REVIEW: Everyone Says That at the End of the World by Owen Egerton

REVIEW: Everyone Says That at the End of the World by Owen EgertonEveryone Says That at the End of the World by Owen Egerton
Published: Soft Skull Press (2013), Paperback, 336pg
Genres: Fiction, Humor, Sci-fi
Source: Publisher


Summary:

Earth is the mental asylum of the universe and humans are the incurable inmates. Now the asylum is being shut down. Everyone Says That at the End of the World traces the adventures of a ghost-haunted slacker couple expecting their first child, an outrageously arrogant television actor seeking redemption and a prophetic hermit crab on a cross-country quest as they struggle to survive the final four days of life on Earth. Inter-dimensional time travelers, Jesus clones, and prosthetic limbs all play a role in the catastrophic events leading to the planet’s end.

Combining humor, philosophical inquiry and unforgettable characters, Egerton leads us through the most bizarre apocalypse ever put to paper. (from Amazon)

Buy on Amazon | Goodreads

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Most apocalyptic novels are depressing! The world’s ending, after all. Everyone’s dying, there are probably zombies running around, and nothing’s ever going to be the same again. Scary, and depressing, and that sort of situation calls for some humor to lighten things up.

Everyone Says That at the End of the World isn’t a funny like “rofl I peed my pants help” kind of funny. It’s more absurdist situational kind of funny– which is nice, because any other kind of funny doesn’t seem to work for me with apocalypse stories. There’s something about the end of the world that makes me want people to take it seriously (to treat it with respect?) BUT, at the same time, I don’t want to be crying into my Wheaties the whole time I’m reading it.

The tone and style of Everyone Says That at the End of the World, therefor, was perfect for me! It was serious, yet just slightly absurd. It was scary, but there are lots of lovely happy bits to balance it out. There were weird things with aliens and religion and science, but there were also non-weird things about love and family and death.

The main point of Everyone Says That at the End of the World (besides how the world ending sucks) is that people need to be kind to one another. That’s it! Just be kind. Such a simple moral, and yet it touched something in me. For such a funny, absurd, sligtly depressing sort of book to have a moral of “be kind” at its core somehow makes the whole thing even more poignant and touching.

So! If you like stories about the end of the world, but you don’t like them to be depressing (and you don’t like them to be meanly/darkly/un-funny funny), you’d no doubt like Everyone Says That at the End of the World.

Read: April 10-11, 2013

2 Comments

  1. I stumbled on your blog while doing research for a future post! I really love it! The content is superb.

    I appreciate how Egerton wrote about the end of the world without leaving readers depressed. We all seem to take it very seriously. It is awesome how this book, despite its dry humor, came with a moral – to be kind to others. It is a great philosophical message, and Egerton chose the best medium to portray it. I like the sound of it.

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