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Last Days

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3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,257 Ratings  ·  210 Reviews
Intense and profoundly unsettling, Brian Evenson’s Last Days is a down-the-rabbit-hole detective novel set in an underground religious cult. The story follows Kline, a brutally dismembered detective forcibly recruited to solve a murder inside the cult. As Kline becomes more deeply involved with the group, he begins to realize the stakes are higher than he previously though ...more
Paperback, 201 pages
Published February 1st 2009 by Underland Press
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Russell Gift Nicolas Winding Refn for the apocalyptic violence or David Cronenberg for the body horror. I think Cronenberg would do a better job with the dialogue.…moreNicolas Winding Refn for the apocalyptic violence or David Cronenberg for the body horror. I think Cronenberg would do a better job with the dialogue. He's been successful with non-scifi ventures like History of Violence and Eastern Promises.(less)

Community Reviews

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Stephen
Item # 1: This is a hardboiled detective novel set in the world of religious fanaticism, with more amputations and mutilations than a Civil War field hospital. Now, if your reaction to this is:
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…than you may want to just quietly back away from this review. This is not going to be your cuppa.

On the other amputated hand, if the plot teaser intrigues you, please continue on to Item 2.

Item # 2: Despite incorporating both the cadence and the tropes of hardboiled crime fiction, the surreal, existen
...more
Dan Schwent
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Dan by: Benoit Lelièvre
Shelves: 2016, 2016-books
Former undercover cop Kline is at rock bottom, depressed and missing a hand, when a religious sect forcibly drafts him into service, ferreting out the killer of their leader. But is the leader really dead? And what sacrifices will Kline have to make to finally learn the truth?

This was one powerful little book. I devoured it in one sitting while waiting for car repairs, wondering how the rest of the patrons weren't shaken up by the events within.

It starts simply enough. Kline is at rock bottom wh
...more
Richard Derus
Apr 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Rating: four horrified, repulsed, goosepimply stars of five

The Publisher Says: Intense and profoundly unsettling, Brian Evenson’s Last Days is a down-the-rabbit-hole detective novel set in an underground religious cult. The story follows Kline, a brutally dismembered detective forcibly recruited to solve a murder inside the cult. As Kline becomes more deeply involved with the group, he begins to realize the stakes are higher than he previously thought.
Attempting to find his way through a maze of
...more
Ɗắɳ  2.☊
Dec 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ɗắɳ 2.☊ by: Dan Schwent
Shelves: horror, noir
Been searching for a joyful, heartwarming story to get you into the holiday spirit? Boy, have I got just the book for you! Oh sorry, did I say heartwarming? What I meant to say was gut-churning, bone-chilling, nerve-racking, gruesome little slice of horror noir.

“And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee . . .”—Matthew 5:30

But why stop there?

Mr. Kline's decent into madness begins with a rather innocuous phone call offering him a job, which he flatly refuses. He’s too
...more
Maciek
I blasted through this book in a two days, starting deep into the night and finishing just minutes ago. I would have finished it during the night but I had to go to sleep. This has turned out totally against what I was expecting - a mediocre mystery thriller - and became something different entirely. I don't know if enjoyment is a right word in this case, but I was barely able to tear myself away from it and couldn't wait to be able to get back to it and read to the very end.

