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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What happened after the apocalypse...
One word for this book... "brilliant". Okay. there's a few others I could use but I don't want to labor the point. Although I read a lot of books across a wide range of genres, a story about people going through therapy is not a subject matter that would normally appeal, yet from the moment I started reading this book I wasn't able to put to down. It goes some way to...
Published on 6 Jun. 2011 by Harold Lloyd

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Started well, went downhill
An original premise, sure; a group of survivors, each the last member of humanity in their own universe's version of Earth, gather together in a refuge on a 'safe' Earth and undergo group therapy. I was quickly hooked, but after a while something started to bother me about it. Then I put my finger on it. All the female characters are damaged but strong. The male...
Published on 27 July 2012 by BrassMonkey


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What happened after the apocalypse..., 6 Jun. 2011
One word for this book... "brilliant". Okay. there's a few others I could use but I don't want to labor the point. Although I read a lot of books across a wide range of genres, a story about people going through therapy is not a subject matter that would normally appeal, yet from the moment I started reading this book I wasn't able to put to down. It goes some way to answering the question we all ask ourselves at the end of the disaster movie... "so what did happen to the last man on Earth?"

I was intrigued by the title at first which for some reason made me think 50's pulp sci-fi (no idea why, it just did) then the blurb struck me as a rather unique concept and one that I certainly hadn't encountered before, it whetted my curiosity just enough to buy it. I must admit, at this point I still didn't think it was going to be my kind of thing and as apparently it's a first novel by a new author I did have some reservations.

To find that not only is it well written and articulate came as a pleasant surprise but the way the author "drip-feeds" each characters story to the reader is brilliantly and tortuously done. The characters are unique to the story yet all have something "familiar" about them if you've read or watched enough "end-of-the-world" scenarios. I was wracking my brains trying to spot the inspiration for each one and I think I got a couple.

There are some nice little quirks in the science too (easier to explore parallel dimensions than to travel to the stars) and a nice little insight into the politics of the parallel universe in which these survivors find themselves. Being able to hop dimensions at will doesn't apparently get you around basic economics or instantly make you a race of enlightened beings acting out of pure altruism. I'd really like to tell you more but that would only spoil it for you and this really is a journey you need to go on yourself rather than have someone tell you about it.

All in all, great concept, well put together and although not a "thriller" in the generally accepted context, curiously it keeps you on the edge of your seat always wanting to know more.

One of those surprising little gems you find while sifting through all the crap that's out there. Looking forward to Mr. Hardy's next contribution, hopefully set in the same universe (universes?) as I'd really like to know more.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, probing sci-fi, 24 May 2011
This is not a comedy. It's a story about apocalypse survivors who are rescued from their parallel Earth's and brought to a safe uninhabited version of Earth where they might heal. They are placed in a facility where they work through therapy, group activities, that sort of thing. The survivors' stories unfold through their interactions with each other, punctuated by some flashbacks and factual documents such as case reports, planetary surveys and so forth. A big fan of sci-fi, I was a bit worried the story would be repetitive or mushy, but neither turned out to be the case. Instead I found myself thinking about the characters which are well-drawn (though predictably all from very different backgrounds). Indeed, towards the middle I was worried the individual stories were simply running their course, when the story took an unexpected turn with planetary politics and other interesting consequences of the many Earth's idea. Sharp, funny in places, a good read. If happy reading and/or endings are your thing, this might not be for you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Post-apocalyptic stress, 1 July 2011
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Inter-stellar travel is a bust. The stars are just too far away. How much easier to slip sideways and visit other Earths, infinitely duplicated through a chain of alternate universes.

This is the premise behind Paul Hardy's highly original novel The Last Man on Earth Club. Exploration teams fan out from the world they call The Hub to visit its doppelgängers. All too often they find disaster: war, genocide and natural cataclysm. The Hub becomes a magnet for refugees and survivors. Among them are six unique individuals, the last members of their respective races. They are gathered together to undergo therapy.

One of the things that makes this book so readable is its clinical approach. It begins as a collection of documents: reports from contact teams and transcripts of individual and group therapy sessions in which the six - all in their different ways severely damaged - introduce themselves and their home worlds. Gradually these merge into a first person account by the therapist (herself a refugee from an Earth that sounds uncomfortably like our own). There are plenty of dramatic twists and revelations, but the measured tone of her voice holds all the threads together.

Hardy has obviously researched his subject (in a note at the end of the book he recommends several works on post-traumatic stress disorder and "post-disaster psychological aftercare") but he carries his studies lightly and there is no sense of undigested theory. On the contrary, the characters are marvellously strong and varied, as are the layers of guilt they conceal.

He has put together a cocktail of sf scenarios which genre fans will love: nuclear devastation, environmental collapse, AI wars, genetic manipulation, plagues of zombies, the lot. All are dramatised in detail through the survivors' eyes and all except one are gripping and convincing. The lapse is a ludicrous Marvel Comics world of incompetent superheroes which the author himself doesn't seem to take quite seriously. A pity - on several occasions it threatens to throw the book off course.

