The Land at the End of the World by António Lobo Antunes
A Novel

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Synopsis

One of the twentieth century's most original literary voices delivers a haunting and heartrending meditation on the absurdities of love and war.

Considered to be António Lobo Antunes's masterpiece, The Land at the End of the World--now in a new and fully restored translation by acclaimed translator Margaret Jull Costa--recounts the anguished tale of a Portuguese medic haunted by memories of war, who, like the Ancient Mariner, will tell his tale to anyone who listens. In the tradition of William Faulkner and Gabriel García Márquez, Lobo Antunes weaves words into an exhilarating tapestry, imbuing his prose with the grace and resonance of poetry. The narrator, freshly returned to Lisbon after his hellish tour of duty in Angola, confesses the traumas of his memory to a nameless lover. Their evening unfolds like a fever dream, as Lobo Antunes leaps deftly back and forth from descriptions of postdictatorship Portugal to the bizarre and brutal world of life on the front line. The result is both tragic and absurd, and belongs among the great war novels of the modern age.
 

About António Lobo Antunes

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Born in 1942, AntÃ3nio Lobo Antunes is the author of sixteen novels, including Act of the Damned and The Natural Order of Things . He lives in Lisbon. Margaret Jull Costa has translated into the English more than 35 books, including Nobel Laureate Jose Saramago's "All the Names" & "The Tale of the Unknown Island", Antonio Perez Reverte's "The Flander's Panel", Fernando Pessoa's Book of Disquiet" & Luisa Valenzuela's "Bedside Manners". She lives in London.
 
Published May 23, 2011 by W. W. Norton & Company. 224 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Land at the End of the World

Kirkus Reviews

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(These moments alternate with the Angola scenes.) He invites her home but is unable to satisfy her;

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The New York Times

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“I have no place anywhere, I went too far away for too long to ever belong here again, to these autumns of rain and Sunday Masses, these long winters as dull as blown light bulbs.” Even sex cannot provide relief, or a distraction, since he is capable only of collecting women “the way you...

Jun 29 2011 | Read Full Review of The Land at the End of the Wo...

The Guardian

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it is also – in this early novel by António Lobo Antunes, first published in 1979 – Portugal's even remoter and more godforsaken African colony of Angola, defended against rebels by the regime of the dictator Salazar during a long and futile war in which Lobo Antunes, serving as an army doctor, p...

Jul 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Land at the End of the Wo...

Publishers Weekly

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The narrator is a writer looking back after a period of some years, remembering his bourgeois Lisbon family's pronouncements when he was posted to Angola—"At least doing his military service will make a man of him"—yet recognizing that the horrific, raw experience of caring for the sick and w...

Mar 14 2011 | Read Full Review of The Land at the End of the Wo...

Historical Novel Society

The author/protagonist leads us, Virgil-like, into early moments of his childhood, his marriage, arrival in Angola, camp life, ambushes and his work trying to reassemble broken bodies, watching comrades’ bodies being nailed into lead-lined coffins, receiving news of the birth of his daughter, the...

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MostlyFiction Book Reviews

But Lobo Antunes uses it only to demonstrate what a monster his character has become: “That’s what they have made of me, Sofia, a cynical, prematurely old creature laughing at himself and at others with the bitter, cruel, envious laughter of the dead, the silent, sadistic, laughter of the dead, t...

May 23 2011 | Read Full Review of The Land at the End of the Wo...

Book Forum

Those later books might be more complex, but here, with The Land at the End of the World, we find the clearest articulation of Antunes's overarching literary strategy: "I'm just giving you some spiel, the ludicrous plot of a novel, a story I invented to touch your heart—one-third bullshit, one-th...

May 16 2011 | Read Full Review of The Land at the End of the Wo...

Artswrap

Considered to be Antonio Lobo Antunes's masterpiece, The Land at the End of the World-now in a new and fully restored translation by Margaret Jull Costa-recounts the anguished tale of a Portuguese medic haunted by memories of war, who, like the Ancient Mariner, will tell his tale to anyone who li...

| Read Full Review of The Land at the End of the Wo...

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