Friday, January 25, 2008

The End of the Alphabet

by CS Richardson.
Quickie recap: Ambrose Zephyr and Zappora Ashkenazi are a content couple until a grave diagnosis from the doctor throws their life askew. Ambrose has about a month to live his childhood dream: to travel the world alphabetically, from Amsterdam to Zanzibar. But of course, mortality makes for an awkward travel companion and this trip becomes about more than just its destinations.
Quickie review: The first thing I noticed about this book was its cover. Oh, that sounds cliche, but the thing is, of course some covers are beautiful, others are less so, some are informative, some are artsy, some are stark, some are bold, some are ugly. But covers rarely give me pause. It's just a cover. Usually I take the dust cover off, and store it in a drawer, where I am less likely (but still not unlikely) to tear it. But this one even feels nice. You want to pet its smoothness while you read it, and happily, it's so delightfully written that there is no excuse to put it down. For me, this book spoke to me in the small details. At the end of his life, you realize that a man is not his job, or what's parked in his garage, or what's framed on his walls. It's his inability to make a decent cup of tea that makes him real. I felt touched. I was so swept away by the quiet romanticism that the tragic aspect seemed unreal to me. It kept me warm, and made me believe.
Quickie recommendation: A perfect gift for your lover.


Paul said...

Oh sweetie, thanks for letting me know about this one. You're right, it's like a sweet sigh....and can you guess whom I'd like to read to?

Lorna said...

been here, lurking and taking notes.

Lolly said...

I just LOVE your reviews! Probably better than I'd like the book. Lorna, right above me, mentioned she was taking notes. She might have meant notes as to which books to read; or maybe she was noting your writing skill.

I'd like to recommend some books to you, just so I can see what kind of reviews you'd write about them!

Anonymous said...

I've been a long time fan of yours - I love your blog. I loved this book too, thanks for pointing me to it!