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Ofir Touche Gafla THE WORLD OF THE END


Ofir Touché Gafla

Fiction, 2004

With off-beat humor and profound metaphysical depth, THE WORLD OF THE END is the remarkably inventive story of Ben Mendelssohn, an epilogist, a rightist: man who writes endings for a living. Fifteen months after losing his beloved wife Marian in a mysterious accident, he commits suicide in order to reunite with her in the world of the dead. But death turns out to be a very surprising experience, as Ben arrives in the Other World, a God-less post-mortem universe where the deceased from every age live an eternal second life. As Ben embarks on a quest for his missing wife, stories of love unfold, the plot thickens and the reader discovers the connection between all the stories in THE WORLD OF THE END.

Rights Sold: 

China: Jingdong; France: Actes Sud; Israel: Keter; Taiwan: BWP; Turkey: Delidolu; USA: TOR



“Delirious and explosive… Ofir Touche Gafla reinvents life in the other world...Israeli science fiction remains little-known in France. Nonetheless, this is a monument of funeral fantasy and freewheeling futurism in which Dashiell Hammett and Terry Gilliam seem to play a game of tag in the world of Little Nemo and the universe of Brazil. A feast!” – Le Monde

“Poignant and funny...part romance, part mystery, and part science fantasy…. Gafla creates an interconnected puzzle of living and dead characters and their stories that will shock, amuse, and illuminate the nature of humans and their inevitable end.” – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Stunning writing, hilarious, and brilliantly translated!" – Ellen Kushner, World Fantasy Award-winning author of Thomas the Rhymer

“I've seldom read a book so strange and so assured. Gafla's vivid characters, his matter-of-fact underworld, and his mysteriously interconnected mortal universe confront readers with the awkwardness, desperation, and humor of life and its many endings.” – Max Gladstone, author of Three Parts Dead

”[A] weird and effective blend of adventure/fantasy, whodunit and romance … Simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking, handled with sublime assurance, astonishingly inventive, funny and totally fascinating.” – Kirkus starred review 

“The author’s imagination in this post-mortem universe is truly a tour de force! Nothing is left to chance…. ‘[E]verything is for the best in the best of all possible worlds.’ Ofir Touche Gafla has woven his novel with infinite patience and care; one often has the sense of reading a thriller, discovering bit by bit the elements of the hero's life. Minor characters complement the narrative without cluttering it and remain connected to the red thread that passes through book.

“The reader is led with great pleasure through an incredible story that is full of humor, with some crazy concepts that somehow make sense in this ‘other world.’ It is a time travel, in which the newly deceased rub shoulders with Shakespeare and a naked Marilyn Monroe. The constant twists and turns never cease to surprise.” – Fantastinet


“The World of the End is a teeming novel, full of characters, rich in twists, and with a special charm. A satisfying page turner … This is a beautiful novel – theatrical and poetic in equal measure. Ofir Touche Gafla succeeds in speaking about love and death by creating a wacky universe and a touching story, without descending into melodrama. An original idea that makes for very pleasurable reading.” – Imaginelf

“Lyrical and flowing. Gafla creates a rich world of networked characters, both living and dead, and explores how human nature plays a role even in death.” – RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 stars

“Broad themes of life, death, and afterlife, coupled with satiric touches on modern existence and the meaning of religion, make this a major example of literary speculative fiction at its best, with an appeal that crosses genres into mainstream fiction.” – Library Journal

“Although coping with the great philosophical, psychological and existential questions is at the very core of the book, it doesn’t overshadow the plot...the book is amusing, suspenseful, intriguing and it’s clear the author enjoyed writing it, and he successfully blends the ingredients of a good book: language, characters, narrative. Add to that the shifting between the different genres, which are interwoven masterfully: science fiction, fantasy, adventure, detective and an entire universe of love stories.” – Tali Goldshmidt, Ha’aretz

“Touché Gafla is a writer rich in imagination and inventiveness, a writer who surprises at the end of each paragraph, not just at the end of the book. In the case of this witty, clever, funny and exciting book (or in a single word – spectacular), I conclude with no exaggeration:  It’s been ages since I read such an amazing first novel. Do yourselves a favor and run to the nearest bookstore.” – Rana Verbin, Ha’ir

“THE WORLD OF THE END proves Gafla as one of the most imaginative writers to have appeared in Israeli literature...” –  Noa Manheim, Yediot Aharanot

“The World of the End was a novel I started reading not knowing what to expect, and once I was about thirty percent in, I realized I couldn’t put it down. It’s intricate, deep, thoughtful, emotional and topped off with some wonderful writing. No wonder it has won two well-deserved awards. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read before. That’s, perhaps, the best thing I can say about it. It is truly unique and is so powerfully thought provoking that is has stuck with me well after I finished it.” – Bookworm Blues

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