I am none too familiar with the dystopian fiction genre, but I picked up Adrian J. Walker’s “The End Of The World Running Club” nonetheless.
And I wasn’t disappointed.
When a meteor strike all but wipes out civilization, the book’s protangonist, Edgar, has to pick up the shattered pieces of his life amid a hostile environment.
For Edgar, fatherhood, friendship and self-will are all tested when he faces an arduous 500+ mile journey to be reunited with his family. If he fails, he will lose them for ever.
I love a flawed protagonist. Not one whose halo has slipped, but one who didn’t have a halo in the first place.
Cue Walker’s lackadaisical father of two, who is overweight, likes a drink and is unresponsive to exercise. He seems an unlikely hero in this brutal, scorched world.
But that’s the appeal. Edgar has to adapt more than most in order to survive.
Hope still shines
The writer does an excellent job of highlighting the dark and inhospitable British landscape facing Edgar and his newfound companions.
Though humankind is all but decimated, those who survived rarely trust the sight of a stranger, with food and water in short supply.
I found the road novel an engrossing read. But don’t expect glowing sunsets and wind-blowing-through-hair moments.
I liked how the writer captured Edgar’s inner thoughts; how it showed the ways the mind can adapt to the harsh situations it finds itself in. How it can deal with endless stretches of uncertainty.
“The End Of The World Running Club” is a great title for the novel. Because Edgar has to do something he hasn’t done for a long time — he has to run.
It’s as much about our hero coming to terms with his past as it is running towards his future.
Hope still shines — or flickers — in this dystopian world.
All Edgar has to do is place one foot in front of the other to find the answers.
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