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The End of Marking Time

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  634 ratings  ·  159 reviews
Gifted housebreaker, Michael O'Connor, awakens inside an ultramodern criminal justice system where prison walls are replaced by surveillance equipment and a host of actors hired to determine if he is worthy of freedom. While he was sleeping, the Supreme Court declared long term incarceration to be cruel and unusual punishment and ordered two million felons released. The ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published May 22nd 2010 by 22 West Books
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Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  634 ratings  ·  159 reviews

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S.B. Wright
Nov 02, 2010 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cheeky Cher
Mar 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi-dystopian
It's frustrating when you feel like you have seen the same movie or read the same book a dozen times, just with different characters. What initially drew me to "The End of Marking Time" was the originality of the plot, and it didn't disappoint. The novel moves along at a nice, quick pace with humor, mystery, and suspense all thrown in together. The concept of a future prison system will have you questioning yourself about if that would be a better way to do things, and would it be a possible way ...more
Aug 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Although presented as a political thriller, I'm going to open by saying that this book has "dystopian" written all over it. Gritty and realistic, this book proposes a lot of really uncomfortable questions; I found that the answers I came up with weren't necessarily ones that sat well with me, and to me that's the mark of a good dystopian.

Michael O'Connor is a living, breathing gray area. With no education, no skills, and no assets that he can see, he supports himself by breaking into houses and
May 20, 2010 rated it liked it
Standalone thriller that I would classify as dystopian fiction, set in the near future in a time when all prisoners have been released from their physical prisons and forced to undergo "Re-learning" through a variety of programs. The story is told from the point of view of Michael O'Connor, a twenty-five year old professional burglar who was injured in a police chase and spent several years in a coma, waking up to find a very different place than when he went to sleep.

Gone are the jury trials,
First, I have to say I read most of this book while on jury duty (which mostly involves waiting around, then waiting some more), which seemed way too appropriate.

This is quite an unusual dystopic story - society's transformation from what we currently know to West's vision of a radically altered near-future happens in the book. How we get from A to B is completely spelled out. Typically dystopias in literature drop the reader in, and let the reader flail around a bit trying to figure out how
Wendy Hines
Jun 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Michael O'Connor left home at the young age of fifteen when his momma held a gun to his head. A survivor, he made his living on the streets. He became a professional of robbing houses and cars and made some unsavory friends, but did manage to keep himself out of a gang. He lived reasonably and if he ran low of funds, he just robbed someone. But one day, Michael's luck ran out. After a successful robbery of a district attorney, Michael is laying low, but one of his contacts needs some quick cash. ...more
Debbi Mack
Jun 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Imagine waking up from a coma to a world you don't recognize. When you went under, you were bound for prison. Now the prisoners have all been released – at least ostensibly. There's just one catch. You're under continual surveillance. You're being watched and judged everywhere you go. The so-called freedom you enjoy is non-existent.

This is the intriguing and frightening premise of THE END OF MARKING TIME. The main character Michael has made a lifetime occupation of burglary and other types of
Oct 06, 2012 rated it did not like it
I really don't understand all the good reviews for this book. I thought it was far-fetched and preachy. I feel like most of the reviews are based on the shock value. "I was four stars not expecting that ending." Well, probably not. Different strokes and all that.

Anyway, I just can't buy into that kind of change in four years, but I think that's one of it's lesser failings. I also can't buy into the kind of planning that must unfold just so for each prisoner's "relearning." Please.

Or that
Oct 28, 2010 rated it liked it
This book was pretty hard for me to get into. At first I was like why should I care about the main character? He doesn’t seem to care about anyone, he pokes fun at his friends for wanting to settle down (I am in the process of settling down myself at the moment), he breaks into people’s houses, and is really kind of cocky about the whole thing. When he gets arrested I was like good – you got was you deserved. That said, I have always had a bit of a soft spot for dystopian literature and I really ...more
Georgiann Hennelly
Nov 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Michael O,Connor is a skilledhouse breaker.But when he is arrested for breaking into a district attorneys house and stealing his mercedes and credit cards. He is sent to prison. On his way to prison there is an attempted jail break. Which puts michael in a coma for four years. When he wakes up he finds the justice system totally changed criminals are now called releaarners and are assigned to re education programs that keep track of their successes or faolures in navigating their lives in the ...more
Darcia Helle
The concept for this book is both fascinating and troubling. C.J. West set this book in the near future, at a time when our justice system has been dismantled and replaced by a whole new program with a whole new set of rules. Michael, the main character, is a career criminal. His crimes have all been nonviolent, yet it is questionable as to whether he will be able to conform to society.

West did a great job of portraying Michael, forcing readers to look at him as the troubled young man he was
Martin Cooper
Feb 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
Not sure why this book gets so many 4/5* ratings, although it starts off well and has an interesting take on future of law enforcement and punishment it runs out of steam at about the 60% stage. Our lead character has nothing to redeem himself being unlikeable from start to finish. He constantly refuses to help himself despite being constantly told how to achieve this and the penalties for not doing so. At the 60% stage it seems he is then to become a detective despite having no skills to do so ...more
Jun 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A story about prison life without a prison in the new America. It is a scary scenario with one government-owned bank and no cash—your thumb print is your debit card. Where prisoners are rehabilitated with tracking devices in their heads and ankle bracelets. Is it possible?

