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Endless Things

(The Aegypt Cycle #4)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  434 ratings  ·  42 reviews
The acclaimed reality-altering finale to the "dizzying experience, achieved with unerring security of technique" that is the Aegypt cycle (The New York Times Book Review)

This is the fourth novel-the much anticipated conclusion-in John Crowley's astonishing and lauded Aegypt cycle: a dense, lyrical meditation on history, alchemy, and memory. Spanning three centuries, and
Paperback, 384 pages
Published February 24th 2009 by Harry N. Abrams (first published April 1st 2007)
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Mar 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I don't know why anyone would want to read this little mini-review, but here it goes. This is the fourth and final part of the Aegypt series of books, the books started coming out in the late 80's and then at longer and longer intervals they continued to come out till last year the final installment appeared, along with the eventual re-issue of the previous novels.
This series of books is quite interesting, a great mixture of occult and esoterica, with very good writing and engaging characters. T
Eddie Watkins
I would still give the Aegypt series as a whole 5 stars, if only for boldness and complexity of vision and its execution, but this final installment was something of a disappointment to me. But even as I say this I know that in a way the whole series was about disappointment and thwarted dreams that are forced to find other lesser avenues of expression.

The series started with the possibility of opening doorways into mansions containing new worlds within worlds, and ends with someone buying a sim
A sad disappointment after the first three books in the Aegypt cycle, which were marvelous though exasperating. This one is just exasperating. Crowley seems to be spinning his wheels here; he gives up on plot and character development and substitutes philosophical rumination and episodic fantasy. Characters we have come to love in the first three books barely appear in this one, and new ones are introduced that we don't have time to get interested in. That's what I find hardest to forgive, becau ...more
Sep 19, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Wow, it feels like the end of an era. Or something like it. I read Aegypt (since retitled The Solitudes) when it first came out in 1987, still high on Crowley's earlier Little, Big, then and now one of my favorite novels of all time. Nearly 30 years later I've finally finished the series (half again the 20 it took Crowley). It's been challenging, and each volume has thrown me for a loop in one way or another, but it's been highly rewarding as well. Some time soon I'm going to have to read it all ...more
Jun 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to attend a World Fantasy Convention. As part of the package, I was given a tout-bag full of various books. Most of these are still sitting around somewhere... some have been given to friends. One of these books sent me on a literary journey which, thankfully, is not quite over. Endless Things was the first book by John Crowley that I have owned, but until recently have not had the previous three volumes to read. Along the way, searching for these lost book ...more
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could say this final part wasn't yet another disappointment, but I'm forced to say it is. There are glimmerings of something greater in the Aegypt sequence, but in the end the three later books completely fail to deliver on the promise of The Solitudes.

Even if one grants that the conclusion was Crowley's intent from the beginning (and given his talents, that's almost certainly the case), to stretch the work out to four volumes before leaving the reader with such a letdown--even if it do
Mar 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This whole series is something that you need to read more than once. I think this coda is a little weak for a reason and focuses on Pierce for a reason. In many ways, the story echoes life and the stories that we tie in life. And that, even here in this last book, is still strong. I think that is way it is a little weak. Its the aftermath.
Bill FromPA
Oct 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Michael Dirda's review of Aegypt.

Crowley continues his (deliberate?) confusion about Pierce's age and thus the time-frame of the action. He holds Pierce's birth year at (probably) 1942:
"So you would have been born 1942 or so?"
"Um yes."
"I was in the Pacific then."(23)
But gives us this:
Prague in Winter said the New York Times Magazine one Sunday in 1979 after Pierce returned, having not however gone there, and the big pages showed the snow thick on the palaces and the statues he hadn't
"As the pages had silted up Kraft had seemingly begun making the worst of fictional errors, or ceased correcting them: all those things that alienate readers and annoy critics, like the introduction of new major characters at late stages of the story, unpacked and sent out on new adventures while the old main characters sit lifeless somewhere offstage, or stumble to keep up. New plot movements, departing from the main branch of the story for so long that they become the main branch without our, ...more
May 11, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Completists and the perseverant
Recommended to Alan by: Previous work
Erudite and verbose, flowery and wise, elegaic... those adjectives and more describe the conclusion to John Crowley's AEgypt quartet. But sad, too, is an appropriate word. Perhaps even endless is a word that fits. Endings are hard, as Crowey says himself; they contain a hint of sadness even when they're written as happy ones, and this ending is no exception.

