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The World of the End

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  516 ratings  ·  82 reviews
As an epilogist, Ben Mendelssohn appreciates an unexpected ending. But when that finale is the untimely demise of his beloved wife in a bizarre accident, Ben is incapable of coping. Marian was more than his life partner; she was the fiber that holds together all that he is, and Ben is willing to end his own life and enter the unknown beyond if it means any chance of gettin ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published June 25th 2013 by Tor Books (first published 2004)
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3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  516 ratings  ·  82 reviews

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Dec 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
What started out so promising, full of cleverness and interesting mysteries, turned out being something I just wasn't enjoying and thus I had to put it down. There's just too much out there that spending time on something just to finish it will no longer be an activity I pursue.

Ben Mendelssohn commits suicide to be with his wife, Marian, who died a year earlier. He discovers a world, the Other World, that is both similar and completely different from our own world, but completely different from
Lindsay Newton
Sep 02, 2013 rated it did not like it
At first the novel's concept was intriguing-- set almost entirely in the afterlife, the protagonist sets on his journey to locate his wife (who died just a year prior). Gafla's dystopian depiction of the "Other World" showed promise to be inventive and insightful. But after struggling through the first two-thirds of the book, I had to put it down. Gafla's world-building techniques are mediocre, and his writing--packed with cliched literary devices--is devoid of the heart and emotion that the sub ...more
Feb 21, 2015 rated it did not like it
I don't know how it's possible for a work to be both cynical and twee at the same time, but here we are. The story has an interesting premise and, at first, an ambiance of surreal mystery that put me in mind of Murakami. The prose is medium-pretentious but has a hypnotic quality that made it easy to just go along for the ride. But the actual answers to all the questions raised end up unsatisfying - variously: unoriginal, contrived, too long in coming, or totally irrelevant to the overall thrust ...more
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The World of the End was a novel I started reading not knowing what to expect, and once I was about thirty percent in, I realized I couldn’t put it down. It’s intricate, deep, thoughtful, emotional and topped off with some wonderful writing. No wonder it has won two well-deserved awards. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read before. That’s, perhaps, the best thing I can say about it. It is t
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-originals
Most stories, even when very interesting or emotional or intellectually challenging, are often just variations on a theme. Only once in a while, there comes a book that isn't like anything you've seen before. The World of the End is one of those originals.
Satheesh Kumar
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
An interesting book set in the afterlife. I particularly loved the little twists and turns splattered throughout the book.
If not for a slightly anticlimactic((view spoiler)) and draggy ending , this would have been added to my 5 star collection.

A fun ride, despite being one of the weirdest books I've read.
Ed Baldwin
Jan 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Complex, strange, ultimately rewarding
Kira Simion
Jul 13, 2018 marked it as to-read
Thanks Connor for the book recommendation.
Brenda B
Nov 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was one of the most amazing books I've read, period. I don't know why it's deemed 'sci-fi' exactly except that maybe it's not easy to put into a category and that can be a catch all type of category especially for a book set in the afterlife. I see so much in this story. I had to slow my reading down to take it all in. So many metaphors about the human condition are apparent in the Other World. Especially the last chapters where we find out what happened to Marian. I won't reveal what ...more
Jessie Potts
Mar 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, sci-fi-fantasy, tor
4.5 Stars

Review will be posted on the RT Site and Magazine in June/July

Brief thoughts...

At first I thought it was trying to be too clever, but then I enjoyed it immensely. It's a book that will make you think and isn't for light reading, however there's humor and quirks throughout the novel to prevent it from being too too serious. All in all it was great and I could see why it would win the Geffen Award and Kugel Award.
Jun 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, library
4 star read, 5 star epilogue.

Such an unusual story. A love story set in the fantastical Other World. A story about loss and connectivity, where everything you do affects someone else.

Absolutely loved it and highly recommend.
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Rachel by: Kellie Kutter
Shelves: favorites
Absolutely loved this in every way. Kellie should recommend all my books.
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Somehow I'm always drawn to the depressing ones ...

