Rife with misadventures, brushes with death, and moments of existential insight, The End of the World Notwithstanding is a hilarious yet reflective look at the emotional experiences that make everyday life exciting--and the physical ones that remind us we're lucky to be alive.
I'm traveling alone, renting a cabin at a normally tranquil spot--that's called foreshadowing--on the banks of the Big Laramie River at the edge of the Medicine Bow National Forest.
So begins Janna L. Goodwin's lighthearted collection of nail-biting stories, all true, and all of which fill the listener with wonder ... as in, "I wonder how any of us survives?"
Encounters with wildfire, insects, house pets, weather, gravity, predators, bullies, and the most potent force of all--fear itself--unfold in remote landscapes of the American West (and Midwest); on the neon-splashed sidewalks of Hollywood; at a Catskills summer camp for actors; in the lavish apartment of a famous senator; in a Hawaiian beach condo; on the side of a mountain above the Mediterranean Sea; and far beneath the streets of Paris. Goodwin looks for and ultimately finds meaning (if not security) in a clear-eyed acknowledgment of our shared, human condition--and in laughter.