Why I read the book
I read this book for a book club I lead. Amanda has suggested it several times and it finally got selected.
The book carried high expectations because my wife had suggested it so many times and because I’ve seen it on several book lists.
🚨 Some mild spoilers below! 🚨
What I liked
I really do not like “world is ending” plots that are too close to real life, but the pandemic that infects and kills almost everyone in the world is simple enough to be terrible and easy to forget and I liked that. You get sick, and you’re dead within a day. No muss, no fuss. Well, except for all the corpses everywhere. Because the virus is so effective there isn’t that much time spent with on screen (okay, I’m talking about the screen of my imagination) deaths. People disappear quickly so we can move on with the story.
I also liked that so much of the future story revolves around a traveling troop of players. It reminded me of the troupe of players that Kvothe traveled with in The Name of the Wind. It sounds like a fun life, except for the lack of electricity and any modern conveniences. I liked that people who were coping from a monumental loss and facing a harsh future banded together to make art.
What I didn’t like
In my Goodreads review I said:
Halfway through the book I became worried that there wasn’t enough time left to introduce an interesting antagonist, create a complex conflict, and bring everything to a satisfying resolution.
Because of my anticipation for the book to be “good” I kept waiting for a big conflict or plot reveal. I sped through the book and I’m not sure I appreciated the writing as much as I could have.
I did not like the Arthur character he was such a selfish person for no reason other than he was a movie star. Miranda’s ending seemed to be an afterthought. I didn’t see a reason for Jeevan’s character.
I gave the book 3 out of 5 knives 🔪.
I’m glad I read it, but I’m not sure any of the characters will stick with me and the post-pandemic world is a place I’m glad I spent little time in.
This was my 27th and final book of 2019.