Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Review of The Last Man by Mary Shelley


Read for: Recently Added/ Readalong/ Mary Shelley Week

Synopsis: "The Last Man is Mary Shelley's apocalyptic fantasy of the end of human civilisation. Set in the late twenty-first century, the novel unfolds a sombre and pessimistic vision of mankind confronting inevitable destruction. Interwoven with her futuristic theme, Mary Shelley incorporates idealised portraits of Shelley and Byron, yet rejects Romanticism and its faith in art and nature.

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851) was the only daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft, author of Vindication of the Rights of Woman, and the radical philosopher William Godwin. Her mother died ten days after her birth and the young child was educated through contact with her father's intellectual circle and her own reading. She met Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1812; they eloped in July 1814. In the summer of 1816 she began her first and most famous novel, Frankenstein. Three of her children died in early infancy and in 1822 her husband was drowned. Mary returned to England with her surviving son and wrote novels, short stories and accounts of her travels; she was the first editor of P.B.Shelley's poetry and verse."

My Review: I have been thinking for sometime that I should pick up another book, other than Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, and then a readalong was announced for this book. I knew nothing about it when I picked it up on March 1st, little did I know that this was either the best time to read it or the worst time to read it, with the basis of a plague wiping out the world population. I have to say it was rather tedious to get through and I was only able to read 30 or so pages at time and it took until well over halfway through to get to the real point of the book. The previous 200 pages were basic back story for the characters. Once we got to the meat of the story, it was a bit eerie as the book written so long ago started to mimic the current events of the world. While this was far from my love of Frankenstein, I am glad I picked it up and for me it was a good book to take my time reading and fully immerse myself in the atmosphere of both our lives now and that as presented in the story.

My Rating: This was a lot slower read for me and it didn't grip me the way Frankenstein did but judging on this work alone, it was rather disturbing how a work written so long ago can still feel so modern (not to mention that it was written as if it was taking place in our modern time).  I give it a rating of Two Paws.

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