Michele's Reviews > The Last Man

The Last Man by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
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bookshelves: dystopia-apocalypse

Patience will be rewarded. Unlike, say, The Stand which opens with the apocalypse and kills off humanity at a brisk pace, or Lucifer's Hammer wherein the apocalypse is quite literally looming over the characters from the beginning even if it takes a while to hit, here the apocalypse doesn't even poke its snout above the water until maybe halfway through. But if you can stick it out until that point, it's pretty good.

There is one scene where, if you are like me and if you have read an apocalypse novel or two, you will be shouting at the main character, "Noooo! Don't do that!!" And you will be right to do so. But it's an intriguing read, very different from modern PA novels.

I'm developing quite a fondness for early PA novels -- see also The Pallid Giant and Lord of the World. This one is solid, if not exactly action-packed. It is a very proper apocalypse.
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Reading Progress

April 20, 2013 – Shelved
June 3, 2013 – Shelved as: dystopia-apocalypse
June 10, 2017 – Started Reading
June 15, 2017 –
page 122
25.47% "Still no plague. Still apparently no one capable of inventing plague. Will it be a natural outbreak? Perhaps Evadne will bring out back from Greece? Will Raymond invent it out of pique at Perdita? The puzzle continues. (As does the puzzle of why on earth a prince of England would be named Adrian, of all things.)"
June 15, 2017 –
page 128
26.72% "They were men and women, these sufferers, before they were Mahometans, and when they rise turbanless from the grave, in what except their good or evil actions will they be better or worse than we?"
June 15, 2017 –
page 130
June 15, 2017 –
page 130
27.14% "Raymond is dead! But there is no corpse. I am suspicious..."
June 15, 2017 –
page 139
29.02% "Aha, plague at last!!!"
June 15, 2017 –
page 144
30.06% "wtf Evadne srsly?"
June 16, 2017 –
page 165
34.45% "Plague was apparently a teaser. Everyone still alive. Is it just me or is Raymond kind of a jerk?"
June 16, 2017 –
page 173
36.12% "More plague, finally! But they're blaming it on Philadelphia, which seems unlikely."
June 16, 2017 –
page 187
39.04% "Ah, not Philadelphia -- Africa and the Middle East, eternal scapegoats: "Child of the sun and nursling of the tropics...[plague] drinks the blood of the inhabitant of the South, but it never feasts on the pale-faced Celt." O rly?"
June 16, 2017 –
page 233
48.64% "Aha. I was wondering what had happened to the unpleasant Countess, and here she is, still nasty. One wonders how she managed to get to Windsor from Gernany, what with the plague and all."
June 16, 2017 –
page 249
51.98% ""The last blessing of humanity was wrested from us: we might no longer hope." Grim stuff..."
June 16, 2017 –
page 256
53.44% "Author really likes the verb "pant" in all its forms, including adjectival and adverbial."
June 16, 2017 –
page 263
54.91% "The title appears in the text! In ALL CAPS so you can't miss it."
June 16, 2017 –
page 284
59.29% "oh ffs..."
June 16, 2017 –
page 286
59.71% "The Countess is back again! She's like a bad penny, or gum on the bottom of your shoe."
June 17, 2017 –
page 324
67.64% ""Men love a prop so well that they will lean on a pointed poisoned spear...""
June 17, 2017 –
page 351
73.28% "Noooo! Don't go in the boat!!"
June 17, 2017 –
page 356
74.32% ""Oh! Grief is fantastic; it weaves a web on which to trace the history of its woe from every form and change around; it incorporates itself with all living nature; it finds sustenance in every object; as light, it fills all things, and, like light, it gives it's own colours to all.""
June 17, 2017 –
page 375
78.29% "Well, there it is then: the Last Man sets sail with his dog. (Really, you'd think he'd know better than to trust a boat, though. ) Now I can go back and read the introduction without fear of spoilers!"
June 17, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Miller I'm a fan of Shelley, so I gave this book a whirl. Halfway in I started asking myself, "Did Shelley invent Post-Apocalyptic fiction, too?"

Michele Ha! I know, right? It's pretty amazing for its time. It predates by nearly a hundred years the other super-early post-apoc I love, Lord of the World (1907).

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