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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 August 2012
I have seldom enjoyed a book more than this 'Frankenstein' overshadowed gem. Not an easy read but a rewarding one for those who persevere - trust me it's worth the effort.

Unlike the Hollywood treatment of instant global apocalypse, this is a slow burning story that manages to project the pendulum swing from optimism to growing despair and utter futility of effort onto a very understated backdrop of social disintegration - no overt riot, mayhem or looting is permitted to divert the main theme. I was astonished to realise how insidiously that sense of despair crept up on me as the story developed - surely the mark of exceptional writing.

Although I had a reasonable idea of the global plague storyline before starting the book I found myself wondering how, where and when the early narrative was going to lead into the main plot. Vol 1 and Vol 2 form what is probably one of the longest scene setters and introduction to the 'Dramatis Personae' ever written and could almost stand alone as a novella. In all honesty I did wonder at one point if the Kindle download was a technical mix up and I was reading a different story to the actual title! To the modern taste the eventual deaths of two main characters would be the start of the book proper.

I found the language refreshing in its elegance and style, contrasting with the modern devaluation (some say evolution?) of English. That said, a good dictionary is a handy tool to have on standby for some of the more florid passages.

This book is more satisfying than a Sunday roast on a table full of salads.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 September 2013
Obviously the style of the times, but the 3 volumes could have been easily condensed into one. There was much too much navel gazing & moralising in it for modern tastes. The characters were well developed & the story was well told though there were loads of typo errors, as with most Kindle downloads. It was also interesting that Shelley was writing in the 1800s, trying to predict events in the late 21st Century - 2090. Obviously, we know how things have developed since her time but it's interesting to read about the old style of warfare with cavalry charges, etc. A modern tale would probably have aids, Ebola, bird flu or similar rather than plague as we now have antibiotics that would easily deal with the plague. But good never the less.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2013
Two hundred years old soon, a book written not all that long after Napoleon ruled. The language is very high-faluting by modern standards and you will need massive commitment to overcome not only the vocabulary, but the entire sense of it. It makes me wonder how much human thought has evolved since this time.

No dainty Austen social comedy, this. The Last Man is a sweeping, raw story of passion, heartbreak, romance, politics, war and catastrophe, set in the latter part of our own century. Notionally science fiction, it really is an excursion into the mind of Mary Shelley, not the Third Millennium. Only for those willing to make the major time and linguistic investment.

I think that I wish I had read this before I wrote my own apocalypse novel, Glass House (Glass House: Climate Change in the Third Millennium). It is startlingly similar in scenario, but utterly worlds apart in language and thought.
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on 10 April 2015
Underneath it all there is a good story, but the language of the time is hard to work through and I found myself skip reading large sections till I got to the limited action/story. If you persevere through the early part of the book then the story does kick in and it is interesting to see how they viewed the future would progress - remarkably little progress in their view.
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on 14 November 2014
I Read This Book Because I Loved M W Shelley's Frankenstein.I Found This Book,Because Of When It Was Written Tended To Go Into So Much Detail That It Could Be A Bit Tedious
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 April 2015
I'm afraid I found 'The Last Man' almost impossible to finish. Even allowing for the fact that, at almost 200 years old, it was never going to be an easy read in terms of style, language etc, the sheer plodding narrative, in which next to nothing happens for page after page, & the deadly dry & endlesly ponderous wordiness of the prose - one sentence I read went on (& on) for over 2 & a quarter Kindle pages..Finishing it at all was less a pleasure than a chore.
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on 26 July 2015
great
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Bought this because my husband wanted to read it - he doesn't like it so I won't bother either
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 1 April 2014
Really disappointed with this book, the writing style is typical of the time with flowery decriptive sections lasting pages at a time to describe every scene and nothing very much happening for large sections at a time.
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