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The End of Manners: A Novel

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  296 ratings  ·  63 reviews
From the critically acclaimed author of Rules of the Wild, a thrilling, timely, and darkly funny story of friendship, human frailty, and war--and the role of outsiders in a country where they do not belong.

Maria Galante--rule-abiding, shy, a perfectionist--and larger-than-life journalist Imo Glass are on assignment in Afghanistan: Imo to interview girls who've attempted su
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published May 20th 2008 by Pantheon (first published September 20th 2007)
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Community Reviews

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As a western journalist I have to decide each day which portion of these people’s suffering is going to be my theme of the day and which is the portion I’m going to have to ignore so it doesn’t get in the way.

This statement comes in the final pages of The End of Manners, but it is the theme around which this intense, resonant novel rotates, as it circles in and out of the boundaries of professional ethics.

Maria Galante is living quietly in Milan, shooting photographs of food for high-end lifesty
This book felt as real to me as a letter from a friend. A photographer goes to Afghanistan for work and tells of her experiences. Has everything to do with the killing of aid workers and the confusion and harrowing conditions there. A very good effort describing a real situation by a natural storyteller.
Oct 05, 2008 Jane rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jane by: Odyssey Bookshop First Edition Club
The End of Manners tells the story of an Italian photographer, Maria Gallante on assignment in war-torn Afghanistan. Her task is to photograph women who have attempted suicide in order to avoid arranged marriages to men many years their seniors. This proves to be difficult since it is ilegal for these women to show their faces and suicide is taboo.

Maria is on assignment with Imo Glass, a larger than life Columbian-born reporter who writes for a London-based newspaper.

Francesca Marciano has some
Nicole G.
I recently started an International Book Club, and this is our first selection. I wanted something from Afghanistan that wasn't by Hosseini; he is a good writer, don't get me wrong, but he is generally the go-to person when "books about Afghanistan" are mentioned.

I have never read anything by Ms. Marciano before, but she has a good style and is eminently readable. Although this is a work of fiction, the ground situation described in Kabul felt very real, as if I were actually traveling with our
Jul 09, 2010 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kate by: Catherine (saw it in her to-read shelf)
Shelves: afghanistan, the-stacks, h
Maria Gallante was a photojournalist; she had a nervous breakdown and now photographs food-porn for a living. One day, her agent calls her; he wants her back in journalism, and he wants her to go to Kabul to photograph young women who have chosen self-immolation over arranged marriage. She does. Moral dilemmas abound.

I don't know how I feel about this novel: Is it a half-hearted attempt or just too reserved? The scenery could use a little fleshing out, but then, the inability to do just that is
The End of Manners: A Novel. Marciano is a new writer I've discovered probably from some review somewhere; I like every book she's written, I think there are 2 or 3 others. This one was particularly good; it has her usual set up, a female narrator who has been wounded, by family or a lover, who seems fragile but actually turns out to be capable, after some tribulations, of taking care of herself. What's interesting in this book is her paralleling of the strong journalist female friend who turns ...more
Sebuah penugasan menawarkan pengalaman yang menantang bagi Maria, fotografer yang sedang menekuni kuliner. Ia mendapat tawaran menjadi fotografer menemani wartawan perang, Imo Grass, ke Afghanistan. Persiapan fisik dan mental dimulai. Sebelum terbang ke Kabul, Maria mengikuti pelatihan ketahanan di Inggris. Selama dua minggu Maria dilatih untuk menghadapi kondisi berbahaya.

Imo grass mempunyai agenda untuk mewawancarai wanita Afghanistan yang bunuh diri karena kawin paksa. Tidak mudah menguak sis
Interesting read. Is there really training to prepare you for traveling in hostile countries? Makes sense that there would be. While I enjoyed reading this book, it seemed disconnected in parts, where I felt like the author could not decide, which direction they wanted to go in.
South Buncombe Library
This is such a fantastic book! It's beautifully written and presented almost like a collection of 3 connected short stories and I loved it.

