The End of the World Running Club by Adrian Walker
eBook review copy: 464 pages
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,
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.
My review copy was courtesy of the publisher/author.