Thursday, August 31, 2017

The End of the World Running Club

The End of the World Running Club by Adrian Walker
Sourcebooks: 9/5/17
eBook review copy: 464 pages
ISBN-13: 9781492656029

The End of the World Running Club by Adrian Walker is a highly recommended post-apocalyptic thriller.

When an asteroid breaks apart showering meteors, destruction and doom onto Earth, Edgar Hill of Edinburgh, Scotland, must finally confront and face his responsibilities, or lack thereof, as a husband and father. Before the world ended, Edgar was an overweight, lazy, unhappy man, likely an alcoholic, who left most of the responsibilities and sacrifices of parenting young children up to his wife because, well, he was the one who worked. (Yeah, right.) When the world ends he realizes he needs to up his game, but is wholly unprepared to do so - until his wife and children are whisked away in a helicopter and he has to cross 450 miles of unknown chaos to try to reunite with them.

Edgar heads out traveling with a group of men and one soldier, a woman, from Edinburgh to Cornwall in hopes of finding his family and evacuating with them on the boats. The boats are rumored to be taking people from Cornwall and going south, to Australia, maybe, or South Africa, to safety and civilization. Along the way the group encounters violence and chaos. Edgar's endurance is tested once the group realizes that they must head south on foot and that to make it, they must run.

This is really more of an end-of-the-world novel than a running to survive novel. The running club doesn't actually start running until half way through the novel. Before you get to the running though, you see scenarios of how quickly the veneer of civilization falls away and lawlessness, chaos and bedlam take over. It's kind of standard fare for an end of the world novel, though, so it is also expected.

The End of the World Running Club is well written, with plenty of gripping action along with reprehensible scenes and despicable actions. It is an engrossing novel that will hold your attention to the end - as any good apocalyptic novel should. I really liked the novel. The problem is that I never grew to like Edgar. I felt like his family might be better off without him.

I also understand that he was written as a disagreeable character; Edgar tells us all his flaws and his feelings. He whines about his inadequacies as a man, husband, and father. He is expected to miss his family and, suddenly, he does after the world has ended and they have been taken away from him. Sometimes it's easy to say you want something or someone when they aren't there, in all their neediness, clinging, and crying. I get it, the running club is representative of Edgar's evolving and changing into the man he should have been. But... let me just say that the ending was pitch perfect for me.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of the publisher/author.

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