The Last Book in the Universe

The Last Book in the Universe

4.5 71
by Rodman Philbrick, Rodman Philbrick, W. R. Philbrick
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions


This fast-paced action novel is set in a future where the world has been almost destroyed. Like the award-winning novel Freak the Mighty, this is Philbrick at his very best.

It's the story of an epileptic teenager nicknamed Spaz, who begins the heroic fight to bring human intelligence back to the planet. In a world where most people are plugged into brain-drain

…  See more details below

Overview


This fast-paced action novel is set in a future where the world has been almost destroyed. Like the award-winning novel Freak the Mighty, this is Philbrick at his very best.

It's the story of an epileptic teenager nicknamed Spaz, who begins the heroic fight to bring human intelligence back to the planet. In a world where most people are plugged into brain-drain entertainment systems, Spaz is the rare human being who can see life as it really is. When he meets an old man called Ryter, he begins to learn about Earth and its past. With Ryter as his companion, Spaz sets off an unlikely quest to save his dying sister -- and in the process, perhaps the world.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"Philbrick's latest misfit protagonist embarks on an adventure in a fantastic and often frightening alternative world," said PW. "The creation of a futuristic dialect, combined with striking descriptions of a postmodern civilization, will convincingly transport readers." Ages 10-14. (Mar.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
KLIATT
To quote KLIATT's November 2000 review of the hardcover edition: The award-winning author of Freak the Mighty and other books for YAs turns to SF here, in an imaginative and disturbing story about a bleak, dangerous future world ("the Urb") and a teenage boy who must make his way through it to reach his mortally ill adoptive sister. The boy is called Spaz, because he has epilepsy. This prevents him from using the drug-like mindprobes that are turning the others in the Urb into zombies. As a result, Spaz still has his memory, unlike the others; and an old man known as Ryter (one of the few people left who still remembers and values books) accompanies him on his quest and teaches him to value it. As they fearfully cross from one gang-ruled territory to another, they are joined first by a small boy and then by a "proov," a girl who lives in Eden, a beautiful land forbidden to the residents of the Urb. She is able to help Spaz's sister, but in the end Spaz and Ryter must return to the horrors of the Urb. When Ryter is killed by a mob, Spaz realizes that he must tell his story for posterity and become "the last book in the universe" of the title. This is an expansion of a short story Philbrick wrote for a collection called Tomorrowland, told in slang that will remind some of A Clockwork Orange; e.g., "gummy" for old person, "chox" for chocolate bar, "cancel" for kill. The terms are clearly explained, however, and most YAs, particularly those who enjoy SF, will find it an easy, fast read. Spaz's adventures and moral dilemmas in a strange and scary setting, vividly told from his viewpoint, make this an absorbing story with some depth to it. A provocative cover featuring aboy's figure covered with words against the background of a post-apocalyptic landscape will catch readers' attention. This would be an interesting companion to Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, and a good choice for discussion in English classes. An ALA Best Book for YAs. KLIATT Codes: JS*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2000, Scholastic, 224p.,
— Paula Rohrlick
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Spaz, a boy who lives on the fringes of his surreal future world, partly because epilepsy prevents him from using the mind probes most people use to blot out reality, sets out on a classic quest to save his ill foster sister. To do so, he must cross forbidden territory and face frightening gangs and their leaders. He picks up companions as he travels: Ryter, a philosophic old man whose treasure is the book he is writing despite knowing that books and reading are of the past; Littleface, a young almost speechless child; and Linnea, a "prove" (genetically improved person). In saving his sister, Spaz learns about himself and his parentage. This action-packed story has some strong and provocative messages. It should prove popular among middle school listeners. Jeremy Davies' reading of Rodman Philbrick's text (Blue Sky Press, 2001) is very good. His soft, almost whispery voice usually suits the story well, but in the action scenes it is a little too subdued. This is a minor quibble. This is a good story to use with middle schoolers along with such titles as Lois Lowry's The Giver (HM, 1993) and Monica Hughes' Introduction to the Game (S&S, 1990). Public libraries will find it popular among science fiction fans as well as those wanting a good adventure story.-Louise L. Sherman, Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, NJ Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439087599
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
02/28/2002
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
64,046
Product dimensions:
7.36(w) x 11.06(h) x 0.58(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author


