Thursday, August 11, 2011

Childhood’s End

Today in January Magazine, Brendan M. Leonard reviews The End of Everything, the latest novel by Megan Abbott. Of that work he writes:
At once a perfect fit with Abbott’s past work, overflowing with the sense that something here just isn’t right (or, as Bob Dylan sang, “There’s something happening here and you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?”), The End of Everything marks a departure from her previous novels as well. Focusing on the relationship between two teenage girls and the aftermath of one’s sudden disappearance, this new book trades the sweaty environs of a noir-infused past for the crushing confusion of adolescence in contemporary suburbia (though the book is actually set in the late 1970s or early ’80s).

I hear you rolling your eyes--do we really need another book about pretty white people and their pretty white people problems, especially after folks like Tom Perotta (
Little Children) and Jeffrey Eugenides (The Virgin Suicides) did it so well? But as with much of crime fiction, it’s the singer, not just the song, that matters; and in these pages Abbott offers a mournful, Marianne Faithfull-like song to the dark, unidentifiable urges of adolescence, with roots that go so, so deep.
You’ll find Leonard’s full critique here.

READ MORE:Interview with Megan Abbott,” by Jacques Filippi (The House of Crime and Mystery).

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