“Ramble’s ability to bring different strands — each with its different tone — together so clearly and productively is extremely impressive. This is novel-crafting at its best … This is a book that reminds us to look for the admirable in unexpected places: in resiliency; in the halting growth of self-knowledge; in plain-spokenness; and in the ability to draw a moral line somewhere, even if it’s not in the most optimal place … Harry Ramble’s End Is Near is outstanding. I recommend it in the highest possible terms.
“When I turned the last page and finished The End Is Near by Harry Ramble, I had to sit for a moment and contemplate — the novel, its poignant revelations, and life in general. It’s that kind of book … Mr. Ramble is a powerfully talented author and masterful storyteller.”
I would recommend this smartly-written novel to those who enjoy a good hostage situation that has some unexpected twists and turns.
“Calling a book like this entertaining seems wrong. On the surface, it is serious, grappling with questions of life and death. Yet it is still entertaining. There is the suspense of how and why Nathan concluded that death was preferable to life. There is the mystery of how the book will end. Humor, often dark humor, is scattered throughout the book … When you’re done reading The End is Near, hold up the mirror and see if you can’t learn something about personal responsibility and judging others, to name just two.”
“The End Is Near certainly isn’t the first book to address deathbed discoveries and bargains with the so-called Grim Reaper, but it is well worth reading if you like characterization and that elusive sense of transformation that comes from completing a thoughtfully written work.”
THE END IS NEAR is a tale of childhood trauma, vengeance, and angelic interventions that charts one man’s unusual journey toward forgiveness, self-acceptance, and enlightenment.
On his forty-fifth birthday, as his hostages slept and state police prepared to take him by force, Nathan Huffnagle placed the cold circle of a shotgun barrel beneath his chin and gripped the trigger. The end was near. Or so he believed.
His last act—a proper revenge upon his childhood nemesis, Randy Trent—had deteriorated into a farcical hostage standoff beset by a media circus, a combustible romantic rivalry among his captives, and the undeniable reality that Randy Trent, a vicious thug and bully twenty-five years before, had grown up to become a man too humble, too good, too exasperatingly decent to kill.
Nathan pulled the trigger. And his life began again.
Weeks later, Nathan wakes in a hospital bed to a new assignment, delivered to him by a series of seemingly angelic visitors. Nathan must write a new suicide journal on the backs of the pages of a court transcript of his previous suicide journal. And this time, he must tell the truth, the painful and possibly liberating truths he was forced to confront about himself during the hostage situation.
Is Nathan up to the task? Or is he losing what’s left of his mind? Will his search for the truth grant him the death he seeks? Or a new lease on life? THE END IS NEAR consists of both of Nathan’s journals, presented in alternating entries, each journal commenting wryly on the other, each generating its own suspense, and each leading to a surprising conclusion. Infused with humor and sadness, restless longing and regret, flights of fantasy and the sheer damnable contrariness of real life, THE END IS NEAR is a tale of redemption like none you’ve read before.