The END OF THE ALPHABET | C.S. Richardson

Collectible First Novel 

This story is unlikely.

So begins the first novel by C.S. Richardson, creative director at Random House Canada, award-winning book designer, and now, author. The story works on multiple levels, following the personal journeys of two individuals and discovering along with them the rare love they share. Having found each other, Ambrose Zephyr, 50-year-old advertising creative, and Zappora ‘Zipper’ Ashkenazi, fashion magazine columnist, are content in their narrow London terrace full of books when Ambrose learns that he is ill and has 30 days to live. Stunned and reeling, they depart from their home in Kensington Gardens and embark on an expedition ‘to the places he has most loved or has always longed to visit, from A to Z. Amsterdam to Zanzibar.’

Ambrose attempts to both escape his fate and accept whatever is to come next. Zipper discovers new depths of strength in herself as she overcomes her panic and creates ways to be there for him, witnessing his disintegration.

At the end Zipper is lost in the silence, the vacuum of deep space without the only man she ever loved.

She opens the journal that she purchased in Amsterdam on the first stop of their great expedition, takes in the emptiness and begins to write…

This story is unlikely.

THE END OF THE ALPHABET has some qualities of a classic.  It is visually captivating, surprises the reader by launching from a familiar premise yet takes flight into new situations, and is told in a discerning and disarming literary style.

The End of the Alphabet (2007), Doubleday, 119 pages