Rodman Philbrick is the author of six award-winning novels for young readers. His first novel, Freak the Mighty, won the California Young Reader Medal. It was received with great acclaim and has sold more than a million copies. The sequel, Max the Mighty, received starred reviews, and his novel The Fire Pony was named a 1996 Capital Choice. His more recent books for the Blue Sky Press are REM World; The Last Book in the Universe, which was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults; and The Young Man and the Sea, which received a starred review from School Library Journal. He and his wife live in Maine and the Florida Keys.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Last Book In The Universe (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 71 reviews.
DaquanMaxey More than 1 year ago
This is my second time reading “The Last Book In The Universe” by Rodman Philbrick and I am somewhat pleased with the content and structure of the book. The story consist of a character by the name of Spaz , who lives in a corrupt version of the world we know today ran by drug lords. Although the book starts out slow, as you read on, it develops a plot sequence, that is interesting. Many characters, like Lanayy, and Ryter, are easy to relate to. Spaz as a character is very realistic and believable , meaning his character is not all mystical and make believe . A good example would be just like the books of Harry Potter , his life is all make believe none of his life is realistic. If you like books you can relate to in your everyday life as a teen ,that contains action, this is the book for you. Rodman Phil brick’s ,whom is the author, style of writing is very suspenseful and creative. He uses literary devices such as symbolism and flashbacks. He uses symbolism when referring to Eden(the good part of the distraught world), which can be symbolized to heaven. Rodman Philbrick also presents many different morals in his book. The main moral is to not judge people by their appearances. This means that if someone looks perfect, that doesn’t mean they are perfect. Which to me and many others create a very addictiveness to the book to keep you reading, and trust me its worth reading to the end for a very explosive surprise. Mostly the events of the story doesn’t match up to the expectations of being as realistic as the characters. Even though the realizations of the events make be lacking in this story, the story is still overall pleasing. As I mentioned before the level of suspense in the book is very high . Which also contributes to how the authors writing style is compared to a book by William Shakespeare, you can obviously point out the differences. The setting of the story really has an dramatic effect on the elements and characters that are in it. Such as how the character Spaz lives in the poor part of town , were he could easily be subdued to dugs and other things in that area. Which also can determine if the story goes on or not. Overall , “The Last Book In The Universe” by Rodman Philbrick is a very action packed and suspenseful story. This was a job well done by Rodman Philbrick the story was a very exciting adventure for me . If you read this book you will be just as pleased with the contents and structure of the book as I am.
AndresVela More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing, I read it in the seventh grade. This book has imagery out of this world, from dragging people on bikes to the pipe structure of a city. The symbols of a perfect place such as an Eden. I now can't read a book that doesn't implant an image, picture, or own movie into my head. Even the title, "The Last Book in the Universe" puts an image into your head of how the setting of this novel is, a place where reading and writing is a thing of the far past. The first paragraph of the book explains how life is and how people are different. The pros and cons of this new world. This book is great for teenagers and great to use in school as an example of great imagery.
Anonymous 8 months ago
In my opinion, this story was good and the world was interesting, but the plot was weak. The world the author builds is captivating and interesting, but through out the story, not much happens. It is not bad, and the events are interesting as read, but when you finish you feel unfulfilled. There was more that needed to be done to really finish this. Overall, it was a good book but not fantastic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once I got used to the way the book was written it was an incredible read for me. One of the BEST if not the BEST books I have ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did this book for my book report and it waz ok but i sort of hate it not really worth reading
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a good one for anyon who likes dystopien novals or fusterrical novals
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book it has alot to say about the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Imagine a world without books. In this book, a boy named Spaz tells a story through a voicewriter. Why isn't there any books? Well, there is no need to. Everybody else usesca mindprobe. The mindprobes have a needlethat sticks in your brain to compute information for you. In this case, Spaz can't use a minprobe because of a medical condition. Spaz lives in the future in which mostly everybody settles in Urb. Urb consists of clusters of cubes called stackboxes. Spaz does live in one. At the stackboxes, Spaz goes out to sreal loot from people. He doesn't choose to, but if he chooses not to steal, he will die. One day, Spaz goes to an elderly person named Ryter. When Spaz tries to steal goods, Ryter starts telling him about backtimes. One conversation ends up as the start of a suspenseful journey. Ryter has always wanted to write a book. Mind you, all books were destroyed becauae of the mindprobes. This journey wouldn't have started if Spaz's sister, Bean didn't get sick. The bad news spread around which caused Spaz and Ryter to start on their journey. The only way to get to Spaz's family was to follow the old pipe which crossed into his town. Eventually, both of them came to a town where proovs existed. If you're wondering what a proov is, they are genectically improved human beings that come out perfect. Out of the town come Spaz, Ryter, and a proov named Layaya who contines on rheir journey. Finally, after a long time, they reach Bean's house to help. A very good book with a good plot. I noticed that the book evolved around Spaz's journey. The book continues as the book moves on. This book would be geared to someone who likes a good book and someone that is wondering what the fututr might be. If you have trouble getting over hard words, this book is for you. The words have good flow and it is built with commonly used words. Any adults who like some sort of mystery/drama in a book, then this book is for you. The spaces in betwen the wordscare relatively easy to manage. Readind this book made me wonder about a book that I have borrowed from the Lockport Public Library called Rootless. A comparson of both books is, coincendentally, they are both about the future. The funny part is, the future is after boojs are destroyed. Rootless, the book from the library, also had a good plot too. Like in The Last Book in the Universe, Rootless has a good connection to history inside. The facts that are added are accurate in both books. For example, in The Last Book in the Universe, there is medical information that is true in the real world. While making this book, the author researched evidence to support his conclusions. I would give this book 5 stars because it has such an amazing story written in it. One thing that I like is, that this book has many interestkng facrs in it. On page 36, it says, "Many great humans have been epileptic." Also, the introduces new vocabulary. The reason is, since Ryter has been alive fir a long time, he remembers old words used in our time. On page 34, it says, " 'Foundling?' 