The End of Manners: A Novel
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The End of Manners: A Novel

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3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  256 ratings  ·  57 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...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published May 20th 2008 by Pantheon (first published September 20th 2007)
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Community Reviews

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Trish
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.
Jane
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...more
Kate
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...more
Azia
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...more
Corrie
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.
Bonnie
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
Anne
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
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
Alison

“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.
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
Donna
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
Shifra
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
Kc
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
Patty
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.
Perkimom
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.
suz
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.
Gina
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.
Angie
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.
Sara
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.
Lori
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!
Lily Walker
The main themes of this book were trust and judgment. Imo was confident that she and Maria would not have to use the skills they learned in the safety camp when they were in Afghanistan, but Maria was always on guard. Maria believed that they still had to be respectful when photographing the women in Afghanistan, but Imo wanted to be quick and not involve personal feelings.
Colin
I got this as an Advance Readers' Copy from Borders some time ago but just finally got around to reading it. It was surprisingly good, for "junk food" literature - the story of an Italian photographer who journeys with an English journalist to Afghanistan in order to do a story on women who attempted suicide rather than be forced into arranged marriages. Well told.
Shona
I like the premise of the book, but I didn't find the characters very believable. A young Italian photojournalist, suffering from anxiety, decides to take an assignment to Afghanistan. The writer she is traveling with is overbearing and definitely not likeable. I think the author showed the difficulty in covering this kind of issue, but I didn't enjoy the overall story.
Julie
3.5 stars. The protagonist is an anxious female Italian photojournalist who is assigned to do a story on honor suicides of women in Afganistan. Her foil is the outgoing female journalist who is writing the story and traveling with her. I quite enjoyed it. She presented a really unique voice and an interesting look into the world of women in Afganistan. Worth reading.
Rose Mary Achey
Photographer accepts assignment in Afghanistan. She is accompanied by a writer and attempts to photograph women who have attempted suicide due to being forced to marry.
Patti
I liked her other books much better, but this book was a fascinating glimpse into the struggle for any kind of normal life in Afghanistan. The story powerfully illustrates that the definition of normal in the USA has no relation to normal in other cultures - which Americans have great difficulty accepting.
Jana
Oct 26, 2008 Jana rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Suzanne, Christy
Recommended to Jana by: book club
Shelves: around-the-world
When book club suggested this book, I thought, "not another book about Afghanistan" but after reading it, I realized it wasn't about Afghanistan, but rather about humanity and respect. I really enjoyed the main character and the way the author used the story to educate the reader about Afghanistan.
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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...
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