I'm not sure why Francesca Marciano isn't more widely read, but if my branch owned a copy of this one I'd display it all the time on our staff picks shelf. It's definitely my favorite of the three novels I've read from her, but I think her most recent collection of short stories, The Other Language, is the best to date. Who is this Italian woman and how do I
Sep 13, 2011 Bonnie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Bonnie by: Book Lover's Book-a-Day Calendar
Although fiction, this book gave me great insight into the country of Afghanistan, perhaps even more so than Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Sons. For instance, an amazing fact I learned is that real estate in Kabul in much more than in Manhattan, and the real estate in Afghanistan is usually pockmarked and ravaged from war rather than a gleaming loft atop a building soaring into the skyline of the city. A second insight was the difference a cell phone these days makes ...more
Prior to picking up this book, I read a number of amazing reviews. The book is described as "brilliant" and "courageous and painful, not to be missed." And, of course it has a wonderful cover suggesting that it is full of literary treasures. So, perhaps my expectations were a bit high, but sadly, they definitely were not met. The main character, Maria, is a young photojournalist who after suffering anxiety attacks has taken herself off her fast-track career path. While Maria's reaction to her w ...more
Not the kind of novel I usually read, in that the first part of the book takes place in a "hostile environment" training camp called The Defenders in which you get trained to do things like shove someone's intestines back in their body after they've been attacked. Nevertheless, I'd already read "The Other Language" by Francesca Marciano and had decided that I loved her writing and trusted her as a writer. So...I continued. I was home sick and read the book in two days. I found it thought provoki ...more
Joanna Mieso
Interesting fiction about two women, Imo, a journalist, and Maria, a photographer, who travel to Afghanistan to do a story on Afghan women who commit suicide rather than be forced into arranged marriages. The detail of the journey itself, the culture, the standard of living, the presence of foreigners, is an eye-opener. Imo is meant to be larger than life,get out of my way, I don't-care-if-I-have-to-rip-off-your-veils-I'm-getting-this-story-and-the-world-will-know-the-truth-thanks-to-me. She doe ...more

