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This title in other editions

The End of the Alphabet

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The End of the Alphabet Cover

ISBN13: 9780385522557
ISBN10: 038552255x
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The End of the Alphabet is a tender, intimate story of an ordinary life defined by an extraordinary love.

Ambrose Zephyr is a contented man. He shares a book-laden Victorian house with his loving wife, Zipper. He owns two suits, one of which he was married in. He is a courageous eater, save brussels sprouts. His knowledge of wine is vague and best defined as Napa, good; Australian, better; French, better still. Kir royale is his drink of occasion. For an Englishman he makes a poor cup of tea. He believes women are quantifiably wiser than men, and would never give Zipper the slightest reason to mistrust him or question his love. Zipper simply describes Ambrose as the only man she has ever loved. Without adjustment.

Then, just as he is turning fifty, Ambrose is told by his doctor that he has one month to live. Reeling from the news, he and Zipper embark on a whirlwind expedition to the places he has most loved or has always longed to visit, from A to Z, Amsterdam to Zanzibar. As they travel to Italian piazzas, Turkish baths, and other romantic destinations, all beautifully evoked by the author, Zipper struggles to deal with the grand unfairness of their circumstances as she buoys Ambrose with her gentle affection and humor. Meanwhile, Ambrose reflects on his life, one well lived, and comes to understand that death, like life, will be made bearable by the strength and grace of their devotion.

Richardson's lovely prose comes alive with an honesty and intensity that will leave you breathless and inspired by the simple beauty and power of love. The End of the Alphabet is a timeless, resonant exploration of the nature of love, loss, and life.

Review:

"'An abrupt death sentence given to a 50-year-old London ad exec forces an uneasy deliverance in Richardson's smartly setup, poignant tale. Given less than a month to live, Ambrose Zephyr, alphabet-obsessed since childhood, decides to spend out his last days traveling around the globe from A to Z. Ambrose and his wife, Zappora Ashkenazi (the couple is childless), begin in Amsterdam, viewing art by Velzquez and Rembrandt that has been significant to them in their loving marriage, and now looks wholly transformed. The two move between the sweet memories of past love and an unreal present, from Berlin to Chartres, the Great Pyramids of Khufu to Istanbul; when Ambrose begins to falter and they return home to their Kensington terrace flat. Reality and good manners demand that they inform their respective employers and friends of Ambrose's condition, while Zappora, a fashion editor attempting to keep a journal of the couple's last moments together, endures until the end. Richardson's tightly focused tale has panache, shadowed by a brooding suspense.' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"An alphabet of the language of lovers, a beautiful fable of art and mortality: elegant, wise, and humane. I like to think of the happiness this book will bring. I'm sure it will be given as a gift between lovers, and will inspire many journeys — geographical and emotional." Chris Cleave, author of Incendiary

Review:

"A novel that can be read in a single sitting of less than two hours might continue to resonate with readers for weeks, months, even years." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Richardson's a book designer by trade, and the A-to-Z theme, from the characters' names to their lettered journey, reflects it....[A] tear-stained goodbye note and a heartfelt love letter." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"The End of the Alphabet is a lovely little novel that packs a big emotional wallop." USA Today

Synopsis:

In a tender, intimate novel of an ordinary life defined by an extraordinary love, Richardson tells the story of a 50-year-old man who learns that he has one month to live. Reeling from the news, he and and beloved wife embark on a whirlwind expedition to the places he has most loved or has always longed to visit. The result is a timeless, resonant exploration of the nature of love, loss, and life.

About the Author

C. S. Richardson has worked in publishing for more than twenty years. He has received the Alcuin Award (Canada's highest honor for excellence in book design) several times, and lectures frequently on various facets of publishing, design, and communication. He lives in Toronto, Canada.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Laurie Blum, January 28, 2008 (view all comments by Laurie Blum)
It's been a long time since I finished a book in one sitting & faced an urge to "read it again!"
C. S. Richardson's "The End of the Alphabet" is sheer joy ... G is for "glazed eyes" and S is for "my smiles" as I inhaled this tender poetic love story of Ambrose and Zipper Zephyr. And what would you do if the doctor gave you 30 days to live? Don't miss this 119 page masterpiece of literature! The author's "stacato" choice of language is most effective as he takes you on a world tour.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)
Maja, September 25, 2007 (view all comments by Maja)
A love story like no other, Richardson's new novel is one to be savored on a Sunday morning with a mug of tea, then passed on to family and friends so that they may share in your delight. You won't regret time spent with Ambrose and Zipper, the delightful characters in this little gem!
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(5 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780385522557
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
C. S. Richardson
Author:
CS Richardson
Author:
CS Richardson
Publisher:
Doubleday
Subject:
General
Subject:
Voyages around the world
Subject:
Self-realization
Subject:
Love stories
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Publication Date:
20070807
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
128
Dimensions:
7.52x4.84x.65 in. .41 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The End of the Alphabet Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 128 pages Random House - English 9780385522557 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'An abrupt death sentence given to a 50-year-old London ad exec forces an uneasy deliverance in Richardson's smartly setup, poignant tale. Given less than a month to live, Ambrose Zephyr, alphabet-obsessed since childhood, decides to spend out his last days traveling around the globe from A to Z. Ambrose and his wife, Zappora Ashkenazi (the couple is childless), begin in Amsterdam, viewing art by Velzquez and Rembrandt that has been significant to them in their loving marriage, and now looks wholly transformed. The two move between the sweet memories of past love and an unreal present, from Berlin to Chartres, the Great Pyramids of Khufu to Istanbul; when Ambrose begins to falter and they return home to their Kensington terrace flat. Reality and good manners demand that they inform their respective employers and friends of Ambrose's condition, while Zappora, a fashion editor attempting to keep a journal of the couple's last moments together, endures until the end. Richardson's tightly focused tale has panache, shadowed by a brooding suspense.' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "An alphabet of the language of lovers, a beautiful fable of art and mortality: elegant, wise, and humane. I like to think of the happiness this book will bring. I'm sure it will be given as a gift between lovers, and will inspire many journeys — geographical and emotional."
"Review" by , "A novel that can be read in a single sitting of less than two hours might continue to resonate with readers for weeks, months, even years."
"Review" by , "Richardson's a book designer by trade, and the A-to-Z theme, from the characters' names to their lettered journey, reflects it....[A] tear-stained goodbye note and a heartfelt love letter."
"Review" by , "The End of the Alphabet is a lovely little novel that packs a big emotional wallop."
"Synopsis" by , In a tender, intimate novel of an ordinary life defined by an extraordinary love, Richardson tells the story of a 50-year-old man who learns that he has one month to live. Reeling from the news, he and and beloved wife embark on a whirlwind expedition to the places he has most loved or has always longed to visit. The result is a timeless, resonant exploration of the nature of love, loss, and life.
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