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Apocalypse for Beginners

3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  461 ratings  ·  69 reviews
From the author of Canada Reads winner Nikolski comes a sweet, smart and occasionally surreal romantic comedy, featuring two young friends who could become lovers— if only one of them hadn't convinced herself that the end of the world is nigh.

The Randall family was always a little strange. For generations, each member receives a prophetic vision of the apocalypse— but alwa
ebook, 304 pages
Published December 7th 2010 by Vintage Canada (first published April 1st 2009)
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Despite devouring this book as soon as it was in my hands (the synopsis was just enticing enough), there was some trepidation on my part. Nicolas Dickner gained recognition last year after winning CBC’s Canada Reads competition for his previous book, Nikolski. For the life of me, I don’t know how that came to pass. Nikolski, for me, represented what some claimed to be a growing problem with Canadian literature—that it was limp and non-committal, with narratives that lacked direction and too many ...more
With deft juxtaposition of the improbably tender and the wildly hilarious with grim facts extrapolated from the statistics of extinction, Nicolas Dicknerdelivers a penetrating glimpse into a future that is a little too close for comfort.

"As recent as it was,history was already running in a loop." p46

"The Randall family was full of surprises, most of them not very good."p114 When adolescent Mickey B spots Hope Randall slouched in the bleachers of the empty stadium, intent on her Russian grammar,
Steven Buechler
"August 1989. Ronald Reagan had vacated the White House, the Cold War was winding down and the the outdoor municipal swimming pool was, once again, closed for maintenance.
Rivere-du Loup was immersed in a chicken broth of pollen-saturated, yellowish air, and I wandered glumly around the nieghbourhood, my towel around my neck. Just three days remainded before the start of the new school year, and nothing but a few good laps through chlorinated water could have boosted my morale.
I ended up at the m
I'm struggling because while I don't think this book is 3 stars for me personally, I would somehow feel bad about giving it 2 stars because it isn't a bad book at all. It's just... it felt really rushed. Events unfolded in little snippets but there were no lulls in-between to properly get to know the characters. It was a cutesy, quirky little story that felt entirely unbelievable and though I only finished it yesterday, I hardly remember it. I guess if you're looking for a super quick read that ...more
Andrea Paterson
An enjoyable and fast read. I sometimes felt that the author was trying too hard to cram in references to Canadiana, but he achieved an appealing quirkiness. I was also drawn in by the underlying discussion about what the apocalypse might really mean. Apocalyptic images are rampant and they have, to some extent, become embedded in the way we see the world and our own lives.
J'ai beaucoup aimé! Surtout le début - un peu moins après (view spoiler). L'amitié entre Hope et Mickey, tranquille et pleine de petits moments, était fort amusante à lire.

C'est pas important, mais: j'adore le look de l'édition Coda. Les citrons à l'intérieur!
Marilyn Belsham
Cute. Fun. Light. In a few years time I probably won't remember the details of the story, but for the moment I'm satisfied with the outcome.
sarah t
Pretty enjoyable read with some really crazy characters that flit in and out of the story. Made me crave ramen like you wouldn't believe.
Started off well, but when the two main characters separate two thirds of the way through the novel it really suffers.
Enjoyable although the second half seemed to go slightly off-course. Brilliant characterisations.
David Yoon
A wonderfully quirky, coming of age book that kicks off in the late 80's in the small town of Riviere Du Loup where Mickey Bauermann is introduced to Hope Randall. She's the latest in line to realize the Randall curse - to predict the end of the world.

While the clan's visions of the apocalypse have proven less than accurate so far, when Hope discovers her date, further corroborated with by the expiry date of hundreds of ramen packages, she sets out across the globe looking for answers.

