The End of Days (Paperback)
  • The End of Days (Paperback)
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The End of Days (Paperback)

(author), (translator)
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£8.99
Paperback 192 Pages
Published: 28/05/2015
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'[An] absolute must-read. It has stunned and moved everyone who has read it' Arifa Akbar, Independent

This multi-award winning novel is the extraordinary story of the twentieth century traced through the various possible lives of one woman

She is a baby who suffocates in the cradle. Or perhaps not? She lives to become as an adult and dies beloved. Or dies betrayed. Or perhaps not? Her memory is honoured. Or she is forgotten by everyone.

From a small Galician town at the turn of the twentieth century, through pre-war Vienna and Stalin's Moscow to modern-day Berlin, the twists of fate of her lives take us to some of the most vivid moments in European history. But it is our heroine's choices, her struggles and her humanity - as she faces everything from Nazi-occupied Austria, Soviet secret police and the trials of old age - that make this book so profoundly moving, insightful and unforgettable.

Winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, the Hans Fallada Prize, the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize and an English PEN Award.

'The End of Days prises open the troubled box that is 20th-century European history and entrenches [Erpenbeck's] position as the most brilliant European writer of my generation' Neel Mukherjee, Irish Times Books of the Year

'Jenny Erpenbeck makes swift work of the one-life-multiple-outcomes conceit touched on by Kate Atkinson and David Mitchell - and is the best of the bunch' Daily Telegraph Books of the Year

Publisher: Granta Books
ISBN: 9781846275159
Number of pages: 192
Weight: 183 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 15 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

[An] absolute must-read. It has stunned and moved everyone who has read it - Arifa Akbar, Independent

A short, musical novel... philosophically and technically ambitious... shot through with an insight that almost blinds... Erpenbeck's Chekhovian talent for letting us into the shifting consciousness of her characters' various incarnations is such that with each death our loss feels definitive. But while in Chekhov there are no exits from personality, here there are no exits from history... Reading Erpenbeck is like falling under hypnosis. Exhilarating - Kapka Kassabova, Guardian

Always startling and profound, Jenny Erpenbeck is a master of allegory. Few contemporary writers can so deftly paint the moral interplay between light and shadow - Chloe Aridjis

Concise and moving... Jenny Erpenbeck makes swift work of the one-life-multiple-outcomes conceit touched on by Kate Atkinson and David Mitchell - and is the best of the bunch - Tim Martin 'Books of the Year', Daily Telegraph

Erpenbeck has honed an extraordinary gift for focusing the sweep of European history into intimate moments, captured in prose of a haunting beauty and tenderness. Hypnotically involving - Boyd Tonkin, Independent

The End of Days prises open the troubled box that is 20th-century European history and entrenches [Erpenbeck's] position as the most brilliant European writer of my generation - Neel Mukherjee ‘Book of the Year’, Irish Times

A genuine European masterpiece - Roy Foster, Books of the Year, TLS

Startling and profound - Justine Jordan ‘Fiction Book of the Year’, Guardian

Erpenbeck's writing is so powerful and so poetic, her storytelling so nuanced. [She] has important things to tell us; and she tells them beautifully. Masterful - Will Gore, Independent on Sunday

In Erpenbeck's world, everything is connected... through tiny parallels and repetitions - elusive leitmotifs that echo across the protagonist's alternate lives... The wisdom of this novel lies in the way its form subtly subverts death's permanence - David Winters, Literary Review

If you think this sounds like Kate Atkinson's Life After Life, think again. Moving [and] involving... its effects are arrived at in a very different way from what we have come to expect from the Anglo-American novel - David Mills, Sunday Times

A wonderfully crafted, memorable read - New Internationalist

Compactly lyrical... Erpenbeck [has] condensed a century of European history into the turning-points of a woman's life - Boyd Tonkin ‘Fiction in translation book of the year’, Independent