'An old word' he says, 'but useful.' " Another word that you might be familiar with is in this quote. On page 141, it says, " 'The disease used to be called leukenia,' he tells us, ..." This book shows how it is going vto bw in the future, so this book is my most favorite book about the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic read. Original and charismatic. This book is a breath of fresh air. A must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I never love a book soooo much since i red this book <3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is good. At first I thought it was a little strange but the further I got into it the more I liked it. A MUST READ!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hello reader, I was told i would be reading this book for my la class and when i finished it i just wanted to read more and more. If u dont read this book it will be a major lose one ur part. Thank you for reading
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DaquanBr0w More than 1 year ago
This is my second time reading &ldquo;The Last Book In The Universe&rdquo; by Rodman Philbrick and I am somewhat pleased with the content and structure of the book. The story consist of a character by the name of Spaz , who lives in a corrupt version of the world we know today ran by drug lords. Although the book starts out slow, as you read on, it develops a plot sequence, that is interesting. Many characters, like Lanayy, and Ryter, are easy to relate to. Spaz as a character is very realistic and believable , meaning his character is not all mystical and make believe . A good example would be just like the books of Harry Potter , his life is all make believe none of his life is realistic. If you like books you can relate to in your everyday life as a teen ,that contains action, this is the book for you. Rodman Phil brick&rsquo;s ,whom is the author, style of writing is very suspenseful and creative. He uses literary devices such as symbolism and flashbacks. He uses symbolism when referring to Eden(the good part of the distraught world), which can be symbolized to heaven. Rodman Philbrick also presents many different morals in his book. The main moral is to not judge people by their appearances. This means that if someone looks perfect, that doesn&rsquo;t mean they are perfect. Which to me and many others create a very addictiveness to the book to keep you reading, and trust me its worth reading to the end for a very explosive surprise. Mostly the events of the story doesn&rsquo;t match up to the expectations of being as realistic as the characters. Even though the realizations of the events make be lacking in this story, the story is still overall pleasing. As I mentioned before the level of suspense in the book is very high . Which also contributes to how the authors writing style is compared to a book by William Shakespeare, you can obviously point out the differences. The setting of the story really has an dramatic effect on the elements and characters that are in it. Such as how the character Spaz lives in the poor part of town , were he could easily be subdued to dugs and other things in that area. Which also can determine if the story goes on or not. Overall , &ldquo;The Last Book In The Universe&rdquo; by Rodman Philbrick is a very action packed and suspenseful story. This was a job well done by Rodman Philbrick the story was a very exciting adventure for me . If you read this book you will be just as pleased with the contents and structure of the book as I am.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MissVal2507 More than 1 year ago
I had never really enjoyed novels until I read this book. It completely changed my perspective on novels!! I loved this book so much that i recommended it to all my friends, who loved it as well!!! Not only was this book amazing...but it takes you OUTTA THIS WORLD!! Hypothetically speaking of course. lol A MUST READ!!!!
BinkyPink88 More than 1 year ago
I got this book at a school book fair almost 8 years ago....it changed my favorite genre of books to sci-fi. To this day this book is STILL my favorite book to read!!! IT'S DEFINITELY A MUST READ!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Silence-of-Dogood More than 1 year ago
Ethos: I am a somewhat bright 16 year-old, who's read alot of fantasy books. Review: This story follows the tale of a pathetic, and un-engaging charecter by the name of Spaz (he has epilepsy). This is just one of the many cheezy nicknames you will encounter throughout the book, including but not limited to: Nails (A lady with long nails), Splat gun (Shotgun), and try to guess what this guy does. . .His name's "Ryter" (must be a musician). Moving on. How the story came to be in the first place isn't well explained, but points fingers at a nuclear holocaust. This makes the setting of the book depressing, to say the least. Making me wonder why you would want to read it, if it seems inteded to bum you out. Something notable, is that people in this book are all drugged out on "Mind Probes", a decent metaphor for how everyone in the real world is drugged out on drugs. He uses this to show that doing drugs doesn't help solve problems. It is, however, a little off, considering that everyone in this book is doing the equivalent of heroin, whereas everyone in the real world is doing the much more harmless, weed. The literary level is more like 5th grade, rather than 10th grade (it's chosen level). Thus, you shouldn't learn any new words from it. The only thing that may keep you reading, is the mildly interresting adventure, and the fact that "Ryter" was somewhat ripped off from a very fascinating Harry Potter charecter by the name of "Albus Dumbledore".
orangecrush More than 1 year ago
The last book in the universe is a very good book. It was written by a man named Rodman Philbrick. I would recommend it to anyone who likes good books. Just the thought of something like the "big shake" is the best thing that could happened in this book. In this story take place about 200 years after the big shake What the big shake was, it was a world split to its earth which was an awesome. All the characters are all very well played. Also another reason why i would recommend this book is because its a very futuristic book.The main characters name is Spaz. Spaz is a boy with epilepsy which makes him not be able to mind probe. This book is just all around good i would recommend it to anyone who likes good.