The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life

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9781565126022: The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life

It was the 1950s, a time of calm, a time when all things were new and everything seemed possible. A few years before, a noble war had been won, and now life had returned to normal. For one little boy, however, life had become anything but "normal." To all appearances, he and his family lived an almost idyllic life. The father was a respected professor, the mother a witty and elegant lady, someone everyone loved. They were parents to three bright, smiling children: two boys and a girl. They lived on a sunny street in a small college town nestled neatly in a leafy valley. They gave parties, hosted picnics, went to church-just like their neighbors. To all appearances, their life seemed ideal. But it was, in fact, all appearances. Lineage, tradition, making the right impression-these were matters of great importance, especially to the mother. But behind the facade this family had created lurked secrets so dark, so painful for this one little boy, that his life would never be the same. It is through the eyes of that boy-a grown man now, revisiting that time-that we see this seemingly serene world and watch as it slowly comes completely and irrevocably undone. Beautifully written, often humorous, sometimes sweet, ultimately shocking, this is a son's story of looking back with both love and anger at the parents who gave him life and then robbed him of it, who created his world and then destroyed it. As author Lee Smith, who knew this world and this family, observed, "Alcohol may be the real villain in this pain-permeated, exquisitely written memoir of childhood-but it is also filled with absolutely dead-on social commentary of this very particular time and place. A brave, haunting, riveting book."

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Book Description:

In the tradition of Mary Karr's The Liars' Club and Rick Bragg's All Over but the Shoutin', Robert Goolrick has crafted a classic memoir of childhood and the secrets hidden in a heart that can't forget. In the Goolrick home there was a law: Never talk about the family in the outside world, never reveal the slightest crack in the facade. In The End of the World as We Know It, the author takes us back to the seemingly idyllic world his father and mother created in their home in a small Southern college town, a world of gentle men and lovely ladies and cocktails and party dresses—a world being eroded by a family history of alcoholism. As Goolrick grew to be a man, his childhood held memories that would not let go, memories that held a secret that followed him wherever he went, defining and directing his days. Over time, the secret grew so big it threatened to rip the world apart. And then it did.

With devastating honesty and razor-sharp wit, he looks back with love, and with anger, at the parents who both created his world and destroyed it. As Lee Smith (author of On Agate Hill) observed, "Alcohol may be the real villain in this pain-permeated, exquisitely written memoir of a Virginia childhood—but it is also filled with absolutely dead-on social commentary of this very particular time and place. A brave, haunting, riveting book."

About the Author:

In addition to his most recent novel, The Fall of Princes, Robert Goolrick is the author of three other books: The End of the World as We Know It, a memoir; his first novel, A Reliable Wife, with sales of more than 1 million copies; and his second novel, Heading Out to Wonderful. He lives in Virginia.

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Book Description ALGONQUIN BOOKS OF CHAPEL HILL, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. It was the 1950s, a time of calm, a time when all things were new and everything seemed possible. A few years before, a noble war had been won, and now life had returned to normal. For one little boy, however, life had become anything but normal. To all appearances, he and his family lived an almost idyllic life. The father was a respected professor, the mother a witty and elegant lady, someone everyone loved. They were parents to three bright, smiling children: two boys and a girl. They lived on a sunny street in a small college town nestled neatly in a leafy valley. They gave parties, hosted picnics, went to church--just like their neighbors. To all appearances, their life seemed ideal. But it was, in fact, all appearances. Lineage, tradition, making the right impression--these were matters of great importance, especially to the mother. But behind the facade this family had created lurked secrets so dark, so painful for this one little boy, that his life would never be the same. It is through the eyes of that boy--a grown man now, revisiting that time--that we see this seemingly serene world and watch as it slowly comes completely and irrevocably undone. Beautifully written, often humorous, sometimes sweet, ultimately shocking, this is a son s story of looking back with both love and anger at the parents who gave him life and then robbed him of it, who created his world and then destroyed it. As author Lee Smith, who knew this world and this family, observed, Alcohol may be the real villain in this pain-permeated, exquisitely written memoir of childhood--but it is also filled with absolutely dead-on social commentary of this very particular time and place. A brave, haunting, riveting book. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9781565126022

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Book Description ALGONQUIN BOOKS OF CHAPEL HILL, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. It was the 1950s, a time of calm, a time when all things were new and everything seemed possible. A few years before, a noble war had been won, and now life had returned to normal. For one little boy, however, life had become anything but normal. To all appearances, he and his family lived an almost idyllic life. The father was a respected professor, the mother a witty and elegant lady, someone everyone loved. They were parents to three bright, smiling children: two boys and a girl. They lived on a sunny street in a small college town nestled neatly in a leafy valley. They gave parties, hosted picnics, went to church--just like their neighbors. To all appearances, their life seemed ideal. But it was, in fact, all appearances. Lineage, tradition, making the right impression--these were matters of great importance, especially to the mother. But behind the facade this family had created lurked secrets so dark, so painful for this one little boy, that his life would never be the same. It is through the eyes of that boy--a grown man now, revisiting that time--that we see this seemingly serene world and watch as it slowly comes completely and irrevocably undone. Beautifully written, often humorous, sometimes sweet, ultimately shocking, this is a son s story of looking back with both love and anger at the parents who gave him life and then robbed him of it, who created his world and then destroyed it. As author Lee Smith, who knew this world and this family, observed, Alcohol may be the real villain in this pain-permeated, exquisitely written memoir of childhood--but it is also filled with absolutely dead-on social commentary of this very particular time and place. A brave, haunting, riveting book. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9781565126022

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Book Description Algonquin Books. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 227 pages. Dimensions: 8.1in. x 5.5in. x 0.8in.It was the 1950s, a time of calm, a time when all things were new and everything seemed possible. A few years before, a noble war had been won, and now life had returned to normal. For one little boy, however, life had become anything but normal. To all appearances, he and his family lived an almost idyllic life. The father was a respected professor, the mother a witty and elegant lady, someone everyone loved. They were parents to three bright, smiling children: two boys and a girl. They lived on a sunny street in a small college town nestled neatly in a leafy valley. They gave parties, hosted picnics, went to churchjust like their neighbors. To all appearances, their life seemed ideal. But it was, in fact, all appearances. Lineage, tradition, making the right impressionthese were matters of great importance, especially to the mother. But behind the facade this family had created lurked secrets so dark, so painful for this one little boy, that his life would never be the same. It is through the eyes of that boya grown man now, revisiting that timethat we see this seemingly serene world and watch as it slowly comes completely and irrevocably undone. Beautifully written, often humorous, sometimes sweet, ultimately shocking, this is a sons story of looking back with both love and anger at the parents who gave him life and then robbed him of it, who created his world and then destroyed it. As author Lee Smith, who knew this world and this family, observed, Alcohol may be the real villain in this pain-permeated, exquisitely written memoir of childhoodbut it is also filled with absolutely dead-on social commentary of this very particular time and place. A brave, haunting, riveting book. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9781565126022

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