Contemporary, Fiction

The End of Alice by A.M Jones

When I told my roommate what this novel was all about, she gave me a look filled with disgust and said “I have no idea how you can stomach reading this kind of stuff.” In all honesty, I get that look a lot. I don’t always read books that are “normal” or “safe”. It’s not as if I hunt for books that deal with disturbing content, but if I find one and I think the premise is interesting, then I will definitely give it a shot. I think that books dealing with topics that are controversial make you think differently, and it can be useful to hone that ability. Anyways, this is one of those books that is sexual and graphic in nature, so consider this a warning: this book is not for the faint of heart!

My synopsis itself will be brief: This is a story about a pedophile in prison who begins to receive letters from a 19-year old girl who lives in the suburbs. She plans to follow in our pedophile prisoner’s footsteps and her letters are erotically charged, showing the way in which she seduces and claims her victim – a 12-year-old boy. The prisoner, on his end, uses this as an opportunity to live vicariously through the girl’s actions and recall his own dalliances with little girls.

So. This novel was definitely erotic and it will definitely make you feel uncomfortable. That being said, the prose was not my favorite thing. There were long rambling passages that bored me to tears, and I ended up skimming most of the novel in order to focus on the plot. Most of what was said was unnecessary; this book could definitely have been written in fewer pages/chapters. I thought the letter writing concept was cool and was hoping that the author would actually write out the whole letter for the reader to see. But no, instead we get the pedophile inserting certain parts of the letter, while summarizing the rest; it is also clear that his “summary” isn’t just composed of whatever the girl has written but also what he himself has imagined is happening. That was a bit disappointing, as I would have liked to read it from her perspective instead. The overall concept of this novel was interesting but the actual writing of it left me disappointed. If you are expecting something thrilling or shocking, then don’t go for this novel; other than making you feel uncomfortable at times, it doesn’t do much else.

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