Caveman at the End of the World
What if you were suddenly put in charge of another human being who was pretty different from you but still deserved attention and parenting? Would you do it? Would you be willing to change everything in your world? Potentially throw your life away? In a story that is part strange science-fiction tale and part allegorical story looking to open your eyes about the world you live in, Caveman at the End of the World is an unusual story and journey that is anything but predictable, leading its characters through convoluted turns to an ending that may not be the best for everyone but is still a satisfying conclusion.
Ella Pearson is a woman who, while she may not have had everything go her way all her life, has worked hard to make the world conform to her. Working as an executive for a PR firm, she’s not exactly wild about her job, but she’s very good at it and enjoys the routines and structures of the job in the strict rule-driven world of the city. She has a man in her life who at times acts more like a child than a competent male, along with his teenage daughter who cares nothing for her. Ella’s ready to dump the guy, move into a new apartment she’s got her eye on close to work, and start her life the way she wants it.
And then she comes home to find a man in the house…a caveman: a small hairy thing the size of an adolescent boy. Andy, her soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend and his daughter, Clara, act like it’s no big deal and treat the thing like a child to be cared for. Ella can’t take any of this, immediately calling the police and Social Services to get this thing taken care of, but even when they arrive, no one seems to be taking the situation seriously. Plus, the rules state this and that, and they really can’t do anything for a day or two. Ella’s done with this, packs up her stuff and leaves for her new apartment, severing herself from this joke of an old life.
But this is of course not the end. A few days later at her work, Social Services shows up with the caveman, stating that she had taken custody of it and what she did is grounds for abandonment, and she could face some serious prison time. And so begins the bizarre downward spiral as Ella’s life is torn apart. But she’s a strong person and never gives up trying to get her new life back and separate herself from the old one; except along the way her feelings start to change, both for the caveman, who is named Ernie, and for her “ex-boyfriend.” At the same time, she is involved in a veritable imbroglio of a situation with a supposed terrorist and a conspiracy that involves her boss and all comes back to this caveman, as she is taken back to the place she grew up and knows so little about, East Gish.
Caveman at the End of the World is not an average, normal story. It’s weird and bizarre and unpredictable, but Ella is a strong character who you feel anger toward at the beginning and then end up rooting for, and the same goes for the strange caveman. It’s a story that by the end you might think you wouldn’t normally read, but the journey is an interesting and unpredictable one that keeps you going until the last page.
Chris Hayden been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.
|Page Count||434 pages|
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