Sure, the thriller e
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Last Days, Brian Evenson
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: نوزدهم نوامبر سال 2015 میلادی
عنوان: انجمن اخوت ناقص العضوها؛ برایان اونسن؛ مترجم: وحیدالله موسوی؛ تهران، نشر شورآفرین، 1393، در 236 ص، شابک: 9786006955421؛
کتابی درباره ی یک انجمن اخوت، که اعتقاد دارند اعضای بدن انسانها گناهکارند و برای رسیدن به کمال، باید اعضاء بدن را در راه خدا قربانی کرد. آنها در مراسمی خاص، اقدام به قطع اعضای بدنشان میکنند. در همین حال یک مامور پلیس مخفی برای بررسی موضوع قتلی که در این انجمن رخداده وارد اردوگاه آنها میشود. ا. شربیا
...more
Richard
I first discovered writer Brian Evenson after reading his reprinted short story, "Any Corpse," in Gamut Magazine: Issue One. The story is a bizarre and dazzlingly original sci-fi/dystopian/horror that really defies explanation. It led me to seek out more of his work. This novel is just as original and it's actually rather startling in it's boldness and novelty. Last Days is about an undercover cop named Kline who's deep in depression after his hand is chopped off by a bad guy. He's then approach ...more
Panagiotis
Ο Έβενσον ανήκει στην κατηγορία των καλά κρυμμένων μυστικών. Συγγραφείς, όπως ο Τόμας Λιγκότι, ο Μιλχάουζερ και ο Ντόναλτ Ρέι Πόλοκ, που είτε από συγκυρίες είτε από τις χθόνιες δυνάμεις που καθορίζουν τις μοίρες μας, δεν είναι ευρέως γνωστοί. Όσοι τυχεροί τους μάθουν, μόνο με καλά λόγια θα μιλήσουν. Δεν υπάρχουν αισθήματα αποστροφής, ούτε καν χλιαρότητας. Κοντολογίς, είναι καταπληκτικοί συγγραφείς. Με δικός τους στύλ.

Έτσι μια μέρα, περιδιαβάζοντας αμέριμνος στις λογοτεχνικές αλάνες έπεσα στην κλ
...more
Brian
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
For those of you that have read this book you will understand why I feel the need for a hug.

If you took Kafka's The Trial and morphed it with Palahniuk's macabre sensibilities and sprinkled in the Book of Revelations, you might could get within spittin' distance of Brian Evenson's writing.

I only know about this author because of his book on Robert Coover. Now I want to read every word writ by him.

Highly recommended. Just don't read while eating meat cooked rare.
Trudi
Mar 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Trudi by: Maciek
Wow! What a darkly disturbing yet strangely delightful romp of a book. Last Days is a marvelous mash-up of hard-boiled detective noir, literary mystery and straight-up horror that never comes across as messy or confused. Evenson's prose is sooooo tight; not a single word is wasted, the narrative action propelled along at a break-neck pace, every other chapter ending on a nail-biting cliffhanger, the dialogue smart, snappy, and at times very funny. I blew through its 200 pages in no time at all, ...more
Annet
Sep 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee... And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee. - Matthews 5:29-30

Talk about dark. This book is dark, this story is dark...weird, horror, violent, out of this world. Not for the 'faint-of-heart'! I've know this writer from Immobility, brilliant intriguing book and The Open Curtain, this one... wew... a bit too dark and gloomy for me, but still, good.

Brian Evenson has a minimalist way of writing, straig
...more
Benoit Lelièvre
This is the kind of book I wish there was an extra star for. While I'm not sure that I trust anything I've read, it's really cool no matter how much I twist and turn it. There is obviously a lot of anger directed towards organized religion in LAST DAYS, but there is a lot more to it. There is a borderline taoist exploration of existence, separating variables into balanced opposites: flesh/truth, knowledge/faith, confusion/purpose. It's why the mystery aspect of LAST DAYS is so gripping. The book ...more
Jason
Feb 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2012
5 Stars

If you like your fiction to be dark, gruesome, bizarre, and disturbing, then you should shuffle on down to the store and buy  Last Days by  Paul (Brian Evenson) immediately.     ----Paul

"Angel of destruction...he thought...like a thief in the night...not with an olive branch but with a sword..."

