Saturday, February 03, 2007

What I'm Reading -- Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen

Last Town on Earth is a novel based on events in the 1918 flu epidemic, when some cities cut themselves from the rest of the world in order to keep out the flu. While told through the eyes of many of the city of Commonwealth’s citizens, Phillip Worthy is essentially the main character. The orphaned teenager has been taken in by the town’s founder. Commonwealth began as a refuge for those looking to run to a lumber mill without the pressures of working under horrible bosses and terrible working conditions. With the outbreak the deadly flu during the First World War, the town closes its doors and prepares to protect their borders from outsiders. When a couple of soldiers approach the town and nearby cities assume there is something wrong going on inside Commonwealth, the townsfolk find themselves in a lot of trouble and doubting their decision to go into quarantine. Phillip is an impressionable teenager, but becomes the center of all of these issues and is trying to figure his way out trouble. Mullen is a bit too transparent in the obvious parallels between his novel's reality and our post-9/11 reality. Nevertheless, this is a powerfully gripping novel as a town and its people wrestles with their place in a broken world.


Jackie said...

Ooo - this sounds good, and similar to Year of Wonders which I Loved.

Vin Swanson said...

I need to read Year of Wonders, but yeah, Last Town on Earth was really good.