On the last train of the evening back to the suburbs, six strangers will discover they are inexplicably trapped on a train that seems to be going nowhere fast. Tensions rise as they try to figure the nature of their predicament, and how, if possible, to get off the train before it's too late.
The Last Stop by Matthew Hanover is the story six strangers on a train ride they will never forget - if they survive.
A fun little blend of Hitchcock and Twilight Zone with this short story. A man gets on a train, thinking he's bound for home, only to find himself trapped with five others aboard what at first seems like a runaway train. And then things get weird in a hurry.
There just enough suspense and characterization to keep things interesting the whole way through, and what I considered a very satisfying ending. A nice introduction to Hanover's work. Should be interesting to see where he goes from here.
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It's already been pointed out that The Last Stop feels like an old Twilight Zone story, but I will repeat that here because it's true. While I am going to avoid giving away specific details, the story does what The Twilight Zone always did so well, which is taking a group of strangers, putting them in a truly bizarre situation, and letting those characters' interactions propel the story toward it's resolution. The author never tries to push the story beyond its purpose, as many writers would be tempted to do. The result is a situation that feels more realistic and unnerving, despite being such a strange event. The resolution feels natural and manages to hold onto the intrigue of the story that led us to that point.
Full disclosure, I received a free copy of this story in exchange for an honest review. I don't often take people up on these offers, because my honest reviews haven't always been positive, and that's not fun for anyone. In the case of The Last Stop, I'm very happy that I gave it a listen. The story did not disappoint at all.
In terms of reading, I think that Anthony Bianco did a great job of infusing each character with personality of their own, without going overboard. He made it easy to follow conversations, and never made the story feel anything less than genuine.
**I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review**
I have a funny relationship with horror stories. I don’t typically like horror movies, but there are certain stories, books, and video games that are just creepy enough to be enjoyable. This was one of those. This would be right at home alongside classic Twilight Zone episodes and is even self-aware enough to make those references. It’s like Hanover is saying “Yes, I know what you’re about to think. Let me just say it for you.” But the narrative isn’t pompous or snobby about it. You’re along for this creepy ride (no pun intended), so enjoy the thrills with the characters.
I did like that the story didn’t get bogged down in character backgrounds. I know that sounds strange - usually you want good, fleshed-out characters. But this story isn’t about them. It’s about what is going on with this crazy subway loop. There’s enough info that we care about some of the characters, but it’s not distracting from the main focus of the story.
If I had to nitpick (and this is why I didn’t give it a full five stars) - some of the sentence structure didn’t translate well into audio and that could be jarring in places. It would read well-enough on a printed page or screen, but hearing it spoken aloud didn’t feel quite natural. But it didn’t completely take me out of the story.
Final verdict: I enjoyed this enough that I want to put this into my regular Halloween scary story rotation. If you enjoy anything Twilight Zone, Star Trek, or even Doctor Who, you will like “The Last Stop.”
What made the experience of listening to The Last Stop the most enjoyable?
The writing was good. The descriptions of the scene and the dialogue was excellent. In a short period of time the author was able to develop several characters enough to make their actions and reactions seem natural.
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Last Stop?
There was a scene when one of the characters did something and they got a very unexpected result. The characters reaction to this was excellent.
What does Anthony Bianco bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
He was able to really convey the emotional state of the characters
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
"Take a Ride on a Train to Nowhere"