The Last Minute
9.22am: the explosions are heard for miles around, and in the early confusion there is talk of a gas leak, a plane crash, and even terrorism . . .
The people of Heathwick had been preparing for Christmas unaware that many would die, and the rest would be transformed for ever. Travel with them, second-by-second, through t ...more
The Last Minute takes place in Heathwick town centre, before an explosion rips the place apart, killing 65. Each second is a gradual build-up, adding to the tension of the final event. What will be the cause of the devastation and who will be its victims?
Needless to say, with a death-toll of 65, this really is a cast of thousands and you'd need to read the book in pretty much one sitting to keep a track of who everyone is. This also made it im ...more
The format and idea are very interesting, and unlike any other book I have ever read. Based off of a real event (or should I say, tragic disaster), the whole book only covers the time span of one minute. At first it was hard to keep the characters straight, but Updale's repetition of details that is seemingly redundant is actually very helpful to remember whose storyline ...more
Mini-review originally posted on Nightjar's Jar of Books.
One minute life in Heathwick was completely normal, with the exception of some extremely inconvenient roadworks causing a massive traffic jam on the main road; the next minute, it was… not. A massive explosion kills sixty-five people, and injures dozens more, and speculation as to its origins run rampant. This book is a countdown, second by second, of the lives of the people in Heathwick in the minute leading up to the explosion, showing u...more
I loved how The Last Minute was written, kind of like the TV show 24 but working in seconds rather than hours. A lot happened in those seconds whi ...more
That's The Last Minute, hollywood-y and hooky in its conceit and unbearably tense in its delivery. This is 24 gone macro gone YA: sixty seconds, a cast of a hundred plus, and a town about to face its darkest hour. See, I can't even precis it with going all movie-voice.
It's written by Eleanor Updale, classy author of the Montmorency books, and god it's good. Written back to front as it were, with the resolution of the minute staring you right in the face, it's impossib ...more
However, after a while the second-by-second stories of these victims become tedious, even banal and the tragedy almost descends into bathos. The coincidences that Updale lines up become increasingly melo-dramatic and ...more