HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

The Last (2019)

by Hanna Jameson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3373162,992 (3.52)13
For fans of high-concept thrillers such as Annihilation and The Girl with All the Gifts, this breathtaking dystopian psychological thriller follows an American academic stranded at a Swiss hotel as the world descends into nuclear war--along with twenty other survivors--who becomes obsessed with identifying a murderer in their midst after the body of a young girl is discovered in one of the hotel's water tanks. Jon thought he had all the time in the world to respond to his wife's text message: I miss you so much. I feel bad about how we left it. Love you. But as he's waiting in the lobby of the L'Hotel Sixieme in Switzerland after an academic conference, still mulling over how to respond to his wife, he receives a string of horrifying push notifications. Washington, DC has been hit with a nuclear bomb, then New York, then London, and finally Berlin. That's all he knows before news outlets and social media goes black--and before the clouds on the horizon turn orange. Now, two months later, there are twenty survivors holed up at the hotel, a place already tainted by its strange history of suicides and murders. Those who can't bear to stay commit suicide or wander off into the woods. Jon and the others try to maintain some semblance of civilization. But when the water pressure disappears, and Jon and a crew of survivors investigate the hotel's water tanks, they are shocked to discover the body of a young girl. As supplies dwindle and tensions rise, Jon becomes obsessed with investigating the death of the little girl as a way to cling to his own humanity. Yet the real question remains: can he afford to lose his mind in this hotel, or should he take his chances in the outside world?… (more)
None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 13 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
This review first appeared on scifiandscary.com
It seems to me that here are four types of “End of the World” books:
1. Really horribly bleak ones that make you want to die (‘The Road’).
2. Hopeful ones that make you believe the power of the human spirit will prevail (‘Station Eleven’, ‘The Postman’).
3. Macho bullsh*t survivalist masturbatory fantasies (‘The Walking Dead’, all the zombie books on Kindle Unlimited – I’M EXAGGERATING FOR COMIC EFFECT – DON’T HATE ME).
4. Ones that are just too bloody long and full of weird spiritual shit (‘The Stand’ – again, comic effect).
‘The Last’ wants to be a type two (it even has a glowing blurb from Hilary St John Mandel on the cover), but ends up with some of the spiritual shit from type four. Oh, and it’s an Agatha Christie style mystery too. In short, it’s a bit confused.
The setup appealed to me immediately because, despite be ragging on end of the world books above I generally really like them (type three excepted). I also love mysteries, so this sounded like it could be a match made in heaven. The concept is that an out of control US president has pissed off the rest of the world so much that a nuclear conflict erupts and civilisation is destroyed. The protagonist, Jon, is an American academic staying in a remote Swiss hotel for a conference when the bombs drop. The book is written from his perspective, detailing his interactions with the other guests. In particular, it focusses on his investigation into the body of a young girl that is found at the hotel not long after the apocalypse.
At first I quite enjoyed the relatively relaxed pace. Despite the cataclysmic events unravelling elsewhere, the guests at the hotel continue pretty normal lives. They have enough food, so there are no survival pressures, and the chapters go by where not much happens other than Jon talking to people and philosophising about the state of the world. As things progress, and events drive the characters to need more structure to their co-existence, author Hanna Jameson, introduces themes of democracy and society. By and large though, not a great deal happens, and I found myself losing interest. Given that this is a book about a murder and, you know, the end of everything, it’s remarkably lacking in tension. There are a couple of gripping scenes of conflict, and it’s fair to say that the book picks up in the final quarter. Unfortunately, by then I’d half switched off so it engaged me less than it might have otherwise.
It’s by no means all bad. The characters are believable and interesting, Jon has a good story arc of his own, and the setting of the hotel works well. It’s just lacking any narrative oomph and the writing isn’t good enough, or sufficiently full of insights on the human condition to justify the weak plot. A miss for me then, but not one entirely without merit.
( )
  whatmeworry | Apr 9, 2022 |
I loved the idea but the end result was lacking. There were a few interesting concepts buried in there but it was all overwhelmed by an unlikable narrator, flat characters that all had the same voice, superficial political "points" that weren't developed, and a lack of any real tension (excluding one section towards the end but that is resolved very quickly). And the murder solution was so stupid. You really need to lean in to the magical realism thing to make that kind of ending work. ( )
  Aug3Zimm | Mar 24, 2022 |
All the comparasins to Station 11 made me nervous, because I didn't like that one nearly as much as everyone else. But I am glad that I gave it a shot!

