The Last by Hanna Jameson

1. First lines. 2. Publisher: Penguin 3. Nuclear bomb explosion [Public Domain] via Public Domain Pictures 4. Trees [Public Domain] via Pixabay 5.Corridor [Public Domain] via Pxhere

I really liked this book.

A chilling representation of the likelihood of nuclear war?

Jon, an American historian, attends a conference at a hotel in Switzerland. He is shocked when, through a number of phone messages, he learns that there has been a nuclear war affecting the major nations of the world. Over the next few months, he writes a daily record of how he and the other nineteen people survive in the hotel, where they’ve stayed to keep safe from whatever is happening in the outside world.

“When I reached my room, I found it unlocked. Before describing what I found I want to make one thing very clear: there is no way in hell I left my room unlocked. No one leaves doors unlocked anymore. I sometimes return to my door two or three times to check it.”

“Why are you scared of the sea?” … “Well, not the sea. I can swim and stuff. I’m scared of the depth, the … There’s a word for it, megalohydrothalassophobia. Specifically, it means a fear of large things in water. So it’s not really a fear of the sea, it’s a fear of not knowing what’s in there. It’s the idea of floating somewhere where you can’t see land or anything you can grab on to, in an environment you can’t navigate, and where you don’t know what’s below you.”

Quotes from the book.
  • Publishers Weekly: “Jameson asks powerful questions about fear, community, and self-interest while exploring human interactions that range wildly from the tender to the brutal to the purely mercenary. She succeeds in evoking a palpable, immanent sense of tension in a story that’s equal parts drama and locked-room murder mystery.”
  • Kirkus: “A thoughtful, page turning post-apocalyptic tale marred by a disjointed conclusion.”

Also published by Simon & Schuster.

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