I find myself saddened, too, that I did not like this book more than I did, at how I had to force myself through it--for sometimes it seemed
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This book was my favorite of the series, and apparently I'm in the minority on goodreads for saying that. What I read was not a story that diminished magic but rather showed erudite and subtle thinking on what magic really entails.

After book 3, I needed this one. Didn't anyone else have a breakdown alongside Pierce when he realizes just what inventing stories and playing with magic could mean? (It leads Rose Ryder to a cult. It leads to Edward Kelley's lunacies.)

This book doesn't back away fro
Jeremiah Genest
I've finished reading John Crowley's Endless Things. For those who haven't drunk the kool-aid (and if you haven't what the hell is wrong with you!) this is the fourth, and last, book in his Aegypt series which first begun in 1987 when I was in high school. So this is a series I've been reading my entire adult life (sort of mirroring in some ways the life of the main character Pierce).

The Aegypt series involves the search, the dream quest of Pierce that there is a story that will uncover an alter
Mar 23, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2010
After re-reading for the umpteenth time two all time favorite Crowleys: Engine Summer (wrongly, I think, considered the last of his minor books instead of the first of his major ones), and the almost universally acclaimed Little, Big, I was still hungry for more. Sadly, I can't love what I've now read of the Aegypt quartet with the same passion as ES and LB; there are too many languors, too many tropes that are just a little too twee (all those heavily symbolic car names and fanciful place names ...more
May 05, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dense, nearly impenetrable at times, but richly rewarding, as with all of Crowley's work. It almost feels like a coda to the rest of the Aegypt sequence, but its secrets are most likely necessary to reach a proper understanding of the sequence as a whole. Ultimately, it's a gorgeous book, but certainly not for everyone.
May 03, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So I didn't actually read this recently. I started it and realized I'd read it before. I liked the series when I was younger, but now it just seems annoying. Everything is this real or not? first I'll say one thing and then the opposite. Blah blah esoterical Freemasons conspiracy theory. It goes nowhere, on purpose. Perhaps my tastes have just changed.
Mar 03, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: to-be-sold
I adored Aegypt, which I read when it came out, before it was renamed The Solitudes. It was breathtaking, with its question of whether magic really ever existed in the world and might still exist in another world nearby if you could find the doorway. Love & Sleep I enjoyed. Daemonomania I finished, but the creepy relationship between Pierce and Rose and Rosie made me uncomfortable enough that I didn't rush to read the final book. Just as well. Endless Things is a slog, impressed with its own cle ...more
Damian Stephens
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lovely, lovely, lovely! The tetralogy concludes brilliantly! (And I hesitate to suggest any other author who could bring the wild Bruno to life so compellingly.)
Nov 16, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Endless Books:

Recently finished this tetralogy. They are all beautifully written and challenging reads too. Why have I then rated the final book merely as "it was OK"? Because: The story has been a very long time in the making and finishing. While I feel Crowley deals reasonably well with Pierce, i.e. brings him through youth and to a place of simple human responsibility, of sincerely loving and caring for others, I also feel Crowley avoids the challenge of examining the subject he was purporti
Aug 28, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I understand the grievance many people had with this book - in the previous three novels Crowley seems to promise a return to an age of wonder, or something like that - but instead it all just sort of dissolves into a disappointingly quotidian reality. Upon stumbling across these paragraphs from Aegypt,though - I realize there is really no other way he could have concluded it:

Did he really intend to suggest in his book that once-upon-a-time the useless procedures of magic had had effects, the l
May 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
30 years in the making-- 20 years in the producing. My love for Crowley's work is known to pretty obvious from my reviews, but I was hesitant when I read the fist two novels in this series. Twenty years ago I was not very well-versed in history or literature-- themes that run deep through this series. But, like a good teacher, Crowley leads the reader to understand on a human level the significance of times and places alien to us. I'm sure there are some little gems hidden away for the literati- ...more
Mindy McAdams
Jun 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The cycle comes to a fitting and most satisfying ending. I had been worried about that. What could possibly happen (short of the world ending, which wouldn't have been believable anyway) that would serve as a fitting conclusion to this amazing epic? I can't spoil it for you.