Astonishing and deeply humane - BBC Radio 4 Saturday Review

A compressed epic... Erpenbeck possesses a remarkable gift for shifting, almost unnoticeably, between the telescopic and the microscopic, between the intimate and the cosmic, between the vertical density of a lived moment and vast swaths of geological time. Prepare for a kind of happy vertigo - National Post

[An] eerily powerful meditation on the ways a life can end... [Erpenbeck] captures [a] primal quality through her dreamy montage-like narration - New Republic

The End of Days is like the view from a plane zigzagging through the skies over 20th-century Europe, creating a connect-the-dots puzzle... [It] retains the sense of menace integral to any tale of predestination - Los Angeles Review of Books

Erpenbeck deftly handles the constant shifts in narrative throughout this complex novel. Hats off to Susan Bernofsky for her translating skills. It's a masterly piece of work - Susan Osborne, A Life in Books

This is a beautifully written novel, impressively translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky. The End of Days is a compelling reminder that worrying about the unknowable will do nothing to delay the inevitable. Masterful - Alice Fishburn, Financial Times

The End of Days has the same dizzying emotional reach as [Erpenbeck's] previous work... This profound meditation reaches to the heart of a cultural world of spiritual intensity, social utopianism and political catastrophe that has variously shaped German literature - and it is expertly translated by Susan Bernofsky. Incantatory - Lesley Chamberlain, TLS

There is no one writing now who is quite like [Erpenbeck], possessing such an understanding of the deep currents of history while gifted with the ability to do such extraordinary things with form. In Susan Bernofsky's lucid, seamless translation, The End of Days emerges as a necessary and illuminating novel, alight with intelligence and meaning. Surprising and profound - Neel Mukherjee, New Statesman

Sharp and powerful... Erpenbeck's novel intertwines the personal with the grand sweep of history to great effect, underlining the importance of both. I would certainly expect to see The End of Days on the IFFP shortlist; for me, it's potentially a winner - David Hebblethwaite

Susan Bernofsky's thoughtful translation does justice to Erpenbeck's masterly prose - Emma Hagestadt, Independent

A literary event - MDR Figaro

A worthy winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2015, Erpenbeck's echoing story of a single woman's multiple lives [is] an inventive way of exploring the personal and the political. It's the kind of demanding novel that bears, and rewards, repeat reading. Spell-binding - Lesley McDowell, Independent on Sunday

Her device of an ever-new beginning is a coup. But her refinement in the form of separating the individual stories and intermezzi gives the book the quality of a grand symphony... A great novel - Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

An extraordinary piece of work... of immense ambition, both literary - each 'life' comes with its own prose rhythm, language and preoccupations - and politically... It is emotionally ravishing, philosophically provocative and, thanks to this wonderful translation by Susan Bernofsky, poetically lush - Jane Graham, Big Issue

Wonderfully masterful and at the same time gentle and insightful - Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger

A memorable and haunting novel - Christie Hickman, Sunday Express

[I've chosen] Jenny Erpenbeck's The End of Days for its epic sweep and ingenious structure - Helen Simpson, Observer

This slim novel packs a mighty punch and richly deserves its numerous accolades - Lucy Popescu, Huffington Post

What Erpenbeck perfectly captures in The End of Days is the urgency by which our lives are pushed forward, yet on the other hand the transitory, perhaps futile, nature of human existence - Will Gore (syndicated review), Belfast Telegraph, Irish Independent

A beautiful meditation on the different possible lives of one woman... The prose is spare and moving: the structure fascinating - all echoes and repeated motifs down the troubled twentieth century. Erpenbeck deftly weaves an understanding of how power and politics play out in an individual life... An intense study of guilt, grief, love and destiny... By the end of this concise novel [...] we have experienced something profound and important. Susan Bernofsky's translation skilfully conveys Erpenbeck's vision: to take us into the dark places and shed light there in unexpected ways. - New Books

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“Heartbreaking and brilliant”

This is a literary novel with a big sweeping story from early 20th century European history all within 238 pages. I loved the beautiful prose and found it as riveting as a thriller.

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