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The End of Aliceby A. M. Homes
Synopses & Reviews
The End of Alice sneaks us in the back doors of our upright suburban neighborhoods to reveal the impulses that even in our frank, outspoken times we don't talk about. This is a tale told by a pedophile in his twenty-third year in a maximum security prison. He is intelligent; he is witty; he is profoundly dangerous. Beyond the reality of his stark cell and the violent perversion of the other inmates lies his imagination, which he turns to his past, to an "accident" with a little girl named Alice, and now to the erotic life of a nineteen-year-old suburban co-ed who draws him into a flirtatious epistolary exchange. At home on summer break from college, she writes to the prisoner about her taste for young boys, her lust for one twelve-year-old in particular. She is inspired by the convict's crimes; he is excited by her peculiar obsession. Into the veneer of middle-class convention — the tennis lessons, baby-sitting, and family dinners — she casts her line for the boy. He bites. As her reports of their strange affair progress, the prisoner's memory unravels, revealing the appalling circumstances of his captivity, his deadly and lingering infatuation with Alice. The intertwined fixations of these unlikely correspondents give The End of Alice its haunting, unsettling power. A. M. Homes, whom the New York Times Book Review calls "exhilaratingly perverse," lures us into the lives of characters simultaneously repellent and seductive.
"Like recent novels by Susannah Moore and Joyce Carol Oates, Homes's latest (after her A Country of Mothers) is a literary serial-killer novel, by turns sensational and clever, smutty and powerful." Publishers Weekly
"Deliberately shocking and confrontational, Homes's purpose seems to be to force the reader into a kind of Dostoevskian identification with the blackest and most perverse elements of human nature." Library Journal
From the 2013 Orange Prize-winning author of May We Be Forgiven…
Only a work of such searing, meticulously controlled brilliance could provoke such a wide range of visceral responses. Here is the incredible story of an imprisoned pedophile who is drawn into an erotically charged correspondence with a nineteen-year-old suburban coed. As the two reveal — and revel in — their obsessive desires, Homes creates in The End of Alice a novel that is part romance, part horror story, at once unnerving and seductive.
When an imprisoned pedophile is drawn into an erotically charged correspondence with a 19-year-old suburban co-ed, the two reveal--and revel in--their obsessive desires. Part romance, part horror story, "The End Of Alice" is at once unnerving, repellent, and seductive.
About the Author
A. M. Homes is the author of This Book Will Save Your Life,
Things You Should Know, Music for Torching, In a Country of Mothers, The Safety of Objects, Jack, and Los Angeles: People, Places, and the Castle on the Hill. Recipient of Guggenheim and NEA Fellowships, she is a Vanity Fair contributing editor and publishes in The New Yorker, Granta, Harper's, McSweeney's, Artforum, and The New York Times.
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