The End of the World 

Shortlisted, Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards

Commended, Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards

Selected by reviewers in best books of the year lists (2007) in publications including ABR (Australian Book Review), The AgeThe Financial ReviewOverlandThe Adelaide Review and The Adelaide Advertiser


The End of the World is an excellent collection: formally adventurous, sharp-witted and beautifully crafted. Even the minor pieces are written with polish and aplomb. The stories embrace a range of styles, from realism to offbeat science fiction, but this diversity is matched by a thematic coherence… She has hit on a tragicomic style all her own, with a distinctive capacity to detect the underlying pathos in her characters’ acerbic observations and self-deprecating humour.”
Australian Literary Review

“Each O’Reilly story winks and coruscates with flashes of intelligence and humour, insight and empathy… The End of the World is fresh on every page, adventurous, enlightening, nicely restrained yet vivid and often moving. If you haven’t read short stories in a while, regain your taste for the genre under the tutelage of O’Reilly.”
The Australian

The End of the World is a collection of those [prize-winning] stories and should secure [O’Reilly’s] reputation as one of our most interesting, if not best-known, literary talents. … she is very funny and she has some surprising things to say about love, language and the stories we tell ourselves. … She is an observant, lucid, unpredictable writer, and she deserves to be more widely read.”
Australian Book Review

“These are exceptional stories, full of imaginative and evocative portraits of all sorts of people…These stories are biting, funny and sad. They slice through pretence and sentimentality between family members, friends and lovers, and leave few illusions intact. Nevertheless, O’Reilly’s vision is not cynical, and her characters are remarkably memorable… The magnificent giantess in ‘FutureGirl’, realising she is doomed to a painful early death by her size, and the devastated teenager abandoned by her middle-aged lover in ‘Fluid’- these are feats of the imagination which lift the stories in this collection above the ordinary.”
The Adelaide Review

“At first glance, there might seem little to connect these disparate stories but gradually the pieces, often little more than shards, begin to coalesce, marking out a picture of a world where chaos is never less than a heartbeat away and where the borders of reality are more fluid than we think. … Read one beside the other, [the stories] mark out the emotional and imaginative landscape of a writer of real flair.”
Sydney Morning Herald

“The follow-up to Paddy O’Reilly’s debut novel, The Factory (2005), The End of the World is a collection of the stories that have won her accolades including The Age short story competition and the Zoetrope: All-Story short fiction contest. It is immediately clear why O’Reilly has been so applauded and well published: She hops across genre lines in a mixture of different styles and voice, but always writes with pathos and empathy, without sentimentality, and with a good dose of humor.”
New Haven Review

“With an assured, unadorned style she delivers 18 gems inThe End of the World, each of which gives you the vivid sense you’ve just become deeply acquainted with a complete stranger. O’Reilly’s delightful and deranged characters inspire a combination of delicious amusement, aching sorrow and quirky surprise. …utterly and brilliantly believable.”
The Big Issue

“…a brilliant contemporary writer whose stories at times evoke such a warm sense of homeliness and yesteryear, and at other times offer a perceptive comment or two on life. Paddy O’Reilly’s collection constantly drifts between good and great, but you are never left lamenting. Her style, her imagery and metaphor are a pleasure to read. The originality of her storytelling and the devices she uses are sometimes quirky (such as little aliens that eat wheatgrass) but always succeed…” Five stars
Bookseller and Publisher

“This is a deeply satisfying collection, beautiful writing, original and often painful stories that don’t shy away from violence or tragedy, and characters that linger long after the book has been put down.”
The Short Review

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