Friday, November 21, 2014

The World of the End by Ofir Touché Gafla

The World of the End by Ofir Touché Gafla is a fan­tasy book trans­lated from Hebrew. This is the author’s first book (עולם הסוף) and he won sev­eral awards.

Ben Mendelssohn wants to be reunited with his belated wife, he will do any­thing to be with her again and on his birth­day he puts a bul­let in his head to accom­plish the task. When Ben enters the Other World he dis­cov­ers that find­ing a per­son among the mil­lions who occupy the realm is not an easy task.

Search­ing huge cities where every per­son that ever died lived, and gar­dens with fam­ily trees which are taken care of by those that were never born is a huge task for the recently deceased Ben, so he hires a pri­vate inves­ti­ga­tor to help him out. While events in the real world and Other World unfold and are some­how related, Ben dis­cov­ers much about him­self, his wife and the human condition.

The World of the End by Ofir Touché Gafla is a cre­ative and well writ­ten book, which is touch­ing, thought­ful and inter­est­ing. The world, or actu­ally the after world, which the author cre­ates is imag­i­na­tive and thought provoking.

This strange book, with a large cast, alter­nates between a strange after­life world and mod­ern Israel (which, we find, is a place where those in the after­life get sent to for pun­ish­ment). The char­ac­ters in the novel have very strange and unique char­ac­ter flaws which make them inter­est­ing and intrigu­ing as well as mov­ing the sto­ries along.

While tragedies hap­pen all around, this is a strangely roman­tic book with a fan­tas­tic end­ing. The pro­tag­o­nist of the book is an “epi­l­o­gist”, a new word for me which means that he writes end­ings, appro­pri­ately enough.

While The World of the End might be cat­e­go­rized under the fan­tasy genre, it does not accu­rately describe the book. Cer­tainly not for every­one, I enjoyed this book very much espe­cially due to the com­plex and flawed char­ac­ters. The trans­la­tion to Eng­lish is fan­tas­tic and keeps all the dif­fi­cult puns and humor in the original.

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