Hot damn, I am a believer now, so please call me Paul. This is one sweet piece of in your face bizarro, cult loving, and mutations galore. A story about a man made into a messiah because he was not
...more
Marvin
Oct 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
First a warning: Do not read the introduction by Peter Straub. It will give everything away. This is not a book that you want to know much about before you read it. The brief Goodreads description is even more than you might want to know. So I'll try not to indulge in giving away any more but relate to you my feel on this unsettling novel

Actually the novel is really two novellas. The Brotherhood of Mutilation (Geez! Even the title is a big hint!) was written as a stand alone in 2003 and Last Day
...more
Bill
May 15, 2018 rated it liked it
I don’t know what to say about this one. It took me waaay too long to finish for a semi-short format. It flashed brilliance at times and then dragged and got muddy in others. I almost quit altogether two or three separate times. Overall, I am glad I finished it but am a little confused why I wasn’t more engaged with this one. My expectations were pretty high and it just never clicked for me. I am curious to give this author another go and see what else he can do.

Adam
Very once in awhile there is an author who is connected to and praised by writers I hold close to my heart and whose own work looks interesting, but I still ignore them. Then I discover them and end up kicking myself and putting aside other reading projects so I can mainline their work. Brian Evenson is a prime example of such an author. His relentless Last Days is a stark existential noir from hell inspire by Hammett’s equally relentless Red Harvest and the art of Joel-peter Witkin and Odd Nerd ...more
Eddie
Sep 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Ok here we go...

How i overlooked this book, no clue, but I read it last year... I still remember so much about it, and that can either be a good thing, or a bad thing. Good for me.. Bad if I was 'normal'

First let me educate you, the reader:
There are only 2 books out there that have 'amputee cults' as a plot/sub plot. This book is one of them. Amputee cults being defined as 'Where one either amputates himself or gets amputated body parts, as an act of love/devotion to 'the divine'. It its on a sl
...more
The Shayne-Train
Dec 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was amazing, disturbing, brutal, and amazing (still). The darkness of the story and the characters invades the life of the reader. Noir from hell, that's what I'd call it. I feel a little less human now that I've finished this book. And I find that I don't miss the stolen piece of my soul at all.
Max III
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this thing snuck up on me. so good. violent and beautiful.
George K.
Nov 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Τον Μπράιαν Έβενσον τον είχα σταμπάρει εδώ και πάρα πολύ καιρό από το Goodreads, έχοντας διαβάσει περιλήψεις και κριτικές των βιβλίων του και νιώθοντας ότι είναι ένας συγγραφέας που θα μου άρεσε πολύ να τον γνωρίσω. Όμως, την ίδια στιγμή, ήμουν σχεδόν βέβαιος ότι δεν θα βλέπαμε κανένα βιβλίο του μεταφρασμένο στα ελληνικά. Ευτυχώς, οι εκδόσεις Καστανιώτη με διέψευσαν.Το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο είναι το πιο γνωστό του και πιθανότατα η καλύτερη ευκαιρία για να γνωρίσει κανείς τον συγγραφέα.

Πρωταγωνιστή
...more
Bill
Mar 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
I didn't like this as much as my Goodreads friends.
I found it had very thin character development, and when that's missing, I have a hard time caring about what's happening to them.

Last Days moves at a fast pace, and plot developments are quick, so I can
see how this type of read will appeal to a lot of people. I'm a little more on the slow burning end of things. I prefer a story to take its time with its players. But this was a pair of novellas, so I guess you can't blame the author for this bei
...more
Kathryn
Dec 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Even considering I've been on a roll, this is one of the best books I've read all year. I was not expecting how gruesome the story became. I was even wondering if this was some type of dark comedy since I was laughing through much of the beginning but my laughter was soon replaced with ewwwws and damns and worse. I loved how the main character is towed around, rather complacent until it's too late, and then bam, when he finally decides to do something, it's overkill. :)

I do not want to talk abo
...more
Adriana
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Brian Evenson is an evil man. “Las Days” is the first book I’ve read that makes me feel dirty for liking it (and not *sexy* dirty, but like I had eaten something from the trash), and yet I can’t help but feel that this is a remarkable piece of fiction. I hate you Mr. Evenson. Where were you when I had to explain to my mother what this book was about without making her think about all the things she had done wrong regarding my moral education? And how could you blame her? I mean, really, how sick ...more
David Agranoff
Last Days by Brian Everson
196 pages
Underland press (Portland press!)

