The Last Town on Earth
Deep in the mist-shrouded forests of the Pacific Northwest is a small mill town called Commonwealth, conceived as a haven for workers weary of exploitation. For Philip W...more
Unfortunately, I did not enjoy Thomas Mullen's writing style. He should...more
Jessica, our pandemic expert, was excited about this opportunity to work with the library, and the greater visibility the department could gain by partnering with the library. She'd heard the author on NPR, and started planning from there.
In terms of exploring values, this book is perfect. Virtually all the main characters and some of the secondary characters are confronted by values choices at some point in this book, and the author writes the book in a clear enough way that even reade...more
This book fictionalizes the 1919 Spanish 'flu epidemic in an intriguing way: what if (like Gunnison, Colorado) a town cut themselves off in order to avoid infection? W...more
Set in remote Washington State during World War I, an independent-minded lumber town elects to quarantine themselves from the threat of t...more
Fine Story-telling. This period in history fascinates me, (the 1910's, in general) (I think I lived then) :) My maternal grandmother told my mother about her experience as a little girl in Brooklyn, NY, how she sat, a tiny girl, at her frost-covered bedroom window, watching the pandemic influenza's victims' bodies being carried out. My mother has published a Short Story based upon my Nina's (my Nana's/Grandma's) account. I shall try to link it here.
I had never well-imagined the idea of how th...more
Being a Pacific Northwest na...more
It was interesting learning about the Spanish Flu epidemic, old lumber mill towns and the Everett lumber strikes (especially since I live near there). Mullen wove these things together in an interesting, thought provoking story.
What I did not like about the book is that there was some underlyin...more
A pacific northwest mill town, created by a family with radical beliefs who wanted more than what the average mill had to offer it's workers, tries to save it's community from the Spanish Influenza by setting a quarantine. Set during WWI, many of the community were anti-war and chose to dodge the draft.
While guarding the one road that leads to two, two...more
i particularly liked mullen's ability to avoid sentimentality. as townspeople started falling ill with the flu, i began to fear for my favorite characters. this isn't a book, i knew by that time, where someone is guaranteed to live through childbirth because she's the heroine. it began...more
I've always been interested in this era as my grandfather lived through it, and has always had some interesting- albeit sometimes gruesome- stories to tell...In fact, he lost his sister to it.
This story took awhile a to get going though, and had a story within a story revolving around the soldiers o...more
Thomas Mullen depicts a town in Washington that in all out effort to protect itself from the pandemic that had been sweeping the nation, shut itself off from the rest of the world. Initially the plan s...more
The choices the people of Commonwealth face are hard and I for one couldn't blame those who made a wrong choice and it's even up for debate if they actually made a wrong choice. Because this story does not divide the world in clear cut black and white, but instead it paints an all too realistic gritty world where shooting a man in cold blood may be the heroic thing to do, while showing mercy may be the thing that condemns y...more
This is a great book that brings to question patriotism in times of crisis. Much like today. I could see a lot of mirrored ideologies and beliefs with present day conflicts. Is it right to send off our...more