The action in this book takes place over three days – Friday, Saturday, Sunday. But the main narration is from the perspective of one man, known these days as Mark Spitz, and he spends an awful lot of time thinking about the old days before The Last Night. This has the unfortunate effect of slowing down the action which is actually taking place right now, in front of him, most of which he is involved in, and his introspective pauses seem to last for an awfully long time, usually when he is being attacked by a ‘hostile’. Unrealistic? Definitely – but there is a germ of a great story hiding in between all the deep thinking.
Mark is one of the crew working their way through Manhattan, cleaning out the last of the ‘skels’ and ‘stragglers’ preparatory to the big plan to rebuild the city; to start to claim back the country. And it is in these situations that we hear his story; what his life had been like, what it could have been like, but never thinking about what the future could hold – living for the next five minutes was one victory at a time. To envisage a future is forbidden.
I kept reading this book because I wanted to know how the story panned out, but I did find the constant to’ing and fro’ing in the timeline made the journey a rather disjointed one. It detracted from the overall impact of what the story could have been, and ultimately the read is a rather disappointing one, largely because of the writing and narrative style. A pity; quite good, but could have been a lot better.