Last Days

last-days

Bibliographic Information 

Audiobook $9.99
Paperback $11.52
Hardback
Kindle $9.99
Associated ISBNs 9780980226003
9781566894166 — Paperback
9781448715893 — Prebind
9780980226065

Rating (VOYA)

4Q, 3P

This is a really well written book. There are some disjointed parts, but its pretty great otherwise.

This is a really hard read, and really disturbing material so it will be hard to get too popular.

Readers Annotation

Kline has been abducted by a cult of mutilation and must escape.

Summary

Kline has recently lost his hand. He cut it off himself to escape the Man with the Hatchet and then self-cauterized. He starts getting calls from 2 mysterious men saying he should come to them. When he doesn’t come, they take him.

At the compound, Kline is told that he needs to asked to solve the murder of a limbless saint who might not actually be dead. All of the residents hold him in high regard because he self-cauterized his amputation. The cult of mutilation believes that the more amputations you have, the closer to God you are. He starts to suspect that something is wrong with the story he’s been told. He tries to talk to the high ranking members but can’t. So the leader drugs him and cuts off three toes so he can talk to them.

He talks to the ranking members and discovers they’ve been told a different reason why he’s there. He tries to find thesaint who’s death he was supposed to solve and finds him alive. ¬†He wakes framed for the murder of the saint and tries to kill the leader to escape.

He comes to in a hospital missing his arm. The police question him but he gives no answers. The cult tries to murder him in his sleep and proclaims they will hunt him down. He is rescued by another mutilation cult full of Pauls. The Pauls nurse him to health and let him leave. Kline goes back to his apartment, gets assaulted by the police and re-abducted by the cult of mutilation. One of his abductors is actually a spy for the Pauls and admits that the cult will never leave him alone.

He goes back to the cult alone and slaughters the high ranking members, and then heads back to the Pauls, baricades the door and sets the place on fire.

Evaluation

Wtf did I just read? AKA the most disturbing book I’ve read. Truth be told, this is the single most disturbing book I’ve read. Now, it wasn’t bad, but I don’t want to say it was good because that implies I enjoyed it but I don’t like the idea that I actually liked it. … Its disturbing, and disturbingly good. I don’t want to like this book, but I couldn’t stop reading it. This book is rough to read. Its disturbing in a completely non-paranormal way.

Kline is just enough of a mystery himself to be compelling, and his complete loss of knowledge in the first half echoes the reader’s. We’re dropped in this cult with no idea how we got here and no idea how to get out, which is exactly where Kline is. Kline’s two friends in the cult are sort of sketched out, but not fully formed. Most of the characters aside from Kline and the cult leader are pretty sketchy, but they’re not important.

The first half of the book “The Brotherhood of Mutilation” is better plotted than the second half “Last Days.” The characters aren’t really three dimensional, they’re devoted cultists. We don’t really get why, and I think that is intentional.

I think Horror fans would like this one. Its disturbing and dark, and even days after reading it, it leaves pieces with you.

Genre

Horror, Mystery

Readalikes

15 Miles by Robert Scott

Birdman by Mo Hadyer

Significance

A novella that became a book. Really atmospheric and disturbing.

Book Discussion Questions and Ideas

What did you think about the Brotherhood of Mutilation?

Did Kline handle the police the right way in the hospital?

Should Kline have burned the Pauls but left the Brotherhood?

Author’s website

Brian Evenson

Awards

The Reading List (RUSA): 2010

Reviews (hard to find reviews for this book)

Goodreads

AV Club

Why I Chose It

It sounded like an intriguing mystery…

Other Information

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