World's End

World's End

by T. C. Boyle


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Haunted by the burden of his family's traitorous past, woozy with pot, cheap wine and sex, and disturbed by a frighteningly real encounter with some family ghosts, Walter van Brunt is about to have a collision with history.

It will lead Walter to search for his lost father. And it will send the story into the past of the Hudson River Valley, from the late 1960's back to the anticommunist riots of the 1940's to the late seventeenth century, where the long-hidden secrets of three families—the aristocratic van Warts, the Native-American Mohonks, and Walter's own ancestors, the van Brunts—will be revealed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140299939
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/28/1990
Series: Contemporary American Fiction
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 369,021
Product dimensions: 5.11(w) x 7.74(h) x 1.05(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

T. C. Boyle is the author of eleven novels, including World's End (winner of the PEN/FaulknerAward), Drop City (a New York Times bestseller and finalist for the National Book Award), and The Inner Circle. His most recent story collections are Tooth and Claw and The Human Fly and Other Stories.


Santa Barbara California

Date of Birth:

December 2, 1948

Place of Birth:

Peekskill, New York


B.A. in music, State University of New York at Potsdam, 1970; Ph.D. in literature, Iowa University, 1977

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World's End 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One really great, monster book! Boyle pulls out all the stops in approaching the Hudson Valley. There are shades and whiffs of Bryant, Cole, and Irving on every page. Against this phantasmic backdrop, the author gives us a flea-bitten tale of colonial and modern mud, blood, and beer, a tale which both excoriates and exults that which is American, that which is its history: Indians, patroons, Dutch 'squareheads', 'Commies', finks, draft resisters, draft dodgers, not to mention the idle rich. At points, everyone appears the fool or the pawn. That it the book's truth and its tragedy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was impressed with Boyle's ability to keep so many storylines straight, not to mention keeping ahold of how the characters from different time periods are connected, however, I was not impressed with my own ability to do so. Having read Sometimes a Great Notion and similar books that juggle characters like a circus performer on speed and having understood and enjoyed them heartily, I felt Boyle could've worked with a few less characters and composed a more sound book. If your mind can easily flit from scene to scene, personality to personality, or storyline..., then this is the book for you. A bit of a challenge for me which brought the interest down at times. Not exactly a 'sit back and relax' kind of read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Two story lines centuries apart, but they fold before you as one. The first TC Boyle I've read, and I will now read more.
Grendelschoice on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
TC Boyle is one of my favorite novelists. This one best exemplifies his electric prose and far-reaching imagination. A tragic tale of the power of family history reaching over four hundred years.
dandelionroots on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Follows the history of families (Dutch and Indian) of an early settlement in New York's Hudson Valley from the mid-seventeenth century through the 1970s. I don't understand the main character, Walter's, confusion throughout the book. There are bad guys and there are good guys, he is a bad guy. I'm not much for the past determines the future. Influences, sure. But inescapably determines? Negative. Possibly why I didn't much care for the book.
BobNolin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An entertaining, interesting, and well-written book. The connection between the Van Brunts of the 1600 and the present day was tenuous and forced, I thought. What are we talking about here, a curse? Something "bred in the bone" (see Robertson Davies) that can't be denied? And if you don't quite buy that, maybe the Imp (the dwarf in both time periods), the local bogie, is the connection. Either way, what I read here was two novels interleaved, but not intertwined, and both novels had lots of guys named Jeremy, which made things very confusing throughout. Not a very uplifting or sympathetic story (either of them), considering there is no hero, unless you count the Last of the Kitchawanks. (And those fake Indian names --no, they're not Native Americans, not back in the 1980s when this was written-- seem rather derogatory. But then, Van Brunt (they take the brunt, I guess) and Van Wart (they are like parasites on society) are pretty nasty names, too.) Not sure if I will read much more by Tom Boyle. He seems to not like humanity very much. I don't find him very funny, either.
samfsmith on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An odd novel, telling parallel stories in different time periods, from the colonial America of the Patroons of New York to post World War II to recent history. The poor modern hero cannot catch a break, as history seems to repeat itself over and over. An intriguing read if you can keep all the characters and timelines straight!
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