Customer Reviews for

The Last Town on Earth

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( 34 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2008

    Very good book

    I really liked this book. The whole premise is so interesting...a reverse quarantine on a whole town. I am interested in what the readers feel about the ending... I am still on the fence as to whether it does the book the justice it deserves. GREAT book club reading...there are so many debatable issues.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2011

    Makes you think!

    Although there is enough action to keep the reader interested, this book is mainly a psychological account of how people's attitudes and actions can change when they are confronted with an extraordinary circumstance. It will be most interesting to readers who have some prior knowledge of the 1918 flu epidemic and American society during World War I.

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  • Posted September 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Last Town on Earth is an interesting story about trust, right and wrong and what people are willing to do when lives are on the line.

    The story is about Commonwealth, a small town in the Pacific Northwest that gets hit with the flu during the 1918 epidemic that swept through the nation. In an effort to protect the town, the town folk decide to enact a quarantine. This means that the residents must stay within the town, and no one from outside of the town can come in.

    At first, this works fine. The town is self-sufficient to a degree. There is plenty of food and other supplies and most of the folks feel that the quarantine is a necessary precaution. But as the flu ravages other towns and there is talk of war spies, the people of Commonwealth realize that they may have to protect their town from more than just the flu.

    While on guard duty, Philip & Graham encounter a soldier looking for shelter and food. Graham's handling of the situation disturbs Philip and causes him to replay the incident over and over again in his mind. The encounter affects him so deeply, that when he is faced with a similar situation, he makes a decision that puts the entire town at risk.

    The story was a bit slow for me. It took a good 200 pages for me to get into it but there was something about the writing that kept me going. The depiction of the town itself was spot on. I could easily picture the setting in my mind and the main characters and the situations they faced were well-developed. I had some issues with the development of some of the other characters though. Their demeanor did not match their age, but in a frontier town in the early 1900's, that is to be expected. Young people held more responsibility in those days.

    Although this story deals with a pandemic it's not like any of the other novels I've read that deal with the same topic. The flu itself takes a backseat to the other themes within the novel which include, fierce loyalty, the will to survive, trust and honor. Not a page-turner but I liked it.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Thought provoking

    Inspired by reports of remote towns who attempted to escape the Spanish flu during the pandemic of 1918 by sealing themselves off, Mullen has created and peopled a mill town in the Cascade mountains. The tale is highly believable, and reveals some of the tensions and moral dilemmas raised by pandemics-a recurring challenge to the human race. It's also an interesting read, told from the viewpoint of a sensitive boy coming of age.
    An excellent companion book to this is Geraldine Brooks's "Year of Wonders," about an earlier pandemic: the great plague (bubonic) of 1666. Also inspired by history, it depicts a small English town that also sealed itself off-but in its case, to contain the plague already within its borders, so as to avoid spreading it to others.
    The two books thus represent moral opposites.
    I would high recommend either or both for book club reading and discussion.

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  • Posted January 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Last Town on Earth

    Take a minor event in American history, add the flu epidemic 0f 1918, WWI, a new mll town in the northwest and you have the makings of a great story. Thomas Mullan has done just that in "The Last Town on Earth". With the flu epidemic wiping out towns across America, the newly formed mill town of Commonwealth has decided to quarantine the town to keep people out so that their residents do not catch the flu. Then a soldier appears at the blockade and is killed. What happens next as Commonwealth struggles with being locked inside its own borders? Mullan has written a fascinating and touching story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2008


    Very different from books I usually read - but it was quite good. So many different characters and situations - very good!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2008


    I was pleasantly surprised by this novel. When I first picked it up, I didn't know quite what to expect, but I found myself quickly embedded in a town and I found the characters to be believable and enjoyable. The ending, however, I felt came too quick and I felt like it abruptly ended, but besides that, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone, especially those who enjoy reading about life during the war.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2006

    keeps you interested

    I thought this book was great and am very much looking forward to his next book.

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    Posted March 12, 2010

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    Posted April 6, 2009

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    Posted May 17, 2011

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