Huge thanks to everyone who has sent book reviews for
This is the End of the Story –
some of which you can read below:
This unusual books grips the reader from the start. It is tautly written and the two main characters, Cassie/Catherine and Miriam are believable and involving. The novel shifts back and forth in time and its fluid narrative enacts the fluid identities of the characters, particularly Cassie. Many key events – notably a traumatic incident on a beach – are left unexplained and it is left open whether Miriam’s seeming conviction of her past life with Cassie in different personas and times is a figment of her unruly imagination or a possibility entertained by the author herself. Jan Fortune has said that when she reached the end of the novel she realised it was not the end of the story. This is very much the reader’s experience too. It is rare and exhilarating to read a novel that leaves you at the end questioning the ‘reality’ of every episode in it and a bold confronting of the nature of fiction which though experimental in form is extremely readable and engaging. I look forward to the sequel.
A C Clarke
A very imaginative and a compelling read.
I finally picked up your book yesterday after lunch and read it at a sitting, unable to stop. It’s tightly written, moving and subtle. Each short episode reads as an epiphany, and I enjoyed it immensely.
… a wonderful feat of imagination and commitment, beautifully executed. I hope it will reach a big audience.
I spent only two days reading it because I couldn’t put it down. Usually I am very slow and take a long time. I loved it. I like the pared down writing, the short scenes. They are so clear. I particularly loved all the younger teen sequences, and the strange power Miriam holds over Cassie. It’s very gripping and very rich, and also recognisable. I can relate to much of it, even though my own experiences were not quite the same. It operates on many levels too. So I start to wonder if maybe Miriam was right, and all that past life stuff was true, or certainly that she was tuned into other realities. There’s so much going on under all the surfaces….
I wish for you that it would get as big a readership as possible.
This is an incredible book. The story focuses on school friends Cassie and Miriam who come of age during the course of the novel. Set against two dramatic backdrops, the grubby industrial life of Teesside and the idealistic optimism of the late 1970s, Cassie becomes consumed by the stories Miriam weaves around them, binding them together until time and life rip them apart. The story is powerful and delivered in the most taut and well crafted prose possible, a reminded or Fotune’s background as a poet. Using repetition, blurring the boundaries between truth and fiction and experimenting with narrative with deft skill, this novel is one of the finest examples of experimental contemporary fiction I have read.
I thought This Is The End of the Story was great. I found it absorbing. I loved the way the author portrays the intense almost disturbing friendship between Cassie and Miriam. It reminded me a lot of the relationship between the two girls in the movie Heavenly Creatures. The book uses an unusual structure, the narrative is non-linear and there is very little signposting to help ground you in a place or time. I would have expected this to be confusing but it works in This Is The End Of The Story. I loved the way the author portrays the friendship between Miriam and Cassie. I found their obsession with each other fascinating if a little disturbing. Miriam disturbed me. She sees Cassie as more than a friend and is obsessed to the point of jealousy almost as if Cassie is her lover. I loved the way the narrative gradually reveals information drip by drip especially the shocking incident at the beach when both girls are teenagers. I loved This Is The End Of The Story and would highly recommend it.
A thoroughly absorbing and intelligent read. It is a book of light and shade which evokes the world of two teenage girls in the 1970’s perfectly. The prose is flowing with an informal structure and leads to a satisfactory and believable conclusion.
This book took me straight back to the secret games, loves and anguish of adolescence. For me its strength is in the portrayal of the passionate friendship and myth-making I remember from my own formative years. The concerns of the two young women are taken seriously and cpme across powerfully, entwined in a narrative that plays with shifts in time and place; really, of course, there is no end to such stories.
… a novel about coming of age, memories (real and imagined) and an act of betrayal that has far reaching consequences. Set in the ’70’s and 90’s it uses non-linear narrative in such a way that you are carried away on the tide of emotions experienced by the characters. A highly recommended read.