Book Review: The Last Book in the Universe

Last Book in the Universe, by Indman Philbrick
There were two reasons I picked up this book. One was because I read a positive review someplace. The other was because I sensed that it could have a similar feel, perhaps a younger feel, of Fahrenheit 451 (a.k.a. "Best Book Ever"). In the end, the book managed an "OK" rating by me.

The Last Book in the Universe, by Rodman Philbrick, is the first youth book I've picked up in probably over a decade. I suffered through the first half and it gradually got better, and then pretty good, after the halfway mark.

It's about a kid who lives in a world after a massive earthquake that separates the world into the Urb (where everyone is "normal" and wretched) and Eden (where humans are genetically perfect and grass actually grows).

Spaz is a kid living in the Urb who meets, Ryter. He's, well, uh, a writer. Clever? No, not really. Some of my favorite parts were about writers, so that's forgiven. Spaz once lived with a family and was banished from the household because he had seizures. He gets a message from his sister, Bean, that she's ill and wants to see him. He narrates his journey.

Like I said, it's ok, but here's my favorite snippets.

p. 194:

"How come you're always talking about being old?" Bean wants to know.
"I don't mind the 'old' part. I'm just worried I won't have enough time to finish my book."
Bean nods wisely, as if she expected that particular answer. "But would it ever really be finished?" she asks. "I thought the book was your life, and it would only end when your life ends. Except it won't really end, because people will read it and remember, so in a way, you'll live forever."
At first I think he's offended, but after a while a smile slowly creases his aged face. Thank you, Bean," he says, and pats her hand.
"For what?"
"For reminding me of why I'm a writer."

p. 209

[Ryter says:] "What's to write about if life is perfect? If you spend all of your time lazing about and dangling your old feet in cool streams of clean water? Writers need a challenge. They need to struggle. They need to fight."

Yep, that second one is amazing, right?

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