Having read each of the four books as they were published, I did something that still surprises me. When I got to the end of this book, and closed it, and set it down, I promptly went to my bookshelves and took down the first
Jan 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
The rest of this series is wonderful, this book is merely lush. It was part of the story within the story that the conclusion had to fall flat and with the way that story reflects itself into the actual series, those flaws had to somehow propagate into the novel itself. That said, this book felt like a bit of a chore and I feel like he could have done more to mitigate. What plot there was in the first three books has basically ended by the start of this volume and most of the characters you like ...more
Jennifer Uhlich
Aug 14, 2010 rated it liked it
I think others have already commented on how this is a non-ending. I should say that it felt very much like a drift--think a lazy river, and suddenly you look up and realize the boat has long since sailed into uncharted waters. The great moment of this series (really it should all be one book) happens outside the text; as such we can't ever really experience something like closure. That being said, there was much about this book that felt added, in a sort of "and then . . . " mode; I was not sur ...more
Jan 26, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff
Crowley's prose is as beautiful as ever, but something I can't quite define about this coda bothers me. Perhaps it's how it's so much Pierce's story (Rosie and Sam have vanished into their own happy endings). Perhaps it's how oddly solipsic Pierce is, despite his wide-ranging mind. On the first read, anyway, it's the least satisfying of the quartet.

From another writer it would still be a four or five, because of the gorgeous prose, the gorgeous structures of thought, but it's John Crowley; I exp
Kelly McCubbin
Apr 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the end to Crowley's epic and supremely ambitious Aegypt cycle, though "epic", in this context, may not mean what you think it means. Pulling together stories upon stories, some "real", some fantasies of the characters played as real, some fictional, some historical, some alternate histories to histories you've already read... the book is boggling and fascinating and, ultimately, satisfying in a way that you would never expect.
Be sure to read The Solitudes, Love and Sleep and Demonomania
Streator Johnson
Okay. Sometimes John Crowley's writing is so sublime it makes me want to cry. But I have to say, that after slogging through all four of the books in this cycle, that I really did not understand what was the point of the books. In fact, I feel a little cheated. Maybe I am just not smart enough or educated enough to understand what he was trying to do. That greatly reduced my ability to enjoy what I was reading. But I made it through them all and know I can move on to other things.....
Christopher Sutch
Part four (of four). I had a hard time imagining how Crowley would finish his four-part meganovel, and for a time as I began to read this final book I wondered if he or I had lost our way. However, it turned out that it did all come together. Taken together these four books are Crowley's best work, possibly the best American novel of the past few decades. Very powerful, very, very good.
Jul 14, 2009 rated it it was ok
Overall, I was quite disappointed with this book, and with the series. The middle part of this book, in particular, was completely incoherent as far as I'm concerned. It was only redeemed by the last third, where Crowly went back to the characters and at least provided some resolution of the story. I understand what he was trying to do; but I just wasn't happy with the execution.
Jul 12, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was really looking forward to this book, the last in the 4 book Aegypt series. However, it turned out to be a disappointingly weak novel. Crowley seems to have either run out of steam or lost his direction on this one.
Sep 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I love John Crowley's Aegypt series of novels as a whole, and this is a very satisfying conclusion to what has been an erudite sampler of apocryphal histories and a meaty narrative pleasure. I'm just sad to have turned the last page.
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Aegypt novel at last! 1 15 Mar 21, 2007 08:19AM  

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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

John Crowley was born in Presque Isle, Maine, in 1942; his father was then an officer in the US Army Air Corps. He grew up in Vermont, northeastern Kentucky and (for the longest stretch) Indiana, where he went to high school and college. He moved to New York City after colle

Other books in the series

The Aegypt Cycle (4 books)
  • Aegypt (The Aegypt Cycle, #1)
  • Love & Sleep (The Aegypt Cycle, #2)
  • Daemonomania (The Aegypt Cycle, #3)

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