Andy Miller's Reviews > The Last Town on Earth

The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen
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Nov 24, 12

Read in May, 2011

This novel is set in an utopian logging community during World War ! and the great flu epidemic. The town, already somewhat isolated, votes to close itself from the rest of the world to prevent the deadly flu coming into town. They close the road and post guards to keep the world and flu away. When a starving man comes to the town looking for food and shelter he refuses to turn around. One of the guards then shoots and kills him.

The rest of the novel focuses on the effect of the town's actions on the utopian ideals of the townspeople. That is the strength of the book. Early on, you relate to the characters as real people,complex with internal moral conflicts and no easy answers.

The book also paints a vivid portrait of the real flu epidemic of 1918 which as the author notes in his epilogue, has been largely ignored in history. It also weaves in the anti war sentiment of many during World War I and how it fit in with the ideals of many progressives who were also fighting for women's suffrage, better economic conditions, and fair labor laws.

I thought the book sputtered a little at the end, tried to do too much and that took away from the more complex character development. Still, it was a interesting read that made look forward to what would happen as well as learning about an interesting if somewhat forgotten part of our history
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