cover image The World of the End

The World of the End

Ofir Touché Gafla, trans. from the Hebrew by Mitch Ginsburg. Tor, $24.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3356-8

Poignant and funny, Gafla’s Geffen Award–winning 2005 novel is part romance, part mystery, and part science fantasy. Ben Mendelssohn is a “righter” who specializes in composing perfect endings for books and movies. When his beloved Marian dies ”under bizarre aeronautical circumstances,” Ben plans the perfect ending to their romance, killing himself in order to be with her in the afterlife. The Other World is a surprisingly well-ordered place, full of cities of the dead and strange technologies, and managed by the mysterious, almost-human “aliases.” Ben finds a slew of relatives—the Mendelssohns have an extraordinary death rate—but no Marian, so with the help of an eccentric detective of the hereafter he goes on a quest, Orpheus-like, to find her. 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. Agent: Kathleen Anderson, Anderson Literary. (July)