2 months after the world has ended, the ~20 inhabitants of the Sixieme Hotel are trying to get by, day by day. When Jon finds a dead girl in one of their water tanks, he quickly uses it as an opportunity to fixate on something else. But the more he investigates, the more suspicious he is that someone in the hotel is hiding something, and people don't want him to find out.

A fairly realistic and small-scale apocalyptic tale. The 20 people don't know each other, and just because they're maybe the last people in the world together, they don't all necessarily get along. Especially since there's an American who voted for (him) in the previous election (and she's a very good character. Probably not someone I'd like in real life, but strong, determined, and independent). The small scale tensions and annoyances heighten Jon's suspicions and paranoia until you, too, don't know what to think.

The only complaint is that the ending is a little rushed: so the girl didn't matter? She was just some random girl that Nathan's dad killed/sacrificed? Is that why Nathan killed him? Did his dad know Nathan was at the hotel? ( )
  Elna_McIntosh | Sep 29, 2021 |
I received this book free from the publisher via netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

Please see my full reviews available at www.coffeeandtrainspotting.wordpress.com. Please note that reviews are scheduled to appear close to release date if novels are review items. Subscribe to my blog to be updated when they are published.

For requesting arcs and books to review, please visit www.netgalley.com. ( )
  SarahRita | Aug 11, 2021 |
I read this book very quickly, and was engaged by it, so I enjoyed it to some extent. There are many themes that I quite enjoyed: the apocalyptic setting, the mysterious hotel with surrounding wilderness, the dynamic of survivors, investigation and discovery.

However, I feel like there were many things setup that ultimately didn't produce fruit. There are many red herrings, which produce various levels of reader satisfaction. The nuclear war sets he backdrop, but there is surprisingly little that is discussed of it. From the readers perspective, the core characters are generally apathetic of the situation (meaning learning why the attacks happened and who else has survived). A conspiracy occurs, but little comes of it in the end. Most of the characters are not very sympathetic. Often times I would find that a character was at odds with another and not know why, and it wasn't fully explained. The narrator is unreliable and that brings some charm, but ultimately feels unfulfilling.

The book has elements of man caused disaster, a murder mystery, a super natural mystery, a siege, social and psychological elements, horror, religious conflict, and survival, but there isn't enough of each of these, and/or the timing is done poorly. There are several suspenseful moments that fizzle away, and are not brought up again.

There are many characters (there is a list of the primary group on pages 34 - 35). I kept referring to it to follow along, which was quite useful. Unfortunately, several other characters come into the story which makes it even more difficult to follow and identify with.

The ending is messy and unfulfilling. I don't think that it was intended to be nihilistic, but I can't help but feel a good taste of that in my mouth afterwards. The behavior of the characters for most of the book is very hard to reconcile with the ending of the novel.

I am interested in reading the author's young adult series (which has three entries at this writing), as I did enjoy this book. With a some more cohesion, I may have really enjoyed it. ( )
  quinton.baran | Mar 29, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
The Last raises the moral question of whether one isolated murder still matters, given what appears to be the erasure of most of the people on the planet.
 
Even with a world in chaos, people still do what they do—form alliances, keep secrets, make love. They also go to lengths they never imagined they would. Jameson’s premise certainly resonates in our current political climate, and blame for the situation is leveled directly at Tomi because of whom she voted for in the last presidential election even as Jon ruminates that those who voted otherwise (like him) didn’t do enough to stop what happened. A thoughtful, page turning post-apocalyptic tale marred by a disjointed conclusion.
added by Lemeritus | editKirkus Review (Jan 21, 2019)
 