I saw Brian Everson read from this novel at Powells city of books here in Portland. I was impressed not only with his readings but also the basket of books he had collected to buy that was sitting by the podium. I swear this guy had four Thomas Ligotti books. I admit I came to the reading to see local Jemiah Jefferson read from her web-novel (Wovel) and had not heard of Everson before.

Boy have I been missing out.

Last Days is a
...more
Paula Cappa
Dec 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the most disturbing and disgusting book I've ever read. At least five times, I nearly closed the book, wanting to fling it across the room. Instead I kept turning the pages. Mutilations, self-mutilations, brutal killings—people have their limbs hacked off: legs, hands, arms, toes, fingers, breasts and buttocks shaved off; eyes, noses, teeth gouged out. I swear I could smell the blood. These mutilations are all done in the name of Paul, the apostle. This is NOT a book about faith. I'm not ...more
Vincenzo Bilof
Oct 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My first experience with Evenson’s work was far too brief, but there is a complete story masterfully composed by an author who can tell the readers a lot without telling us anything at all. As a reader who absolutely dreads long, expository interludes, Evenson’s Last Days serves as a clinical approach for writers who want to learn how to craft a story that comes to life within the reader’s imagination; the audience is fully invested in the strange, violent adventure that pits a former undercover ...more
Brent Legault
Feb 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Brian Evenson writes, in his afterword, that Last Days was inspired in part by Hammet's Red Harvest. I don't doubt it, but the echoes I hear when I read it (especially the first couple of chapters) are from Hemingway's The Killers. In particular the opening ten minutes or so of the near-great and eponymous film noir from 1946.

Noir is a word that gets bandied about like a badmitten birdy but it's applicable here. Evenson's scenes are staged in black and white. His apartments, his hospitals, his c
...more
Erika
Mar 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars

What on earth did I just read...



It was too confusing I don't know what to say, except I think male readers would likely enjoy the book a whole lot more than female readers.

I completely agree with everything Iris said.

Buddy read with Silver Iris
Scott Cupp
Mar 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
What’s the weirdest book you ever read? Something like UBIK by Philip K. Dick. How about Daniel Pinkwater’s LIZARD MUSIC or THE SNARKOUT BOYS AND THE AVACADO OF DEATH or YOUNG ADULT NOVEL? Maybe it was Charles Portis’ MASTERS OF ATLANTIS? Neal Barrett, Jr.’s THE HEREAFTER GANG? Well, whatever it was, tell it to move on over. Here comes LAST DAYS.
Wacked out does not begin to describe this book. Kline (no first name) has lost his job as a policeman when “the man with the hatchet” cut off his hand.
...more
Chris_P
May 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
28. (or is it 29?) I don't like books about cults and secret religious organizations. I usually find no interest in them and they bore me to death. Last Days, though, doesn't belong to the genre and yet it does. It's actually complicated.

So, there is a cult. But not only is it not like any cult you can imagine, Evenson's approach makes it even more unique. There is a gangster-ish Guy Richie-ish feel about it which I mostly enjoyed but the flaws were just too many. At first, I didn't mind all tha
...more
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Fringe Fiction: Last Days by Brian Evenson 1 11 Jul 02, 2014 10:19PM  
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“Curiosity is a terrible thing, he was thinking. How is it possible to stop oneself from needing to know?” 4 likes
“I am your friend,” Gous said. “I drank with you, didn’t I?”
Kline tried to nod but nothing happened. He could see the wrappings around Gous’ hand staining with blood.
“Besides,” said Gous, “friendship is one thing, God another.”
1 likes
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