The End of the Alphabet

The End of the Alphabet

Book - 2007
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A literary debut that explores love in all its guises -- passionate, impulsive, affectionate, impatient -- and ultimately asks "how do we face the loss of all we love best?" A Note from the Author On or about his fiftieth birthday, Ambrose Zephyr failed his annual medical exam. An illness of inexplicable origin with neither known nor foreseeable cure was discovered. It would kill him within the month. In early drafts, those lines began The Grand Tour of Ambrose Zephyr. I thought it a good start. Not quite what-happens-when-one-wins-the-lottery, but the fiction as I had imagined it. A friend read one of those drafts. Her only criticism (bless her) concerned the mysterious illness. What was this ailment . . . exactly? The reader, she said, wants details. So too the author. But in the matter ofThe Grand Tour of Ambrose Zephyr, I was intrigued by other nuances: of life, of love, and of how far each would go, indeed could go, to sustain the other. And the illness? Bubonic plague? Black water fever? The reader decides. The point is Ambrose Zephyr gets it and this novel is about what happens next. It is as simple as that. "Ambrose Zephyr was married to Zappora Ashkenazi, a woman as comfortable in her own skin as anyone else. She had kept her name for the apparent reasons, would have preferred to have been born a Frenchwoman, suffered fools with grace and a smile, loathed insects. She had decorated the Victorian terrace in tastefully Swedish DIY, updating as budget and wear dictated. She was resigned to the likelihood that a pied-à-terre in the sixth arrondissement might not be in her future. She was content with that. She wore the best labels she could afford and knew the mysteries that moved a £500 ensemble to the £50 rack. Red and black and white were her 'colours.' Accessorizing she considered well worth the effort and her earrings were almost always perfect with that outfit. She owned one pair of stiletto shoes that hurt just to look at. But Ambrose liked them. Which was enough." --FromThe Grand Tour of Ambrose Zephyr
Publisher: Toronto : Doubleday Canada, c2007
ISBN: 9780385663403
Branch Call Number: RIC
Characteristics: 139 p. ;,20 cm


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Apr 09, 2015

Quick, quirky read. For the subject matter, it's actually quite light and uplifting.

WVMLStaffPicks Feb 01, 2015

Ambrose Zephyr has been given one month to live. He and his wife Zipper head off to all the places he has longed to see or see again. He starts his list with A and intends to end at Z. It is a charming, whimsical story of love, marriage and everyday life.

JaclynA Apr 04, 2014

A short story about an man named Ambrose Zephyr who is obsessed with the alphabet. When he finds out he has one month to live he vows to go and see all the places he has never been A-Z. This book is sad, and really about true love.

Aug 17, 2013

A delightful yet sad book. It struck home with the characters bring slightly out of sink with one another. A fun idea, to see places according to the alphabet...just don't wait until you are dieting to do it!

ser_library Feb 01, 2013

very light, a sad subject but not sentimental
i read thewhole book on the bus while doing chores round town in one afternoon

Dec 02, 2012

wonderful little story about what one would do with only one month left in their life.....easy read, some lovely moments...i liked it

Wolfespearl Aug 25, 2012

Winner of the Commonwealth Prize for Best First Book, this lovely little fable is a rare and exquisite treasure.

"On or about his fiftieth birthday, Ambrose Zephyr failed his annual medical exam. An illness of inexplicable origin with neither known nor foreseeable cure was discovered. It would kill him within the month. Give or take a day." (p.5)

And so he and his beloved wife take a journey, an A to Z tour of places they have loved or longed to see. Their adventure leads them to explore a life and a marriage, and the discoveries are luminous. With wit, joy and insights that are profoundly moving we share their final love song. It's refrain will haunt you long afterwards.

May 25, 2012

This little book was just lovely. The story follows a husband and wife during the husband's last month of life. We never know the illness, but it isn't important. The love of the couple for each other, the understanding, the tenderness is what's important. A sort of bucket list book but not in any crass, hedonistic way. I was sad that this was such a short book - I read it in about four hours - but realize that it would not have had the same impact had it been longer with more prose.

Apr 03, 2012

The cover reads: an alphabet of the language of lovers, a beautiful fable of art and mortality; elegant, wise and humane. This small little book fits in the palm of your hand like a friend and is a delight. It is the journey of a man and his wife during the last month of his life. An emotional and physcial journey.

Jan 15, 2012

Began Sat. Jan 14-12. Liking it so far....looks like this might be a quick 2 day read.
Finished Mon Jan 16. A nice little book.

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nellie Sep 28, 2007

nellie thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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nellie Sep 28, 2007

Ambrose Zephyr finds he has only a month to live so plans to visit 26 locations from A to Z.


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