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3.6 out of 5 stars37
3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 1 June 2014
I felt compelled to write a review as I hoped the author might read it and while it is only my personal view, it seems to echo a few of the other reviews.

In short, the author, Robert Davies is very talented. This book had some beautiful and stunning moments. The characters (generally,) were well written and in the chapters where the Silas meets his future partner there were moments of real emotional connection.

His writing style, in this book, is very descriptive. This is completely wonderful to start with; there are also periods where it is justified and it is up there with the very best I have read.

However...

Reading this was incredibly hard work. It took me far longer to read than it should have. I had to push through through sheer will and determination (not generally a good thing in a book). The descriptive prose was so over the top in parts, that it really took away from what could have been a spectacular book. For example I could write about a puddle, tell the reader in incredible detail about the puddle and what I have written is beautiful and insightful; however if I spent the next paragraph still describing the puddle then when I eventually finish I start to describe the pavement it sits on in the same way, it starts to lose impact and slows the entire flow of the story. If this happened once, not a problem. However 60-70% of the book is like this. Entire sections of the book seem to add little to the story progression.

Fewer descriptive paragraphs would give them far greater impact. It would also enable what is a wonderful story-line and great characters to take more prominence.

As I said at the start he has a genuine talent, but sometimes less is more, far far more.

I know Robert has a full time career and producing a novel is an achievement in itself, but I hope he manages to read some of the reader feedback given in these reviews as I feel he has a bright future if he or someone else is much stricter with the editing process.
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on 5 May 2013
So, this isn't my usual genre for reading. I gravitate more towards fantasy and sci fi, and though this supposes an apocalyptic ending to the world, it is still rooted very firmly in the real world. However, I enjoyed it greatly.

The book flips about through time, telling the back story of the main character as well as the present. This character, Silas Stanley, is very engaging and feels real. The book is really about his life, and how he deals with the end of the world and his journey to find his daughter, and gives a personal point of view.

I found the story gripping, especially as it went on. I had tried to ration myself to one chapter a day, but that became three chapters a day very quickly, and then I abandoned that completely and read the last few chapters straight through. I cried at the end, which is always a good testament. I highly recommend it.
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on 12 June 2013
One of the best books I've ever read. I cried, laughed, fantasised, hoped and grieved. It's one of those books that you pick up and before you know it you've lost half a day and your coffee has gone cold. It's one of those books that makes you wish you could write. It 's one of those books you need to buy and put on your bookcase so you can lend it to people, which is what I'm just about to do.
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on 2 July 2013
I read a lot every day, and have done so for decades. I can neither afford to buy paper books nor have any more space for them. So, since I got my Kindle I have downloaded so, so many books, crime, SF, fantasy, post-apocalypse and more, by Scandinavian, UK, US and elsewhere writers. This is one of the few that really, really impressed me, and it is by a relatively new writer. Beautiful, loved it. It seems to have more depth and dimensions than other post-apocalypse books. Even though Robert Davies says his first novel is not so good I have downloaded it. More please, Robert Davies!
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on 25 April 2013
OK, so this is the first review I have written, but I feel that I have to due to the lack of decent reviews (why if you say the book is very good do you only give it 3 stars?) that I would give it a go.

I won't say much about the story, for what it costs, read it yourself!

The book is set in England in the year 2013 and follows the story of a man who is surviving in an apocalyptic landscape as he searches for his family. It is hard to write much more without giving anything away as the author leaves you to work it out for yourself as you go along.

I know what you are thinking, there are millions of books like this on the kindle store at the moment. That is true, but what sets it apart from most others is the beautiful and skillful style of writing. The story is as much about the main characters' past than about how he copes in the current scenario.

So in conclusion, this book is dark, haunting but beautiful. I am glad I read it.

P.S. only one typo that I noticed in the whole book
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on 31 October 2013
The concept of the book was good and for the most part well written It keeps you interested but for me it was spoiled by thoughts of "Well that wouldn't happen." A little research would have shown the author that his scenario would have resulted in very different but equally terrifying conditions for his hero to survive. The characters were well constructed and the turmoil in the main character well described. I found some of the language used a little awkward. Little girls who grew up in the lake district referring to her mother as Mom not Mam or Mum. The main character does a not of leaping, he never jumped or even leapt he always leaped. Sounds like nit picking and perhaps it is. I think this is the author's second book. If it were mine I'd be very proud of it. I just think that a little research would have made it better.
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on 12 July 2013
As one of the previous reviewers has said, the over use of adjectives and too wordy sentences at the beginning of Silas's story is off putting to read but I think , having re read it, that it is a clever way of showing his mental ilness and his preoccupation with the minutae of real life. By the middle of the book I stopped noticing them as I became engrossed in the story .

I felt so sorry for Lucy and her Gran by the end . And did he kill Steve and Katie but blanked it out ? I liked the fact that there is no explaination as such for what has gone wrong with the World , just snippets of info picked up along the way .
Silas Is such a totally unstable character and I didn't expect to empathise with him , but I did .I enjoyed this book - just a few minor quibbles , and British characters do not say MOM !!
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on 27 July 2013
Thoroughly enjoyed this book and so glad I stuck with it. A powerful narrative of one mans journey through lifes trials and tribulations as well as tragedy. You really feel like you get to know the characters and the descriptions of places invokes clarity to this unique story. To sum up, I loved it
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on 30 September 2013
A poignant story, which kept me glued to the book. Well written and conceived. The title of the book was what made me buy it, but only realised what it meant at the end of the story, (I won't spoil everything by saying what happened!)
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on 9 September 2015
I couldn't force myself through any more than 30% of it.

The Man Who Lived at the End of the World is just so slow to develop and every single thing is described in such lavish detail it feels like you're making no progress at all. It certainly felt like I'd read more than 30% of a book when I finally abandoned it, but as soon as I switched to a different book I was glad I'd done so.

You know when you've been wearing a pair of shoes that are a size too small and you grin and bear it because you're going somewhere (or in the case of this book, you *think* you're going somewhere), but the moment you take them off the feeling of relief is almost orgasmic compared to wearing the shoes?

Well that's what giving up on this book and starting another one was like for my mind. In fact, if the author of the book had written the above paragraph then it would have been 500 words longer and you'd know the colour of the shoes, that the laces were thin, that the sole had an uneven wear patch, that the thin carpet underneath matched the décor of the rest of the room and that the curtains were slightly parted, allowing a thin streak of searing sunlight to penetrate the room whilst I sat brooding over that day, long since past, when I'd bought the pair of shoes that were too small for me. And oh, how I rued that day.

For masochists only.
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