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
New antagonists will forever rise and step into the arena, and piece after piece will crumble off our beautiful world, as though it were an ancient ruin through whose decaying walls the wind and rain whistle. Every day another piece will crumble off, until nothing but a heap of stones marks the place where it once stood, in better days. And we take part in the cruel game, under the illusion that we can bring it to a happy conclusion. It saddens me to think what the end will be. —Hans Keilson, The Death of the Adversary
Dedication
For Lee, in remembrance
First words
Nadia once told me that she was kept awake at night by the idea that she would read about the end of the world on a phone alert.
Quotations
“A lot of people confuse movement with progress,” Dylan said. “I knew it was a bad idea, but what were we gonna do, barricade them in? They weren’t ready to face any kind of truth.” -Page 23
Logically, there could not have been a nuclear attack on Washington, because it had never happened before. If there had been a nuclear attack, then this was the end, and the world we knew didn’t just end. It didn’t end because that had never happened before. -Page 59
If there is a God, and He isn’t an interventionist, then I think He’d be feeling very disappointed by His failed experiment right about now. -Page 129
“We lost everything because of you. Stupid fucking—” She must have used a French curse word then, because I didn’t recognize it. “Fine. You got something to say as well?” Tomi folded her arms and raised her eyebrows at Van Schaik and Peter. With an expression of total contempt, Van Schaik spat on the floor. “It’s true.” “Oh, fuck you!” Tomi yelled, picking up her plate and striding out of the restaurant. “Where is the salt?” Van Schaik asked again. Lex sat down, her lip trembled, and a few moments later she got up and walked out. Lauren followed her. Everyone was watching us. Not wanting to sit alone with Van Schaik and Peter—who had said nothing and refused to look up from his food—I took my plate across the room to sit with Nathan and Tania, at my usual window table. Tania’s hair was in long braids, wrapped around her head. “Hate to say it,” she said, pushing some bean salad around her plate, “but she has a point.” I didn’t have the energy to argue with her. I wasn’t sure I even wanted to. -Page 135
I’ve also come to realize that the non-Americans are stockpiling resentment. They blame us, Tomi and me, for what happened. They look at us and see one person who voted for this to happen and another who hadn’t done enough to stop it. -Page 137
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

For fans of high-concept thrillers such as Annihilation and The Girl with All the Gifts, this breathtaking dystopian psychological thriller follows an American academic stranded at a Swiss hotel as the world descends into nuclear war--along with twenty other survivors--who becomes obsessed with identifying a murderer in their midst after the body of a young girl is discovered in one of the hotel's water tanks. Jon thought he had all the time in the world to respond to his wife's text message: I miss you so much. I feel bad about how we left it. Love you. But as he's waiting in the lobby of the L'Hotel Sixieme in Switzerland after an academic conference, still mulling over how to respond to his wife, he receives a string of horrifying push notifications. Washington, DC has been hit with a nuclear bomb, then New York, then London, and finally Berlin. That's all he knows before news outlets and social media goes black--and before the clouds on the horizon turn orange. Now, two months later, there are twenty survivors holed up at the hotel, a place already tainted by its strange history of suicides and murders. Those who can't bear to stay commit suicide or wander off into the woods. Jon and the others try to maintain some semblance of civilization. But when the water pressure disappears, and Jon and a crew of survivors investigate the hotel's water tanks, they are shocked to discover the body of a young girl. As supplies dwindle and tensions rise, Jon becomes obsessed with investigating the death of the little girl as a way to cling to his own humanity. Yet the real question remains: can he afford to lose his mind in this hotel, or should he take his chances in the outside world?

No library descriptions found.

Book description
BREAKING: Nuclear weapon detonates over Washington
Historian Jon Keller is on a trip to Switzerland when the world ends. As the lights go out on civilisation, he wishes he had a way of knowing whether his wife, Nadia, and their two daughters are still alive. More than anything, Jon wishes he hadn't ignored Nadia's last message.

Twenty people remain in Jon's hotel. Far from the nearest city and walled in by towering trees, they wait, they survive.

Then one day, the body of a young girl is found. It's clear she has been murdered. Which means that someone in the hotel is a killer.

As paranoia descends, Jon decides to investigate. But how far is he willing to go in pursuit of justice? And what kind of justice can he hope for, when society as he knows it no longer exists? (from amazon.co.uk)
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.52)
0.5 1
1 2
1.5
2 7
2.5 4
3 31
3.5 10
4 36
4.5 3
5 13

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 170,282,554 books! | Top bar: Always visible