The Last Book In The Universe
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The Last Book In The Universe

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  4,992 ratings  ·  509 reviews
In this dystopian world, books are replaced by mind-probes, unusable by narrator Spaz 15ish, because of the epilepsy he is named for. After the "Big Shake" apocalyptic earthquake fells "backtime" skyscrapers and civilization, Normals survive in the concrete-smog grey Urb by working for "cut your red" killer gang bosses. Sent to rob Ryter, the boy instead gains a mentor, "g...more
Paperback, 244 pages
Published May 26th 2006 by Usborne (first published November 1st 2000)
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ANOTHER NEW FAVE! It starts out pretty slowly, but the ending is remarkable. Another book that shows how sad the world would be without books. Indulges the passion for books.
Aug 19, 2008 Tracy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teen-age boys, kids with epilepsy
We listened to this as a family on a trip to Lake Powell, and we all liked it a lot. It first grabbed and held our attention because the hero is epileptic, as is one of our sons. How often does epilepsy play a part in saving the world? It does in this book :-) Thank goodness for authors who can incorporate teens illnesses into stories in a positive light without preaching. That bit of the story may mean nothing to most readers, but it was a nice boost for our family.

The reader was that same guy...more
Dec 10, 2007 Jen rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids who like postapocalyptic tales if they understand them
This book was ok; I think if kids enjoy sci-fi then this is probably a good choice, but it felt dated, even though it's only 8 years old. There's a lot of word play that was interesting, and a lot of mature themes that would make an excellent adult book--it just didn't translate so well to a younger audience. A library consultant just lost his job because, after reading this book to sixth graders, someone objected to the book being included in an elementary school library. Instead of defending t...more
L12_luisespinoza Espinoza
This is a captivating futuristic novel where it's author, Rodman Philbrick, does a masterful job of engaging the reader through its characters and plot. "If you're reading this, it must be a thousand years from now. Because nobody around here reads anymore. Why bother, when you can just probe it?" From these very first sentences of the book, the reader is pulled in to this fascinating story.

The story tells of a journey taken by Spaz in a post-apocalyptic world (as a result of "the big shake", or...more
Kalo ditanya sejak kapan suka science fiction-kind-of books? I'll say sejak baca bukunya Scott Westerfeld yg judulnya Uglies. Tadinya kurang begitu suka dengan ide membaca buku science fiction, secara yang ada dalam pikiran adalah cerita yang mengada-ada, dan menggunakan bahasa scitific yang aneh dan njlimet. Tapi surprisingly, I like them. And I like this book a lot.

Setting cerita adalah di masa depan. Jauhhhh setelah terjadi gempa yang menghancurkan seluruh dunia dan hanya beberapa hal dari ma...more
Mar 12, 2009 Art rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Reading and path we will take if we stop reading.
Recommended to Art by: I wanted to read more Philbricks books
Think of Farenheit 451, 1984, Alas Babylon & Z is for Zachariah.
Mr. Philbrick quotes various authors throughout this story w/a surprise ending.
I found it interesting of his description of the near future when no one reads.
This book struck me as an interesting book. It takes place 200 years after the "shake." It was this huge earthquake that apparently was world wide and destroyed if not everything the most important thing on earth, a pipe with the width of a football field and the length around the world that held all of the earths water supply. The shake killed a lot of the population. So what it really did was mess up the earth and man-kind is struggling for it's survival. Over time man-kind forgot reading and...more
Lisa Rathbun
I really enjoyed this story of a grim futuristic world sharply divided between the "normals" in Urb and the "proovs" in Eden. Lots of comparisons could be made here - for example with "The Giver" especially in the aspect of old man/mentor passing on knowledge to a younger man. The story was violent but did not use bad language. Speaking of language, do not let the strange vocabulary in the first chapter throw you off. The slang words help make this universe convincing. The words are consistent t...more
Aug 15, 2008 Emily rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who needs an excellent read
The world has turned upside down... and books are a thing of the past. Mind probes are in and people spend their days with needles implanted in their brains to experience a story as if they are indeed in the story.The glitch? Mind needles force people to forget thing, IMPORTANT things, like history, the cure for cancer(which has been both created and forgotten by this time) and the idea of what true emotions are. But hey almost everyone's doing it. Everyone except an epileptic boy named Spaz and...more
Aug 30, 2010 Hava rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teenage boys who love sci-fi
Such an interesting premise - a future without books. A future where everything you want to think or dream about is shot into your brain with a needle. When I first heard the idea behind this book, I was intrigued. I checked it out and read it that same day (it's a really easy read and I sped through it at lightning speed).