Kay Hart
It is three days before the start of the school year and 17 year old Mickey Bauermann is feeling glum as he wanders around his small home town of Riviére-du-Loup in Quebec, Canada. The town is under a ‘chicken broth pollen-saturated, yellowish air’ smog and he’s in need of a ‘few good laps through chlorinated water’ as a mood booster. That’s when he decides to ‘meander into the empty Municipal Stadium’ where for the first time he meets Hope Randall ‘sitting in the very last row reading Teach You ...more
I wish I could have read this novel with beginner's mind, instead of constantly remembering how much I loved Nikolski...but alas, no! I think it only fair to be honest that I went with 3 stars (instead of 4) because, with Nikolski, I treasured the reading, like a visit with wonderful and interesting friends. In Apocalypse for Beginners, I felt more like I was reading a journal of a young man trying to make sense of his friend, her family, mental illness and where he fit into this world (world= h ...more
Also posted on my blog, Rinn Reads.

An adorable, quirky tale of boy meets girl, Apocalypse for Beginners is reminiscent of 500 Days of Summer or Juno type stories. Hope Randall is a very unique young woman, incredibly intelligent but also fixated on the possibility of the end of the world.

This was such an easy read - I borrowed it from the library at midday today, and I finished it about thirty minutes ago. It was a nice diversion from the heavy sci-fi. But part of the reason for it being such an
Shonna Froebel
I loved this book. It is written from the point of view of a young man, Mickey Bauermann, but focused on Hope Randall. Hope is from a family that is genetically predisposed to focus on the end of the world. As each family member goes through puberty they also become focused on a particular date as the end of the world. When that date is reached and world continues, they descend into madness. When her conceived date arrives, Hope's mother Ann decides she must head west from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. ...more
Mientras Lees
No he encajado con esta historia. Me ha parecido confusa, desestructurada y nada interesate. Los personajes ya casi se me han olvidado y no he encontrado ningún punto al que agarrarme mientras leía. O sea, me sentía totalmente fuera de la novela todo el tiempo. Se me ha hecho eterna y eso que no llega a las 200 páginas. Por otro lado, si el autor quería meter a Japón de por medio, podría haberselo currado un poco mejor: transcripciones sospechosas del japonés, errores garrafales como "fujiyama" ...more
Quirky, adorably loveable female main character Hope is the last in the line of a family who each receives a vision of the end of the world. Problem is, the date is never correct, and each person tends to go off the deep end when the end of the world does not happen. Hope hasn't had her vision yet-maybe she is too buy caring for her crazy mother, who lost the plot before her date even arrived. Eventually, Hope derives a date for the apocalypse (based on various difficult numerical analyses), and ...more
Carmen Pacheco
Este libro no se merece una estrella sino cinco negativas. No puedo entender su existencia salvo como una especie de apuesta para burlar a la industria editorial y a los lectores. Se lee en un rato (mientras se puede pensar en otras cosas o echarse uno la siesta) y el único motivo para llegar al final es comprobar que aún puede ir a peor. En eso no decepciona.
Meghna Daniel
I found the book sort of mediocre in regards to the compelling-ness of the writing style but I feel as though with such richly imagined and fleshed out characters as there were, the author did not work at building an interesting enough storyline. The plotline really just hangs there, vague and unresolved, and in the end leaves the reader thinking... "where's the rest of it??"
Czarny Pies
Oct 17, 2014 Czarny Pies rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Des gens qui ne sont pas capables d'attendre la sortie du prochain roman de Dickner
Recommended to Czarny by: Personne. Je n'ai personne a blamer helas.
Tarmac fait penser aux Fiancés (en italien I promessi sposi) d’Alessandro Manzoni, publié en 1842. Les deux romans racontent l'histoire des jeunes amoureux qui apres avoir passe maintes epreuves trouvent le bonheur en se marient. La difference est que Les Fiances possede trop d'elements d'un melodrame tandis que Tarmac est plus sucre qu'un bol de Capitaine Crunch.

J'espere que Dickner va bientot retrouver sa meilleur forme.
In Hope Randall's family, every generation waits for their epiphany--a vision in which they see the end of the world. But each time it's different, and each time it doesn't really come to pass. And then they go mad.

