Englischsprachige Literatur

Richardson CS

The end of the Alphabet

Anchor/Random House Canada, 2008


Richardson has worked as a publisher in Canada for more than twenty years and has won several prizes for excellent book design. This is his first book of fiction, a small delicately made and wrote novella. His protagonist Ambrose Zephyr (A-Z) has just turned 50 (like his author?) when he is diagnosed with a terminal illness that only leaves him one more month to live. So he and his beloved wife Zappora Ashkenazi (Z-A), called Zipper, set out on a tour of the world from A- Z, following Zephyr´s obsession with the alphabet that dates back to his childhood.

The reader never really knows if the couple experience their journey in the present or relive stations in their life together. They only come as far as Istanbul, then Ambrose wants to return home to England, The short chapters are headed with letters of the alphabet and when they reach Z, Zephyr dies and the tragically wonderful love story ends.

All very elegant, sophisticated, but strangely empty like the notebook Skipper buys on their trip and can only write into after Ambrose`s death.

You might come to suspect that Richardson put more effort in the design of the book, which is perfect, than in the story.