However, the book did not live up to its premise, at least to me. It was okay, and I can see how others would enjoy it more, but to me, it just wasn't my cup of tea. There was...more
hope mohammed
من اجمل الكتب التي قراتها على الاطلاق تتحدث عن الكتاب الاخير الذي يدونه البطل سماغ والذي يعيش في عالم انقسم ع نفسه نتيجة سياسات مدمرة .. قراتها متعبه وممتعه صعبه الا يتعلق قلبك بما يحدث وبما لا تتمنى ان يحدث ..
اعتب عليها قلة صفحاتها .. واتمنى حقا ان يتغير العالم للافضل والا ينتكس هكذا
I have recently got into this type of novel. (That being dystopian) and it has probably been my favorite one so far. (The mere title of the book also encouraged me to read it lol) I liked how it incorporated history into it even though it is a work of fiction. And that fact also helped me relate to the characters. In particular the main character Spaz. (I know for certain now that if in real life they create the 'probs' i will refuse to let them insert one). I also enjoyed the actual style. I ha...more
The Last Book in the Universe takes place far into the future after the world has been destroyed by an earthquake known as the Big Shake. It is about a boy nicknamed Spaz. He receives a message from his adopted sister that she is dying, and wants to see him. He then goes on a quest to get to her, but first he has to get through the different gangs that control each part of the Urb. An old man names Ryter, who is an author working on the last book in the universe, hence the name of the book, come...more
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I was twice recommended this book by students and finally decided I had time to squeeze it in to the reading queue. It's a bit like other dystopian teen books, only it's shorter and written for a slightly younger crowd. It uses its own lingo which is pretty easy to figure out... To kill someone is to cancel them. An old person is a gummy. The Big Shake seems to be an earthquake that changed the world and led to things as they are at least where Spaz lives. Spaz is a boy who is also our protagoni...more
I'm kicking myself for not reading this book when I first learned of it years ago. It's a great dystopia, up there with The Giver, Gathering Blue, The Windup Girl, and Ready Player One. I like this sort of dystopia, one where futuristic technology has resulted in prejudicial separation of the citizens after a great tragedy and the hero works toward correcting that. I also appreciated how the main character's epilepsy is used as a strength rather than a weakness and how the old man shows the powe...more
This is a "tweeners" or young adult novel set in the post-apocalyptic future. The main character, never named other than "Spaz", lives in a "Latch" (neighborhood) which is part of the "Urb" (city). Each latch us run by a gang with a leader. This is where the "normals" all live. Crime and disease are rampant. Some of the people are degenerating into animals. Across the "zone" is "Eden" where the "proovs" (genetically improved humans) live.

