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The Last Train to Glasgow by Phil Greenwood

The Last Train to Glasgow

by Phil Greenwood

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Recently added bySukiSu, Er1cCS, MichaelCSahd

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The premise of this book is an intriguing concept – what if things (environment, fuel shortage, etc.) got so bad they had to turn off the power, indefinitely. The exact reasons why are never fully explained, and it's not clear why nobody uses sustainable/renewable resources (e.g. solar, wind, water). Instead of wallowing in the decline of civilisation, the story focusses on rebuilding and adapting, making it more of a Utopia than a Dystopia. There is some mention of mass deaths (population shrinkage) and other negative aspects of the new world but these are mostly far-away and abstract. The story covers a lot of ground, including various sciences, environmental destruction, beer-brewing, and the reappearance of old skills and trades.

The main character has a bit of a charmed life. He always survives unscathed, is popular with everyone (especially the ladies) and comes across as a bit selfish, leaving a trail of broken hearts behind him. Overall, women are poorly characterised in the book, falling into the mother/wife/wh•re trope, which detracts from the forward-looking view of a future beyond petrochemical dependence. Otherwise, the story is a relatively fast-paced and enjoyable read.

Summary: For readers who prefer end-of-the-world fiction that focusses on rebuilding, with less doom and gloom. ( )
  SukiSu | Jul 2, 2018 |
The Last Train to Glasgow

by Phil Greenwood

©️Phil Greenwood 2013

I received this as an ebook for review courtesy of Librarything.

First a note on packaging. The book was made available in a folder within the Dropbox app. Dropbox seemed to me to offer nothing. I had to install the app in order to find the folder containing the book in three formats: ePub, mobi & PDF. Kindle displayed the text — approximately — but with spaces and line breaks at random. PDF displayed appropriately.

It’s a near future and the power is going off at 1:00am 21 June. All the power. This is a surprisingly utopian story of a dystopian near future. Our hero, Londoner James Last, is on a bachelor bend the night before his wedding and the night the power is scheduled for shutdown. As a prank his buddies spike his drinks and dump him on the last train to Glasgow. He was planning to meet his fiancée in Truro. (For those unfamiliar with UK geography, Truro is in Cornwall, southwest England; London in southeastern England; Glasgow in Scotland, north of England.)

Our hero has a number of adventures during his several month trip, gradually learning the import of the loss of technology. How does an England without high-tech communication and transportation differ from that before shutdown? Essentially society shifts back a hundred and fifty years or so. Manners and morals of that earlier period return. And the Population Shrinkage associated with these changes take place offstage and with little drama. There may be no more technological entertainment, but many people play an instrument, sing and dance, etc.

I found I enjoyed this book, and it left me thinking of what survivalist really means. ( )
  Er1cCS | Apr 18, 2018 |
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