The Readers Review: Literature from 1714 to 1910 discussion

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2020/21 Group Reads - Archives > The Last Man - Week 6 (Vol III - Chapters VII - X)

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message 1: by Gem , Moderator (new)

Gem  Paullin | 766 comments Mod
The Last Man - Week 6 (Vol III - Chapters VII - X)

This week we see the 1500 exiles whittled down to four. I noticed that in Chapter 7 we see more deaths attributed to things other than the plague although the plague still accounts for the vast majority. I found this to be much more realistic and wish the author would have included this perspective throughout. Did you notice this? If so, how do you view this?

What did you think about how the remaining four, or rather how the two adults tried to use routine and schedules to provide themselves a sense of normalcy?

Hindsight being 20/20, the trip to Greece was a tragedy. That said, as I was reading this I kept thinking the trip was a bad idea. Did you predict this was not going to end well?

Lionel is, in the end, alone... The Last Man left with only a dog and his own thoughts. Unless I missed what I was reading I didn't feel the depth of his despair. How did the last chapter strike you?

I'm taken back to the Introduction of this book which tells the tale of the author finding this story in the Sibyl's Cave in 1818. So, none of this actually happened, it was only foretold? Does this change how you perceive the book?


message 2: by Lori, Moderator (new)

Lori Goshert (lori_laleh) | 1400 comments Mod
Gem wrote: "I'm taken back to the Introduction of this book which tells the tale of the author finding this story in the Sibyl's Cave in 1818."

Oh, right, I forgot the author found it in 1818 and not in the future. So now it sounds like she founds someone's novel.

I did find this section more compelling than the previous sections, and I gave the book 2.5 stars instead of 2 (rounded up to 3 for Goodreads purposes).

It did seem like the Earth was bound and determined to kill them all in whatever way; them getting on a boat just made it easier.


message 3: by Robin P, Moderator (last edited Sep 08, 2020 11:53AM) (new)

Robin P | 2224 comments Mod
The shipwreck reminded me that Percy died sailing in bad weather. At the end, Verney keeps doing the same thing as characters did earlier in the book, deciding to stay or go on a whim, while declaiming about how this is the only logical course.

Verney iving in Rome and reading reminded me of the Twilight Zone episode where the mild-mannered bank clerk is the only person to survive some kind of nuclear explosion. He is finally free of his nagging wife and boss, has all of earth’s supplies and can read to his heart’s content- until he breaks his glasses!

I have never been so happy to finish a book! I would have quit a long time ago if it weren’t for the group. I am giving 2 stars, which I think is generous, because she tried so hard.


message 4: by Detlef (new)

Detlef Ehling | 77 comments This book has way too many inconsistencies to make it enjoyable. Wreckless behavior and ill-judged decisions. The trip to Greece was a very bad decision and was predictably disastrous.
I agree that this section was a bit more compelling, but I also missed the feeling of despair that would have been appropriate.
And why have this play out in the future and have the manuscript found in 1818???
It hardly deserves 2 stars and it makes me believe she had a lot of help to write „Frankenstein“.


message 5: by Robin P, Moderator (new)

Robin P | 2224 comments Mod
I agree, I gave it 2 stars only because she tried so hard. The thing is we have the original manuscript of Frankenstein, or at least part of it, and it's not bad. Of course it's more a story than a novel. The examples I saw of Percy's editing of Frankenstein made it more like The Last Man. So maybe Mary thought that is how you are supposed to write. I'm not sure who else she was copying. Walter Scott isn't that bad, definitely not Dickens or any other popular author I can think of. (maybe Edward Bulwer-Lytton, who was known for his ridiculously elaborate prose?


message 6: by Lori, Moderator (new)

Lori Goshert (lori_laleh) | 1400 comments Mod
I've only read Zanoni by Bulwer-Lytton, but it wasn't like that. I blame Percy for being a bad influence.


message 7: by Gem , Moderator (new)

Gem  Paullin | 766 comments Mod
Robin P wrote: "I have never been so happy to finish a book!"

Same here. I don't know if I could have gotten through but I actually listened to 3/4s of it via an audiobook. Even so, it was tough in some places.


message 8: by Robin P, Moderator (new)

Robin P | 2224 comments Mod
I can’t imagine the poor narrator trying to get through some of those sentences!


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The Readers Review: Literature from 1714 to 1910

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Edward Bulwer-Lytton (other topics)