At the End of the World tells the story of a series of religiously-inspired murders that took place in a remote part of Canada in 1941, intertwined with the narrative of how the author came to write the book. Despite the subtitle, it will not appeal to true-crime readers; Millman switches, from paragraph to paragraph, between the 1941 crime, his 2001 research trip to Canada, and assorted observations from the twelve years of writing and research that followed.
Despite the wandering structure, Millman packs his pages with details of the Inuit culture and the subarctic landscape, bringing both to life through close observation and sometimes-wry anecdotes. These same anecdotes often provide fodder for Millman’s favorite theme: technology’s destructive (and sometimes deadly) impact on both Inuit and Americans. While his attempts to draw parallels between the intrusion of technology and the religious fervor that inspired the murders often come off as Luddite complaining, At the End of the World remains a fascinating look at a people and a landscape undergoing rapid change.