Ofir Touche Gafla created an intriguing world for 'life' after death; logical and a bit disturbing. His narration changes between scenes from this world and the world of the living. We follow an editor for endings who shoots himself to be with his dead wife, a nurse whose only purpose in life is to help others to die and who finds herself unrealistically attracted by a man in the window of a fitness studio, a couple who gets to know each other v
Almog Levin
Aug 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
Well... I didn't love it. Ever since this book has come out, I've been hearing how it is "fun", "funny", "original", "inventive", and how anyone who didn't like it was a boring academic. Well, I'd rather be called a boring academic every day of my life and not read this book again. I didn't find it funny, or fun, or original, and if occasionally it was inventive, its inventions needed pages-long explanations that made me want to scream okay-okay-okay enough with this already. It is written in a ...more
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book to stretch my reading prowess, both by moving away from traditional fantasy and English writers as the book was originally written in Hebrew. There is still a sci-fi and fantasy feel to the novel; it is after all dealing with the world that comes after death but it is by far a literary read rather than a true fantasy much like how Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's Frankenstein is sometimes described as the first science fiction novel but is very much a traditional romantic nove ...more
Mab Ryan
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Some interesting world building but the charcters were uninteresting and the story was needlessly complicated. He tries to tease you with characters being shocked by learning some secret--that you won't hear about until two chapters from now--only to find out the secret is just half of what you figured out six chapters ago.
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
What a perfect, amazing book. I loved every minute of it. So refreshing, so touching, so original, funny, interesting, all the superlatives. I loved the writing style, the stories, the ideas, the characters, the imagination. I highly recommend it to everybody!
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
A man's wife dies and he decides to kill himself to join her in the afterlife. This sounds like an interesting premise, but I felt like the author also wanted to write a mystery and kept too much information from the reader to make this book enjoyable.
Lauren Rastetter
Feb 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Thought the opening was unique and intellectual for a design on an afterlife then slowly became dissatisfied.
Laura Garvey
Sep 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Weird, different though...
Marnie Zorn
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Didn't finish..
Jessica Strider
Jul 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Pros: fascinating world of the after life, complex plot, lyrical writing, interesting and diverse characters

Cons: one plot point revolves around assault

Ben Mendelssohn is a righter of endings, an epilogist. A year after his wife's unexpected death he kills himself, expecting a touching reunion on the other side. But while he's correct that there's life after death, he's not expecting the complexity or strangeness of the otherworld. And he's definitely not expecting that his wife is nowhere to be
James Korsmo
Jul 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Gafla has constructed an interesting mystery, one that intertwines our world with "the Other World," the world that exists after death. Ben Mendelssohn was heartbroken and lost after his wife's untimely death. On the one-year anniversary of her death, he dramatically stages his own death, convinced he cannot carry on without her any longer and longing to meet up with here wherever she is. He finds himself in "the Other World." His intimation that there was life after death proves correct, but th ...more
Jun 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is one of those books that defies ready categorization. It reminded me very much of Infinite Jest by the late David Foster Wallace though it was much more approachable. At times it made me think of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

So what was it about? Well, at its heart, it's a love story and a mystery, but with plot devices that are profoundly...odd.

Ben Mendelssohn loves his wife Marian. And when she dies tragically, suddenly, and, as it turns out, comically, his life utterly ends. He goe
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It is rare when I read a book where I am simultaneously grinning like I just watched an amazing performance and wildly surprised by an unexpected twist. It most recently happened with Ernest Cline’s monumental Ready Player One, and has now happened again with Ofir Touché Gafla’s The World of the End.

Reminiscent of Philip Jose Farmer’s To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Gafla’s World is a unique story of its own. The story is centered around Ben Mendelssohn, an epilogist with a heart abandoned by the l
Kelly Flanagan
Oct 21, 2014 rated it liked it
For anyone who reads my reviews, you know I am apt to give more stars than less. I hardly give a book I like less than 4 stars.
It's been a week since I read this book and still I am unsure of my feelings towards it. I'm quite seriously into books and usually have a strong opinion of them. Maybe I do have a strong opinion about this one as well. It just happens to be ambivalence. I'm staring to think that I really just didn't find this book hit any key notes for me. It's hard when you can't say
David Raz
The World of the End by Ofir Touche Gafla
Hebrew review follows ביקורת בעברית בהמשך

This book is unlike anything I've read before. The setting is different, the characters are different, the writing is different. It's intelligent and deep, yet not smart alec. It's definitely not easy reading, but it is really worth it. For me it was a page-turner.

I liked especially that although everything seems so off and there are so many fragments of oddity floating around, it all comes together in the end.
Jun 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Deborah by: Kirkus Reviews
According to the genre listings on its Goodreads page, The World of the End is science fiction and/or fantasy. While those descriptions are not inaccurate, I would describe it as a psychological thriller which just happens to occur primarily in the Other World (the afterlife).

As mentioned in the plot description above, The World of the End takes place primarily after Ben commits suicide so that he can join his beloved wife Marian, who died (maybe) "under bizarre aeronautical circumstances" 15 mo
Ori Pilo Kerman
I find it really difficult to give this book a "just ok" review, but believe that overall, as for describing my enjoyment of the story, this would be a sincere review.

The amount of imagination in this book is ASTOUNDING and generally sophisticated. That is the strongest attribute of this book.
The author presented us with "End's World" - the afterlife where all the people who ever lived spend the rest of eternity.
In a way, it's basically an eternal "life" after death...
In this vast and unimaginab
I'm going to be up-front: I didn't finish the book and don't plan to.

For several months, I'd been looking forward to reading Gafla's first novel to appear in English, and when I started it, I really enjoyed the creativity of Gafla's premise and his quirky storytelling.

A few chapters in, our hero meets a rapist who is in turn raped in prison, has his prison term extended after he kills his attacker, then he's finally murdered by his victim upon release. The entire scene is chock full of vulgar
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