rank:
341,717
Product dimensions:
5.06(w) x 7.73(h) x 0.81(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

T. C. Boyle is the author of eleven novels, including World's End (winner of the PEN/FaulknerAward), Drop City (a New York Times bestseller and finalist for the National Book Award), and The Inner Circle. His most recent story collections are Tooth and Claw and The Human Fly and Other Stories.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Santa Barbara California
Date of Birth:
December 2, 1948
Place of Birth:
Peekskill, New York
Education:
B.A. in music, State University of New York at Potsdam, 1970; Ph.D. in literature, Iowa University, 1977
Website:
http://www.tcboyle.com/

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

World's End 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One really great, monster book! Boyle pulls out all the stops in approaching the Hudson Valley. There are shades and whiffs of Bryant, Cole, and Irving on every page. Against this phantasmic backdrop, the author gives us a flea-bitten tale of colonial and modern mud, blood, and beer, a tale which both excoriates and exults that which is American, that which is its history: Indians, patroons, Dutch 'squareheads', 'Commies', finks, draft resisters, draft dodgers, not to mention the idle rich. At points, everyone appears the fool or the pawn. That it the book's truth and its tragedy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was impressed with Boyle's ability to keep so many storylines straight, not to mention keeping ahold of how the characters from different time periods are connected, however, I was not impressed with my own ability to do so. Having read Sometimes a Great Notion and similar books that juggle characters like a circus performer on speed and having understood and enjoyed them heartily, I felt Boyle could've worked with a few less characters and composed a more sound book. If your mind can easily flit from scene to scene, personality to personality, or storyline..., then this is the book for you. A bit of a challenge for me which brought the interest down at times. Not exactly a 'sit back and relax' kind of read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Two story lines centuries apart, but they fold before you as one. The first TC Boyle I've read, and I will now read more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago