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The End of the Day by Claire North

The End of the Day

by Claire North

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Charlie is hired out of college to be the Harbinger of Death and goes before as a warning or a courtesy. He's never sure which. I found the premise intriguing and thought-provoking. and the audiobook narration outstanding. Thoroughly surprised that the book is rated 3.5 stars overall by other readers. This was a great book for listening to while commuting. ( )
  pmackey | Jun 26, 2018 |
I've been a fan of Claire North (in all her authorial guises) for many years. The concept of The End of the Day sounded like perfect fodder for her formidable imagination and her ability to write page-turners with a touch of the fantastic and a great deal of heart.
Charlie takes a job as the Harbinger of Death, the one who Goes Before, sometimes as a warning and sometimes as a courtesy. Often Death follows. His work takes him from his home in London to Greenland, to Syria, Nigeria and others. Against the background of his journeys there are glimpses of other Harbingers and their bosses, the entities themselves - Death, Famine, War, Pestilence. As well as countless snatches of other voices debating holding forth their views on the problems of our times.

At first I enjoyed the fragmentary narrative, the main plot interrupted by these soundbite-like interludes but after as the story moved it failed to really progress or coalesce it became more frustrating than interesting.

Claire North confronts a lot of the injustice, unpleasantness and selfishness in the world against the backdrop of death (or is that Death?) the greatest leveller of all. North had always been a socially aware writer and I've always admired her ability to weave these themes seamlessly into her stories. Unfortunately she tries to take on too much on The End of the Day, it feels as though she had tried to cram all of the world's ills into a narrative that just can't support them and while so much if it is worthy it often lapses into sentimentality and lacks the subtlety needed to make it a stronger piece of writing.

At one time Charlie is asked whether he is just the Harbinger for the UK or whether he travels and I wonder if whether Death had been given a global team of Harbingers and Charlie's efforts had been focused in a single place it would have allowed for a tighter, more manageable ​story. Instead the weight of all the issues overwhelm the imagination and the plot which are usually get greatest strengths. Even the characters are somewhat lost in the narrative.

There are some intensely moving passages but it is the simpler stories rather than the extraordinary tragedies that are the most successful in the context of this story and they are definitely the most convincing. ( )
  moray_reads | Mar 20, 2018 |
Death comes for everyone. But before Death comes Charlie. As the newly hired Harbinger of Death, Charlie is in awe of the idea of the travel and the opportunity to connect with so many different people. Whether he's sent as a courtesy or a warning, Charlie encounters an entire spectrum of reactions and never are they the same.

I liked this book but not as much as I thought it would. The prose is beautiful, although I feel that there's a bit too much style for style's sake, and the observations on life and death in diverse locales and life experiences are truly lovely. But given that you spend almost the entire book with Charlie, I never quite connected with him in a way that would give the book the emotional punch for which I think it's reaching. Definitely for fans of literary fiction or those who appreciate a twist on archetypal characters. ( )
  MickyFine | Nov 14, 2017 |
This I've been reading on-an-off for a while, getting distracted by other books and going back. It's a messy book, a book with some characters that you meet only for a while and then some that pop up over and over. Plus there's overheard snippets presented as occasional chapters, like those conversations you half-hear in airports and coffee shops, the ones that distract you from what you're doing. There are times that the book was a bit of a slog but overall I found it quite powerful.

Charlie works, through an office in Milton Keynes, for Death. He is given assignments to meet people and give them something, usually a significant token. Death will come to these people, as it comes to everyone. Charlie has been in some hair-raising places and had to deal with people to try to negotiate with Death, some more forcefully than others but this books is more a meditation on life and death and how we need to carpe diem as hard as possible because some day we all will die.

Sometimes it got lost into the meditation but this is a book that by the end I was lost in. Not a book to read lightly. It's a book that will linger for a long time in my head. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Oct 4, 2017 |
Author amnesia strikes again - in exactly the same words I used for my review of Claire North's vampire-ish novel Touch, The End of the Day is 'all concept and no characterisation'. The concept is intriguing - what if 'the harbinger of death' was an actual person, employed by the Reaper to go before him, 'sometimes as a courtesy, sometimes as a warning'? - but the harbinger himself was far too dull to sustain the basic question of 'What is death?' for 400 pages (answer: 'Death is Death'). And oh my word, I know that people often speak in broken sentences, but Charlie's twittery dialogue had me wondering if North was being paid per ellipsis. Death finally came for the end of the story instead of my will to live, but it was a close call. Unless you're a world weary cynic or particularly paranoid about kicking the bucket, not recommended. ( )
  AdonisGuilfoyle | Jul 12, 2017 |
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At the end, he sat in the hotel room and counted out the pills.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316508225, Paperback)

At the end of the day, Death visits everyone. Right before that, Charlie does.

You might meet him in a hospital, in a warzone, or at the scene of a traffic accident.

Then again, you might meet him at the North Pole - he gets everywhere, our Charlie.

Would you shake him by the hand, take the gift he offers, or would you pay no attention to the words he says?

Sometimes he is sent as a courtesy, sometimes as a warning. He never knows which.

The End of the Day is the stunning new novel by Claire North, author of word-of-mouth bestseller The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 07 Nov 2016 12:12:01 -0500)

The enigmatic Charlie, a specter who travels everywhere and visits everyone marked for death, sends messages and makes profound, life-changing offers to those he meets.

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