Thank God for the dogs, thinks Sam, otherwise I'd go crazy. It's been over five years since a deadly plague swept the world and Sam is the only person left alive...at least as far as he knows. He roams a desolate land already rapidly reverting to nature with his canine companions. But there is still danger, and Sam may not be as alone as he thinks. The Last Man is a refreshing and compelling post-apocalyptic short novel.
©2012 Charles Ryan King (P)2013 Ryan King
"Do what you can with what you have, wherever you are."
As you might have noticed, my screen name bears a striking similarity the the title of this book. It is in fact the reason why I bought it; usually choosing much longer "reads" to eat up my miles of travel. I've had the nickname long before I ever found this short story and it irritates me that such a bland uninteresting story read by a talentless narrator shares it. The story never seems to hit its stride, the main character comes off as fairly useless, and it ends very abruptly. The main character (the only character actually, unless you count a bunch of dogs that really serve no purpose in the book but to add filler as the author spends time describing them) isn't believable as a "lone survivor" type. He comes across as a coward and, whats worse, and ignorant coward. This guy isn't Robert Neville from "I am Legend" by a long shot; he lacks that character's bravado and technical proficiency that makes you believe he was able to make it alone for the many years post-pandemic. I love dystopian fiction, and have come to accept a certain amount of the "stupid decision variable" to be put into any story. Its actually a necessary evil, used to keep a story interesting by adding in more difficulty and misfortune. This guy though...
Whats worse is the performance. I had never listened to a book read by Mr. Outfield before and I am fairly sure I never will again. This may seem harsh but his voice, cadence, inflection, and slight (irritating) lisp does not lend itself well to dsytopian story telling. Performances for this genre need to have a grittiness or a weariness that make you believe the character's metal has been tested and they've made it through, even if they're a little worse for wear. Mr. Outfield's performance carries none of that; instead carrying a softer more verbally precise tone. It comes across perfectly read and pronounced, sounding more as if he's reading a story to a group of 5 year olds.
A musician and songwriter from the Boston area. I like "Regular Guy" books. No chick Lit, no zombies, or vampires please. No politics.
I didn't read the print version, but I'm sure that a good storyteller can use the spoken word to enhance any story.
I would compare this to Earth Abides, The Long Walk, and On The Beach.
Clear conveyance of the story.
It made me wish I still owned a dog.
I loved every minute of this audio book. Why wouldn't I? I like apocalyptic novels, stories of survival, and I love dogs. The only complaint I have about this book is that it ended. I wanted it to keep going. I'd LOVE to see a sequel.
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