Hope's mother takes off from Yarmouth meaning to go West to avoid end days/madness but the car diees in a small town, where Hope meets Mickey.

Mickey is entranced and the two become best friends and crushes. Then Hope's turn at the family legacy comes to pass.

Some great dialogue and cu
Carrie Marcotte
I probably would have given this novel a 3.5 stars out of four if it was an option. This is a unique story telling of a relationship between two friends. Hope and her situation is unforgettable. Like his previous novel Nikolski, the author leaves an 'unfinished' ending, which I now believe is his style (I was disappointed in this in his previous novel). Although this also leaves some disappointment, I believe this was better done in this novel.
Self-consciously quirky, ugh.
Jul 12, 2011 Lana. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those who loved Jessica Grant's "Come, Thou Tortoise"
A surreal coming of age story for a woman who comes from a family of apocalypse prophets (who usually go mad once their very personal apocalypse date passes with little fanfare) and her best friend (and secret admirer) who is destined to inherit the family concrete business.

While one heads off in search of the meaning of the expiry date of ramen noodles (all the way to Japan), the other tries to work out exactly what to do with his life. And during all this, the Berlin wall falls.

Fabulous read
Lana Mccarney
Jan 07, 2011 Lana Mccarney rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lea, miriam
Just finished... not my usual, much more post modern, but totally loved it! Originally written in French, and based in Quebec, which also pleases me personally. Throw in some bizarre Japanese stuff and I'm hooked! (nail clipper vending machines?!) Thought provoking and personal. Written from a point of view a decade or so behind us, gives an interesting point of view, hinting forwards at things we already know will happen, like 9/11. My only regret was the damn open ended ending. I need closure, ...more
Christmas booty!

I so loved Dickner's first novel Nikolski that I was a bit reluctant to read this book for fear that it wouldn't measure up. I needn't have worried. I loved this novel. Such fun. I think that I still love Nikolski more for it's sheer sparkle, but this book is just as fresh abd delightful.

Hope. And the end of the world coincides with the expiry date on the packets of ramen noodles. Ergo, I shall never buy any ramen noodles.
A somewhat strange book, that required a little bit of willingness to continue reading in the beginning for me. But it turned out to be pretty good. The story is original, the characters are good. The protagonist's feelings are described in such a way, that you start to understand him very well. The story is fantastic and stays quite puzzling and sometimes even vague, but it has a very realistic side too, so it doesn't get too weird.
This book was a delight to read. CanCon to boot. Beautifully quirky characters and an almost-romance that is sweet and unsaccharine. The central family history is extreme but fascinating and written so you are compelled to know more. It also silently poses the question ... is genetics destiny? You need to get to the very end to find out.

One of those lovely books where it's sad when it's over ...
I enjoyed this novel but I found the ending left it open to perhaps a part 2. Some parts freaked me out a little, like Japan and the Tsunami being a prelude to the Apocalypse. Obviously the novel was written before the March Tsunami in Japan. I know the bible predicts this to happen in various places but when I read about it happening in Japan and that it really did just happen it made my stomach flop.
Zijn vorige boek Nikolski werd enthousiast ontvangen. Met zijn nieuwste pennenvrucht Tarmac zet Nicolas Dickner de succesvolle lijn door. Deze roman over de ondergang van de wereld zal de opkomst van Dickner alleen maar onderbouwen.

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Nicolas Dickner est né à Rivière-du-Loup, a voyagé en Amérique latine et en Europe avant de jeter l’ancre à Québec puis à Montréal, où il vit aujourd’hui avec sa famille. Il signe en 2005 Nikolski, qui remporte le Prix des libraires du Québec, le Prix littéraire des collégiens ainsi que le prix Anne-Hébert et qui est, à ce jour, traduit dans une dizaine de langues. Tarmac, son deuxième roman paru ...more
More about Nicolas Dickner...
Nikolski Le romancier portatif L'encyclopédie du petit cercle Révolutions DaNse contact - TV Satelite - CuisiNe familial

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