The End of the Story

by Davis, Lydia

Format: Kindle Book 2014
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The End of the Story is an energetic, candid, and funny novel about an enduring obsession and a woman's attempt to control it by the telling of the story of it. With ruthless honesty, artful analysis, and crystalline depictions of human and natural landscapes, Lydia Davis's novel offers a compelling illumination of the dilemmas of loss and the process of remembering.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Admirers of Break It Down, a magnetic collection of stories, will not be disappointed by Davis' novel. While attempting to piece together the details of her affair with a much younger man, a college professor writes in retrospect; her words are imbued with an arresting self-consciousness. Even though the tale's conclusion has been disclosed from the outset, an odd force propels the narrative forward. Simultaneously with relating her affair, the narrator ponders the path the novel at hand is taking and the process of writing itself. Constructed in brutally perceptive and dazzlingly revelatory prose, this is a stunning work. ~--Alice Joyce"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Davis (Break It Down, a story collection) plunges into fiction-as-catharsis in her absorbing and lucid first novel. The narrative is comprised of the unnamed narrator's memories of and reflections upon her ended love affair with a nameless man 13 years her junior; its history infiltrates the books she reads and translates, as well as the novel she is struggling to write, which is this novel. As she probes the moments and minutiae of their relationship, the man's identity fades, and he becomes material for her fiction: like a backward-spiraling track into memory, a labyrinthine sentence mimes the diminishing roar of his car when he leaves her. Scenes gather, dissolve and reassemble, as does the man's fragmented image, with impressions and facts seeping through the narrator's consciousness and dreams-the man's skin, hair, clothing, his charm and flaws, his lies and his library, the money he fails to repay. Avoiding the earthiness of dialogue, of which there is none, the narrator experiences much of the world as ``floating'' (``his essence floated inside me'')-the man's anger, her own features in a mirror, another story wafting loose in a room where a book lies open. Bereft, she turns stalker and voyeur, searching for her lover (as for story material) through streets surreal and noir, peering into his room and the gas station where he works. Finally, a cup of bitter tea, offered in a bookstore, provides ritual closure to the story of her search for her lover, though ``something continued, something not formed into any story.'' Despite Davis's writerly self-consciousness, her novel works as an aching love story recollected in tranquillity. Translation, first serial, dramatic rights: Georges Borchardt. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Literature
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux2014
Language English
ISBN 9781466869257