Oh, it takes place four years hence. President Obama loses his bid for a second term.

I good read. You may not want to put it down!
Michele Brown
I can't tell you to much without spoiling the book. I have actually read it twice and will probably read it a third time. It is very interesting to see treatments of Correctional & Rehabilitation, that are different from the norm, this fits the bill to a 'T'
Highly Recommended
Feb 16, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-my-kindle, dnf
I gave up about 6% in. It was very slow paced and just not my kind of book.
Caitlin Streit
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good story!

I so enjoyed this book ! Not what I expected I dare say. But a real page turner .a must read!
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
This book held my interest until about 50% through it. I lost interest and skipped to the end.
Jan 21, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Was aiming to give 5 stars until the last few pages!! What a disappointment.
Julie Smith (Knitting and Sundries)
Oct 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
This review first appeared on my blog:

Michael, who left his house at the age of 15 after his mother, worried about losing her other children and therefore her welfare money, threatens him with a gun, is a professional housebreaker and car thief. Double, his crime mentor, talks about going straight for the sake of a girl and family, and Michael is determined he won't be going THAT route anytime soon. Now 20, he breaks into the wrong house - the house of
Jan 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: for-review
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth A.
Oct 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Ever imagine what would happen if all the people in prison were released at the same time? Author C.J. West has, and his latest novel, The End of Marking Time, is a look at just such a scenario.

Michael O’Connor ended up alone on the streets at age 15 and turned to a life of burglary in order to keep himself fed. He became quite skilled at his chosen profession, and was careful to never commit a violent crime. After unknowingly stealing from the home of the District Attorney, however, Michael’s
Dec 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010-reads
PROTAGONIST: Michael O’Connor

When Michael O’Connor was thirteen, his mother put a gun to his head when he stole a can of peaches. When he was fifteen, she tried to shoot him. That was what caused him to leave home and go out on his own. He turned to burglary, a mostly victimless crime, as a means of supporting himself. He’s incarcerated and shot in the head while on a prison bus. Four years later, he comes out of a coma, only to find that the world has
Feb 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
I found this book being promoted on a forum and the product description sounded interesting so I thought I'd give it a go.

Michael O'Connor is a thief who has never needed to find work, having started stealing to support himself in his teens. He specialises in home breaking, and has sucessfully evaded the law, until he robs a man with clout when he is finally arrested and imprisoned. During the course of his sentence however the Supreme Court declare long term prison sentences a cruel and unsual
Aug 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really want those half stars goodreads because I would give this book 4 1/2 stars

this book stayed on my mind so much I woke up thinking about it. that was, well, annoying ,
no no annoying is not the right word for it. This book is like that song that plays over and over in your head and wont go away. I found myself frantically reading to find out what was happening without paying any attention to the things I usually read for(punctuation is not something I ever read for BTW because that is
Toni Osborne
Dec 26, 2010 rated it liked it
This fiction is a disturbing account highlighting the seriousness of the problems within the prison system. The tale is a bit off the beaten track, borderline experimental and told in a unique and particular way.

The protagonist, Michael O'Connor, an accomplished thief since a very young age, is finally caught after a long string of burglaries. He never considered what he was doing to be abnormal or even wrong but the justice system saw it differently, his lack of remorse earned him a stiff
Feb 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways, kindle, 3

Michael O’Connell is a 20 year old poorly educated career criminal. His chosen money making scheme is house breaking and he’s very good at it managing to go undetected even if the home owner is in the house with him. Michaels luck finally runs out when he breaks into the home of the DA. The police are intent on catching this perpetrator and it doesn’t take long before they are led to Michael and he is arrested. The judge decides to make an example of him, sentencing Michael to five years behind
B. M.  Polier
Jan 13, 2011 added it
Recommends it for: People who like psychological thinking books.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 18, 2012 rated it liked it
I would give this book 3.5 stars. I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. A criminal undergoing rehab just didn't seem that interesting. But I found that it was interesting. The book takes place in a near future society, where the legal system has been entirely revamped.

I thought the protagonist, Michael, was basically a good person, with his own kind of warped logic. Unfortunately, years of living in near poverty or on the streets has changed the way he thinks about life. It seems the
Norma Budden
Aug 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
CJ West has penned the most unique book I've read. I've heard accounts of unusual experiences some have shared but never did I imagine entering a world in which prisons no longer existed.

In The End of Marking Time, CJ West tackles a subject I've never considered - prisoners being free to roam the streets, walking among law-abiding citizens. Granted, every move was monitored - and the threat of being punished for wrong behavior was always present.

I tried imagining living in such a world and, to a
Oct 07, 2010 rated it liked it
Michael O’Connell has lived a life of crime. We are not talking just petty crime but the big time crime that comes with a heavy penalty. After one of his latest jobs, Michael is arrested. He has been set up. What Michael learns while he is being processed is that he broke into the home of a District Attorney.

Michael is found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison. While being transported to MCI Cedar Junction, Michael is hit by a stray bullet during a break out. Michael awakes up to find
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CJ West writes thrillers set in New England. CJ has just launched his 7th novel, Dinner At Deadman's, a mystery set in the world of antiques and collectibles.

Vist CJ anytime on Facebook.

CJ's first Randy Black Thriller, Sin & Vengeance, was optioned for film.

A Demon Awaits, the second book in CJ's Randy Black series was published in October 2008. The series takes a surprising turn and readers