The End of The Alphabet: Book summary and reviews of The End of The Alphabet by C.S. Richardson

The End of The Alphabet

by C.S. Richardson

The End of The Alphabet by C.S. Richardson X
The End of The Alphabet by C.S. Richardson
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2007
    128 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

The End of The Alphabet is a tender, intimate story of an ordinary life defined by an extraordinary love. Ambrose Zephyr is a contented man. He shares a book-laden Victorian house with his loving wife, Zipper. He owns two suits, one of which he was married in. He is a courageous eater, save brussels sprouts. His knowledge of wine is vague and best defined as Napa, good; Australian, better; French, better still. Kir royale is his drink of occasion. For an Englishman he makes a poor cup of tea. He believes women are quantifiably wiser than men, and would never give Zipper the slightest reason to mistrust him or question his love. Zipper simply describes Ambrose as the only man she has ever loved. Without adjustment.

Then, just as he is turning fifty, Ambrose is told by his doctor that he has one month to live. Reeling from the news, he and Zipper embark on a whirlwind expedition to the places he has most loved or has always longed to visit, from A to Z, Amsterdam to Zanzibar. As they travel to Italian piazzas, Turkish baths, and other romantic destinations, all beautifully evoked by the author, Zipper struggles to deal with the grand unfairness of their circumstances as she buoys Ambrose with her gentle affection and humor. Meanwhile, Ambrose reflects on his life, one well lived, and comes to understand that death, like life, will be made bearable by the strength and grace of their devotion.

Richardson’s lovely prose comes alive with an honesty and intensity that will leave you breathless and inspired by the simple beauty and power of love. The End of The Alphabet is a timeless, resonant exploration of the nature of love, loss, and life.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Richardson's tightly focused tale has panache, shadowed by a brooding suspense." - Publishers Weekly.

"The surprise of this little book is not that it is poignant but that it is delightful: graceful, stylish, humorous, intelligent and lacking even the faintest whiff of sanctimony. Each page shimmers with life at its gentle, everyday best: always unraveling at one end of the alphabet or the other, laced with love." - The Washington Post.

"A novel that can be read in a single sitting of less than two hours might continue to resonate with readers for weeks, months, even years." - Kirkus Review.

"Richardson's a book designer by trade, and the A-to-Z theme, from the characters' names to their lettered journey, reflects it. His love of the 26 building blocks that prop up the entire English language bleeds into the text. Letters have heft and dash and vigor. They lurk as plot points in antique stores and serve up visual trills in alliteration. They turn the 120 pages of this slight book into a tear-stained goodbye note and a heartfelt love letter." - The Los Angeles Times.

"The End of the Alphabet is a lovely little novel that packs a big emotional wallop." - USA Today.

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