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Last Days by Adam Nevill
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Last Days (2012)

by Adam Nevill

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I enjoyed the premise of a documentary film (albeit a bit Blair Witch it is done rather well). It's hard to give a review of this book without giving away the plot. In summary a film maker is recruited to essentially study a cult that existed in the 70s in both the U.K. And America. The horror is primarily psychological although gorey at times. A good solid read for horror fans. The blurb on the cover of my particular edition calls the author the "Stephen king" of Britain, I wouldn't say that's true (but I rather dislike Stephen king). ( )
  SadieRuin | May 7, 2017 |
An awesome-terrifying-gripping read. His character descriptions are wicked. I enjoyed this novel. ( )
  vwriter | Aug 10, 2016 |
Struggling, destitute filmmaker, Kyle, gets the opportunity to make the best documentary he's ever made, the one that will put him on the map and at the same time wipe out his crushing financial debt. The only thing is, he might not survive the shoot.

Even when things take a turn during filming and start to get weird, and then outright terrifying, I understood why Kyle doesn't call it a wrap. You know those moments in horror movies when the characters do foolish things that are completely unmotivated and cause you to shake your fist and yell at the TV, "What are you doing? Don't go outside! Or into the basement! Or into the woods!" Well, Adam Nevill manages to write horror that scares you without employing those kinds of "foolish decision-making" moments, the kinds mistakes we all believe we would never make if we were put into the same situation.

The only problem I had with the book that lost it a star was that the explanations were way too long. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I really enjoyed the story, but it was a very slow read for me for some reason. Maybe because of the way it was written, it did feel more like a movie than a book, which is maybe an odd thing to say, but I think I'd rather have watched it than read it. Was very good material, though. ( )
  luna68 | Dec 24, 2015 |
A friend of mine recently suggested this author to me and said that he was considered “England’s answer to Stephen King.” In my younger days I devoured King’s books like hot pizza, but it’s been a long time since I’d read any horror. My friend told me about the Mansonesque backdrop of Last Days and, since cults and infamous murderers are another one of my macabre fascinations, so I decided to give it a go.

The story centers around the history of a cult called The Temple of the Last Days who violently self destructed under mysterious circumstances in the deserts of Arizona. The cult began as an innocent hippy commune in England , but over time morphed into something darker. Under the leadership Sister Katherine, a legacy of murder, imprisonment, rape, and control have been burned into the pop-culture memory.

Enter a down and out documentary filmmaker named Kyle Freeman. Kyle is offered a large sum of money, a short production schedule, and unprecedented access to ex-cult members by elusive producer Max Solomon. Kyle is tasked with focusing on the disregarded paranormal events surrounding the cult’s activities. As he travels around the globe to various sites of the cult, he’s dragged into the horrifying and ongoing maelstrom of the Temple of the Last days.

This book was highly recommended by my friend. I also found out the author has a pretty strong and devoted following online. I just wasn’t impressed. I found his writing style to be hard to follow in certain areas because he had a strange style of punctuating things. (Which bothered me more than it should have considering my punctuation and grammar aren’t great.) I’d have much rather have no punctuation, ala Cormac McCarthy. Aside from that, I felt that the horror aspects of the book were tired (or maybe better suited for cinema). The creep factors were always being in an abandoned house, no light, and the same supernatural creatures over and over. After an two sections of those events they became pretty yawn worthy. It was obvious to me that the author had researched guerrilla documentary making before writing the book. I think is an excellent thing to do and can add a depth of realness to a book, but I felt like it was over done in Last Days. There was way too much ink wasted on describing lighting, shadows, capturing audio, and camera angles. It just didn’t move the story further along or add any real depth to the descriptions. Finally, the climax of the book felt like the author got bored and decided to wrap things up as quickly as possible.

That said, if you are into the macabre, like me, and can appreciate a murderous cult then there is still enough to keep you turning pages. Despite it’s flaws I never entertained the thought of putting the book down. I thought it was fun to see the fingerprints of some of America’s most notorious groups woven throughout the story. If you’re a fan of the horror genre you may well be able to look past this book’s flaws and really enjoy it, but in the end it just was something I could have skipped. ( )
  erlenmeyer316 | Sep 21, 2015 |
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Epigraph
I have watched her sometimes away off in the open country, creeping as fast as a cloud shadow in a high wind. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper
Dedication
For mom, dad, my brother, Simon, and sister, Melissa. The best kind of family.
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And the woman could hear those old friends moving in the distant, and not so distant rooms of her home.
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Filmmaker Kyle Freeman is shooting a documentary on the cult The Temple of Last Days, whose members had all been murdered thirty years before. When Kyle interviews those involved in the case, those who haven't broken silence in decades, a series of uncanny events plague the shoots. Troubling out-of-body experiences, nocturnal visitations, the sudden demise of their interviewees, and the discovery of ghastly artifacts make Kyle question what exactly it is the cult has awoken...as well as its interest in him.… (more)

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