End of the World House: A Novel (Hardcover)
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Groundhog Day meets Ling Ma’s Severance in this “brilliant” (PopSugar) and “exhilarating” (The Millions) comedic novel about two young women trying to save their friendship as the world collapses around them.
Bertie and Kate have been best friends since high school. Bertie is a semi-failed cartoonist, working for a prominent Silicon Valley tech firm. Her job depresses her, but not as much as the fact that Kate has recently decided to move from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
When Bertie’s attempts to make Kate stay fail, she suggests the next best thing: a trip to Paris that will hopefully distract the duo from their upcoming separation. The vacation is also a sort of last hurrah, coming during the ceasefire in a series of escalating world conflicts.
One night in Paris, they meet a strange man in a bar who offers them a private tour of the Louvre. The women find themselves alone in the museum, where nothing is quite as it seems. Caught up in a day that keeps repeating itself, Bertie and Kate are eventually separated, and Bertie is faced with a mystery that threatens to derail everything. In order to make her way back to Kate, Bertie has to figure out how much control she has over her future—and her past—and how to survive in an apocalypse when the world keeps refusing to end.
About the Author
Adrienne Celt is originally from Seattle, but now lives in Tucson, Arizona. She is the author of two previous novels: Invitation to a Bonfire, currently being adapted for TV by AMC, and The Daughters, which won the 2015 PEN Southwest Book Award for Fiction and was named a Best Book of the Year by NPR. Adrienne is also a cartoonist, and she publishes a weekly webcomic at LoveAmongtheLampreys.com.
A most anticipated book from Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Harper’s Bazaar, Parade, Popsugar, The Millions, Chicago Review of Books, Bustle and Lithub
"Celt is a smart, convincing novelist, and her ambitious tweaks of the concept are fascinating and fun to grapple with.... Navigate[s] the loss of a friendship, the kind of pain that can feel like the end of the world.”
—Los Angeles Times Book Review
“The Apocalypse has never been this fun.”
"Mystery, time-travel, and love at the end of the world. What more could you want?"
—Town & Country
"Exhilarating.... This book about love, friendship, and the cruel nature of time is catnip for fans of Groundhog Day and Rumaan Alam's Leave the World Behind."
"What do you get when you take Groundhog Day, add a dash of the apocalypse, a little French obsession and mix in female friendship and romantic entanglement? This firecracker of a book that gets weirder and more bizarrely funny the more pages you turn."
"End of the World House is thoughtful, funny, provocative, and creative.... While there’s a temptation to compare the book’s time-bending elements to pop-culture products like “Groundhog Day” or the streaming series “Russian Doll,” there is also in Celt’s never-ending museum an echo of the infinite library of Jorge Luis Borges, and in her ruined world where we can only do the best we can, of Samuel Beckett. The author has triumphed by rendering a personal tale against a backdrop of global significance."
—Washington Independent Review of Books
“End of the World House showcases Celt’s agile and humorous prose, as well as a knack for cutting descriptions. Celt renders our surreal daydreams – or perhaps our complacent nightmares – crystal clear. This novel is so much fun.”
—Chicago Review of Books
"Truehearted and affecting"
"In this new novel from the ever-ingenious Adrienne Celt, a couple of close friends are visiting the Louvre when they find that the world as they’ve known it has ended. Marvelously imaginative and terrifyingly plausible, a time-bending funhouse riddled with rabbit holes, End of the World House is slippery and uncanny and infinitely enthralling.
—R.O. Kwon, author of The Incendiaries
"Adrienne Celt has crafted something brilliant with END OF THE WORLD HOUSE. This book is an intoxicating mix of beauty, art, and mystery. Celt writes about the tangled threads of close friendship with tremendous skill and a wild amount of heart. It's a novel that's undeniably funny, unafraid to look at the messy ways we unwittingly complicate our lives as well as the lives of the people closest to us. A compelling look at intimacy and its myriad vulnerabilities, END OF THE WORLD HOUSE is a stunner."
—Kristen Arnett, New York Times bestselling author of Mostly Dead Things and With Teeth
“[r]eading Adrienne Celt is like being granted access to a secret kingdom, another layer of reality you didn’t know existed. Even mundane objects shimmer strangely under the intensity of her gaze. Haunted, romantic, unexpectedly playful, and un-put-down-able, END OF THE WORLD HOUSE will change the way you think about the immortality of art, free will, the future and the past. Adrienne Celt is brilliant and I want to read everything she ever writes.”
—Rufi Thorpe, author of The Knockout Queen and The Girls from Corona del Mar
"A phantasmagoric thrill ride, Adrienne Celt's End of The World House is a story of apocalypse and art, but also of friendship and love and fighting for a sense of one's self in the face of modern day alienation and precarity. I love this book for the way it reconsiders how time and space function within novels, how it made me think about memory and art-making, and also, for its acuity and its heart."
—Lynn Steger Strong, author of Want
"Adrienne Celt’s new novel depicts a fraying world (climate crisis, political violence, social upheaval) that’s frighteningly recognizable. It’s a timely novel, as well as one that has great fun exploring what time itself is. Yet End of the World House asks a question that’s timeless: how do we make a meaningful life?"
—Rumaan Alam, author of National Book Award Finalist Leave the World Behind
"Adrienne Celt's writing is such a pleasure to read--fluid, funny, and smart--that the dazzling architecture of END OF THE WORLD HOUSE almost feels like an extravagance. The story of a friendship ravaged by a ruined world, with shades of both RUSSIAN DOLL and Rumaan Alam's LEAVE THE WORLD BEHIND, this is both a page turner and a shrewd examination of intimacy and survival."
—Kristen Iskandrian, author of Motherest
"Adrienne Celt's End of the World House brilliantly captures our swelling fears of the world we live in today, but it's way more than that. It's also a severely smart and surreal examination of friendship and capitalism that is both terrifying and beautiful and strikes deeply at readers' emotions. I loved it."
—Brandon Hobson, National Book Award finalist and author of The Removed
"An enjoyably mind-bending trip through an all-too-realistic depiction of the breakdown of society, Bertie’s unexpected journey explores the power of relationships to shape our reality."