The story is about Spaz who is befriended by "Ryter", an o...more
Sam Ronca
Anyone who is looking for a quick read and laugh will love this book. This book identifies the issues with society today and our lack of foresight into the many possible natural disasters that could befall our country, or world,any day. You will follow the story of Spaz, an epileptic teenager in the gang-controlled, post-apocalyptic world of The Urb who with the last known writer, Ryter, goes on a life changing journey where he discovers what the world has come to. This book deserves all the sta...more
Michael H
The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick, is an enticing story of a poor teenager named Spaz with epilepsy, living in what is known as the “Urb”. The world surrounding him is post-apocalyptic, coming after the “Big Shake”. There is constant contrasting between the poor people who live in the “Urb” and proovs (almost perfect people who have been genetically improved) of Eden. Nearly everybody in this age doesn’t know how to read, why would you when you could get everything a book has to...more
Andrew Suh
One of the resons why i picked this book was because it is mice and slim. Because of it's shortness it helps me with goodreads and I can enjoy it when I read it. Well the story brhind this book is mostly about a boy named spaz and how he wanted to be normal. Later in this story his sister gets sick and the only way to save her is to take her to eden and to save her in a healing system.The main reason I chose this book because I wanted a short book for once and this book caught my eye because of...more
Tommy Tran
I read this book a LONG time ago but it changed my life. I will never forget the character Ryter. People need to understand that reading is an important part of society. Without writing and reading the world will not be able to change and grow in a healthy manner. I recommend this book to EVERYONE!
What an amazing book? So much to say about this. The Last Book In The Universeis about a guy named Spaz and an old man named Ryter going through lenches to go save Spazs' sister that is dying. Its a dystopian telling the tell of life after "The Big Shake" (a massive earthquake) it destroyed everything and life went to hell. It destroyed buildings, set off volcanos, killed billions during and after, there's nothing left of the old world. Its set thousands of years after the earthquake and the wor...more
This book left me speechless. For awhile I couldn't figure out why, but I eventually did: this book mirrors are lives. Think about it. Our lives are ruled by chaos. The world is in chaos, and we all know eventually that there will be an apocalyptic event, the most likely being nuclear war. Mostly, this book mirrors our society. It doesn't show the prim and proper world out parents and teachers and leaders want us to see. It shows us darkness and poverty and war. And, the story is bittersweet. A...more
Michael Benavidez
A book that is fantastic in the world it creates, giving information on the go and never in too large of bursts. As far as info-dumps are concerned the only overly done is in the beginning. From there it becomes a smooth ride of ups and downs, twists and turns. The world is amazing in the way it's constructed, everything is in chaos, run by gangs while the "better" beings are held separate and away. And yet, there is an amazing beauty to this after-world as well as a horror to the beauty of the...more
A distopian future with distinct divides between "haves" and "have nots", makes me wonder where I would end up. Disturbing, yet somehow hopeful!
Nojood Alsudairi
Nov 23, 2008 Nojood Alsudairi rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: الجميع
أعتقد بأن عليكم تجربة قراءة هذا الكتاب خصوصا بعد الانتخابات الأمريكية
كتاب خيال علمي رائع للصغار وللكبار أيضا
لم استطع أن أتركه حتى أنهيته
Mar 18, 2009 Huda rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: GeRaS
Recommended to Huda by: Mrs.NJD
ياترى كيف يكون العالم بعد الزلزال الكبير!!؟؟
مغامرة شيقة بين عالمين
وهناك دوماً، كتبٌ في دواخلنا تنتظر أن تُكتب...
Junjie Zou
You can learn a lot of lessons from this book, The Last Book in the Universe, by Rodman Philbrick. The title of this story and its cover attracted me to this book. The author summary is really what got me into this book because it states that no one in the universe reads anymore This got me wondering how they get their knowledge, ways they govern their city, the way the teachers teach in school, etc. Before I began reading this book, I expected it to be more modern and somewhere around our time...more
It's another of those present tense ones that bug me. This one would be just fine and dandy if it weren't for the prologue--er, I'm sorry, "Chapter One." It introduced the story as something that had already happened that the narrator was now about to tell.

Now, since he's literally speaking, I was ready for some conversational tense snaggles. I was not expecting proper present tense, you know what I mean?

There was much about it I liked, but they were all pretty coincidental to the Chy state. Lik...more
"The future is like the moon. You never expect to go there, or think about what it might be like."

—The Last Book in the Universe, P. 19

"There are things about your life that are specific only to you. Secret things you know."

—Ryter, "The Last Book in the Universe", P. 20

Rodman Philbrick has an incredibly breathtaking ability to meticulously create worlds of such sharp and vivid clarity that the reader feels as if these worlds have truly become their own.
"The Last Book in the Universe" is an...more
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What's The Name o...: SOLVED. Involves "latches" and a girl named Bean? [s] 3 23 Jun 16, 2014 11:54PM  
Why is this the only book? 2 10 May 06, 2013 09:42PM  
Am I the only one...? 18 46 Apr 11, 2013 05:16AM  
What's The Name o...: what's the name of this book? [s] 8 171 Nov 16, 2012 01:13PM  
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Aka William R Dantz, Chris Jordan, W.R. Philbrick.

Rodman Philbrick grew up on the New England coast, where he worked as a longshoreman and boat builder. For many years he wrote mysteries and detective novels. The Private Eye Writers of America nominated two of his T.D.Stash series as best detective novel and then selected Philbrick's 'Brothers & Sinners' as Best Novel in 1993. Writing under th...more
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“The only real treasure is in your head. Memories are better than diamonds and nobody can steal them from you” 113 likes
“Bean finds the best apple in our tree and hands it up to me. "You know what this tastes like when you first bite into it?" she asks.
"No, what?"
"Blue sky."
"You're zoomed."
"You ever eat blue sky?"
"No," I admit.
"Try it sometime," she says. "It's apple-flavored.”
More quotes…