THE END OF THE WORLD RUNNING CLUB is a book I have been interested in reading every since Heather at Random Redheaded Ramblings. Her review totally convinced me I had to read it. I am glad I got a chance to read and review this since Sourcebooks Landmark is re-releasing this in America.
Edgar Hill is facing the end of the world with his family. When the asteroids hit, he had the good sense to put himself and his wife and kids in the cellar of their home. Not every home around him has a cellar, and not everyone thought to hide there. When the asteroid shower is finally over he finds himself and his family alive but barely surviving. Edgar finds a place where other survivors are gathered with the military that is left in the area. He volunteers to go out to find food and supplies and comes back to find that his family has been rescued by helicopters and taken to the coast. Now Edgar and a group of others who missed the helicopters must travel from Edinburgh to the South of England, roughly 550 miles. Roads are impassible and time is short so they decide to run. They must make it alive before the boats launch and take away his family forever.
This story was such a fast paced read for me. I felt the clock ticking the whole time I was reading this. At first it is just about survival and then it was about Edgar getting to his family safely. The story starts off with a bang as the asteroids are hitting his hometown that morning. The received almost no warning and the panic was something I actually felt for him. Edgar has a wife and two small children. The youngest is still breastfeeding, so it is imperative that he maintain food and keep everyone alive. Edgar isn’t exactly the best man for the job, but he is all they have.
I found Edgar to be a realistic character. He admits that he avoided dealing the chores of rearing children as much as humanly possible. He commends his wife for taking up his slack. He admits to not being a good husband or father. Edgar is overweight and lazy. He fully admits all that and so right away I liked his humility. He is probably the last hero you would expect. I rooted so hard for him even though he probably didn’t deserve to be reunited with the family he took so for granted.
Edgar is surrounded by a unlikely group of people as he travels to the coast. Some of the characters were pretty well flushed out and I had no trouble telling people apart. We not only get a good look at Edgar’s motivation, but we also see the strengths and motivations of some of the people he travels with. I didn’t understand some of the characters motivations, but I am guessing a character like Edgar wouldn’t care either. Also, I didn’t understand his wife, or Edgar’s marriage, at all but I could see that he was really determined to get back to his kids, especially his little girl.
My favorite part about this book is how Edgar comes to terms with running. The author obviously understand what it takes to motivate a body that has been sedate to run and then keep on running.
“Before the first step, before the first muscle twitches, before the first neuron fires, there comes a choice: stand still or move. You choose the right option. Then you repeat that choice one hundred thousand times. You don’t run thirty miles, you run a single step many times over. That’s all running is; that’s all anything is. If there’s somewhere you need to be, somewhere you need to get to, or if you need to change or move away from where or what you are, then that’s all it takes. A hundred thousand simple decisions, each one made correctly. You don’t have to think about the distance or the destination or about how far you’ve come or how far you have to go. You just have to think about what’s in front of you and how you’re going to move it behind you.”
The group faces a lot of danger and encounters some strange groups who all have their own agenda. Between the danger and fatigued described by the author by the runners themselves, I felt so much during this read. Edgar wasn’t the one I would pick to run across the country, but he ends up earning back some dignity as he travels and faces the obstacles. I have to admit that some of this story seemed far fetched, but I enjoyed going along with Edgar as he raced to get to his family.
The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J. Walker
September 5th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic, Thrillers, General, Dystopian
eARC provided by Sourcebooks
#1 International Bestseller
"A fresh and frighteningly real take on what "the end" might be...quite an exciting and nerve-wracking 'run', with characters you believe in and feel for."--New York Times bestselling author Robert McCammon
Perfect for fans of The Martian, this powerful post-apocalyptic thriller pits reluctant father Edgar Hill in a race against time to get back to his wife and children. When the sky begins to fall and he finds himself alone, his best hope is to run - or risk losing what he loves forever.
When the world ends and you find yourself forsaken, every second counts.
No one knows this more than Edgar Hill. Stranded on the other side of the country from his wife and children, Ed must push himself across a devastated wasteland to get back to them. With the clock ticking and hundreds of miles between them, his best hope is to run -- or risk losing what he loves forever.