This is not a feelgood story. It has uncomfortable echoes in recent history: the Nazi holocaust; the treatment of native peoples in Australia and elsewhere; earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan. The survivors don't like one another much. They don't like themselves. By the end of the book they still have a long way to travel, but we feel they have taken the first steps along the road.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best 2 quid I've spent in a long time!, 13 Jun. 2011
By 
Ian M Knights "It's all in your head..." (Wymondham, Norfolk United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I've never bothered to write a review before, but really felt like I had to. This book is truly brilliant - and just £1.99 too. I've paid £10 for books that couldn't hold a candle to this. This is the kind of quality and originality you would expect to find in the SF Masterworks range, not some apparently obscure little budget title hidden away and easily overlooked. Make sure you do not overlook it!
Unfortunately Harold Lloyd seems to have said pretty much everything in his review that I could possibly say, so my first book review is going to be a short one. With his review in mind, all that remains for me to say is that, if you're interested enough to have read this far down the page, just buy it and enjoy it. Fingers crossed enough people buy it and leave enough positive feedback to encourage Paul Hardy to write more. Could be a hard act to follow though.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 16 April 2013
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I really enjoyed reading this book. The characters were brilliant and they all get their fair share of coverage. All the characters are distinctly different and all have interesting backgrounds. I had a great time getting to know each one of them and learning about them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Started well, went downhill, 27 July 2012
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An original premise, sure; a group of survivors, each the last member of humanity in their own universe's version of Earth, gather together in a refuge on a 'safe' Earth and undergo group therapy. I was quickly hooked, but after a while something started to bother me about it. Then I put my finger on it. All the female characters are damaged but strong. The male characters, on the other hand... deluded, corrupt, amoral; there's a possible rapist, a homophobe who just might be suppressing the fact that he's gay, and a condescending religious nut who is bound to get his comeuppance.

The more I read, the more it seemed like some sort of Guardian columnist's fantasy. Regardless of where you stand on some of the issues covered (imperialism, religion, race, gender relations), it is no fun to be lectured at by someone with nothing new to say, whether you agree in principle or not. Seems like an opportunity wasted by a too much subtle-as-a-brick polemicising.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Original, enthralling read, 20 Jan. 2014
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Easy page turner - a novel read. Identifiable and well developed characters with a well paced, layered plot.

Highly recommended!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Novel premise and excellent writing, 2 Sept. 2012
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A therapy group for the last remaining individuals of their species... The Last Man on Earth Club is set in a future where we have discovered, and are able to travel to parallel universes - the multiverse theory. Our human society inevitably encounters civilizations which are dying. How we might cope with that and help deal with the trauma felt by lone survivors makes a tremendous setting.

Despite dealing with some complex science and intricate back-stories, the pacing of the book is just right. Hardy keeps the plot believable, yet adds a few twists. His writing is confident.

Very highly recommended!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent well told story, 2 July 2012
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This book is original, very well written and I enjoyed it hugely. As some of the other reviews state it is not a normal 'thriller' but the story is gripping and makes you want to read on. The characters are well developed and it is hard to pull yourself away from the book when you want to find out how they ended up in the 'club' receiving therapy. I look forward to reading more books by this author in the future! Best 1.99 (kindle download) i spent in a long time!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Engaging Science Fiction, 4 April 2012
By 
Killie (Armadale, Scotland) - See all my reviews
"The Last Man on Earth Club" by Paul R. Hardy is a thoroughly enjoyable and dark read that should really appeal to anyone who has an interest in apocalyptic scenarios. It isn't a fast paced novel and is quite long but I believe it should hold your attention from start to finish as the various characters stories are slowly revealed.

The premise of the novel is that long distance space flight has been disregarded as impossible and therefore various societies have explored the concept of travelling to parallel universes. Many of these societies have come together in an almost UN sort of grouping called the Interversal Union that works together on various tasks such as saving people from planets in other Universes that are facing some sort of apocalypse.

Sometimes though the Interversal Union doesn't discover an endangered planet in time and therefore finds the society there already dead or in some occasions they only manage to save one final person. Six of these final survivors that are believed to be suffering from PTSD are put together in an attempt to undergo group therapy in the hope that some sort of treatment can be identified that would enable them to join the society built up around the Interversal Union.

Whilst a therapy session for people suffering PTSD may not sound the most interesting of topics to read, I was pleasantly surprised at how entertained I actually became in the story and the struggles of each character to overcome their emotional issues. However, don't believe that Hardy also doesn't know what a lot of his audience will pick the book up for. The various snippets of information that are slowly revealed to the reader about each person's past ensure that the apocalypse junkie in you is kept well and truly hooked if that is what really appeals to you.

I found that the six survivors were all superbly developed with very different and distinct personalities that had all been affected by their past. Whilst the information on the apocalyptic worlds they came from was enjoyable and at times truly touching, it was the interactions between the characters that really drive the story onwards. The quarrels and discussions that occurred were actually really interesting to read and I loved how this brought up the various layers of personality hidden within each character. I found myself sympathetic to each of them and was willing them all on to overcome their inner demons and find a way to live with what had occurred.

In summary the book should appeal to many people just because it touches on many different apocalyptic scenarios, such as nuclear wars or zombie plagues. However, at its heart this is a brilliantly written character-driven story set in a sci-fi setting that really highlights the ability of people to overcome great adversity, tragedy and take the first few steps on a difficult and long healing process. Whilst it has quite a dark premise, I found it to be really engaging, with great characters and an ability to really make the reader think. I quite simply enjoyed it from start to finish and can't recommend it highly enough.
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The Last Man on Earth Club
The Last Man on Earth Club by Paul R. Hardy (Paperback - 11 Nov. 2011)
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