“The story of two women, Imo a journalist and Maria a photographer and their journey to Afghanistan, to interview and record the lives of women who would rather commit suicide than marry a much older man. It is to me more about getting in touch with themselves and how they relate to the people in there lives. I enjoyed this authors style of writing, which kept me interested.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Catherine  Mustread
Jul 16, 2010 Catherine Mustread rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Catherine by: DTarpley (310)
The End of Manners leaves me thinking about what and why I read – in this case a story within a story with more kernels of stories inside that. Are the outer and the inner story both superficial? The characters or the story? Isn't all fiction superficial? Perhaps reading is mostly a substitute for thinking? Must be time to become immersed in a different book! Questions aside, I did enjoy this novel about a writer and photo-journalist who travel to Afghanistan to do a story on young women who hav ...more
Beautiful and haunting and just the kind of book I always want to be reading. Marciano's descriptions of Afghanistan and what it feels like to live an ordinary but extraordinary life are so compelling-- I had such visceral reactions to certain passages and I'm quite impressed.
An interesting book. It read more like a non-fiction book than a fiction book. The people in countries at war live in what must be a stressful and constant inner battle amongst hope, fear, despair, and determination to just go on, and an outer battle of politics, espionage, anarchy, and some small sense of order. I thought the description of the Defenders school in England believable and I hope based on reality because if you are going to Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Iraq as a civilian you'd better ...more
Tried so hard to finish reading this book. Unlike the little train that could i finally stopped two thirds of the way up. I was frustrated by the idea of so many people putting their lives at risk to take pictures of young women who would rather commit suicide than marry men much older than themselves in Afghanistan. Furthermore females having their pictures taken dishonors them according to their culture. Somehow the whole idea just frustrated me too much. And so I admit I am a quitter....but n ...more
There was something about this book (the Goodreads description is the wrong book) that captivated me. Perhaps it was the humanity of the main character, the way she experienced the world around her and her reactions to all the new and different things she was seeing and feeling. Maria actually grew as a person before your eyes. That is a difficult and wonderful thing to find in a book. Also, the devastating and heartbreaking world of Kabul created here is so good you can almost understand why on ...more
Lauren Albert
A journalist's conflict--if the purpose of a story is to reveal suffering in the hopes of alleviating it, does that justify making use of unwilling subjects or risking their well being by including them? Do the ends justify the means? Photographer Maria Galante travels with a reporter to Afghanistan in order to research a story on young girls who attempt suicide rather than be married to much older men. This moral conflict leaves her emotionally torn about her justification for photographing the ...more
I sympathized with the central character, Maria, couldn't stand another main character, Imogen, and found myself annoyed with the proliferation of similes that the author used in every description. As a presentation of life in modern-day Afghanistan, it generally succeeds, and as an account of the quiet strength that can reside inside a fearful person, it's really enjoyable. I preferred The Bookseller of Kabul, but this was a quick and mostly satisfying read.
Carol Chapman
This is the 3rd book I've read by this author. I just really like all her books. This one involves Afghanistan and I was reading it while traveling around Morocco, another Muslim country. I enjoyed encountering the religious similarities.
I thought this book was amazing. This photojournalist, after photographing food shoots, is sent to Afghanistan to seek out women who are suicidal at the news of being married off to men their fathers choose. The novel touches on terrorism, sexism, culture shock, and, how things are different yet we are all the same. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and feel enlightened and more educated and familiar with these topics.
Jul 04, 2008 suz added it
Recommends it for: interests in Afghanistan today
This novel revisits Afghanistan in the first decade of the new millennium. Although a work of fiction, the book presents some of the harsh realities of Afghanistan today, including its weak economy, the perilous position of women, and the failure of rebuilding a country devastated by war. Here is another country supposedly on the way to democracy where instead local conditions and inadequate resources have prevailed.
This is a really beautiful book about Afghanistan, but if you've read Rules of the Wild (a much less politically relevant novel but, I have to admit, one of the most fun books I've ever read) it's also a bit of a disappointment in terms of the level of personal intimacy with the characters. A very detached narrator, Maria, compared to the wonderfully narcissistic, intense Esme of the former novel.
There were a few things I liked about this book, but overall, I would not recommend it to anyone. The narrator (also one of the main characters) starts out whiney and annoying. The other main character is also annoying, but in a very different way. I finished it though, because to not finish a book would not give me an accurate count of the number of books read in a certain amount of time!
Elyse Rudin
A Italian female photojournalist suffers a breakdown leaves news to photograph food. She is called to go to Afghanistan with another journalist to photograph women who have tried to commit suicide rather than go through with an arranged marriage. Great premise but the book fell short for me. The main character is shallow and I really didn't care what happens to her or her egotistical partner.
A fabulous, gripping tale of an Italian photographer who travels to Afghanistan to do a story with an English journalist on Afghan brides who attempt suicide. Told through Maria's point of view, the story illustrates her inner growth and how her experiences in that war-torn country change her in profound ways. The story grips you from the beginning and won't let you go. Great read.
I loved this book. I thought it was fabulously written with engaging characters and an intriguing plotline. Story about a photographer who gets an assignment in Kabul. Her initial reaction is to turn it down but she ends up going and the experience teaches her about who she is as a person. I didn't want this book to end and loved the assorted characters we met along the journey!
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Francesca Marciano is an Italian novelist and a screen writer. She has lived in New York and in Kenya for many years. To date she has written four novels: “Rules of the Wild”, listed as one of the NYT notable books of the year, ”Casa Rossa”, “The End of Manners” and “The Other Language”. She’s currently living in Rome.
More about Francesca Marciano...
The Other Language Rules of the Wild: A Novel of Africa Casa Rossa Voces de cristal/ Glass Voices (Spanish Edition) Fool for Love - Acting Edition

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