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Publisher's Summary

From a background of ease and comfort, from a time and place where life still makes some kind of sense, Anna Blume embarks on a search for her missing brother. Soon she finds herself trapped in a city whose consciousness is obsessed with last things: with the means and manner of death. In this culture of doom, the masses are homeless, theft has ceased to be a crime. Production has ceased, and dying and disassembly are the only growth industries.

As survival becomes her sole motivation, Anna takes up the occupation of scavenger, searching for objects from the past which she then sells for food and shelter. But even in this landscape of devastation, her humanity prevails as she finds friendship, love and even some hope for the future. In the Country of Last Things reaffirms the singular gifts of Paul Auster.

©1987 Paul Auster (P)2009 Phoenix

Critic Reviews

Vanessa Redgrave is not so much an actress as a force of nature…Here she reins it in to deliver an appropriately detached portrayal of a sheltered young Jewess cast on her own devices in a nightmarish world of terror and entropy. While playing against the unremitting horror of the first-person narration, she vividly impersonates the characters in dialogue scenes.” ( AudioFile)
“Auster's, one of the best, is distinguished by an uncanny grasp of the day-to-day realities of homelessness. This is a scary but highly relevant book.” ( Library Journal)
“[ Auster] creates a tone that deftly combines matter-of-factness and estrangement.” ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

The story had a bit of a slow start.

If you could sum up In the Country of Last Things in three words, what would they be?

Future dystopia setting with the main character/story teller writing to an unknown source.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The most interesting aspect of the story started when the main character began to tell her story more. The least interesting part was the beginning because I had a hard time telling whom she was suppose to be speaking to, and where she was writing from.

What does Vanessa Redgrave bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Vanessa Redgrave did a great job at setting the tone for the story and her voice over kept me listening even when I didn't know what was happening story wise.

Who was the most memorable character of In the Country of Last Things and why?

The most memorable character was the journalist the main character fell in love with in the middle of the story, and jump started the main characters subplot.

Any additional comments?

A great story toward the middle and end of the novel. Started reading this book based on a Book Club recommendation. Definitely worth talking about.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Luis
  • 02-03-18

Great book, amazing voice, recording not delivers

What disappointed you about In the Country of Last Things?

The books is amazing but the recording is missing some big fragments of text what makes impossible to follow the book. I am using this audio book while I am reading the original text and every five pages one page is missing in the recording. Awful

What did you like best about this story?

The narrative is amazing.

What about Vanessa Redgrave’s performance did you like?

Great voice, I love her tone and sentiment while she read the story. Her style is not fake at all, it is real, closer, delightful

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

The book, sadness and curiosity. The missing parts in the recording, anger.

Any additional comments?

The recording misses parts of the original text. It is impossible to follow.