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To the Last Man Paperback – August 15, 2008
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I have read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, which I loved and I was interested in her
other works. It begans with a tale two orphans - Lionel and Perdita Verney. Once
from a well-off family, their father loses money and his position, they lose both parents and
struggle to survive as orphans. Later, they are reunited with their father's patron - the King
of England and his son Adrian. Lionel has reason to hate them for what he perceives as
abandonment, but soon finds friendship instead with Adrian and his sister Idris. Soon he
and Perdita also find love, but there are others that would love to see them fall. Then a
plague, time, fortunes, and war change things. Will England. . the world. . .come and
unite in a time of madness? Read and find out. Originally written in 1826. Must read!
I think I would have enjoyed it more if it had been edited (a lot). It got tedious. I couldn't get engrossed in it, so it took a while to read. And, by the end, it was just depressing. I don't think I would have read it at all if I knew then what I know now. It's not poetry, but it's about what I might expect from a 300 page poem (too much). It seems written from Mary Shelley's perspective as her being the main character as a man. She should have remained a woman-I think it would have worked better.
Too hard to be succinct in this review. I'm suffering from my own complaints here. Best to just be done now.
As I followed Lionel through his existence, in each chapter he must take action against this foe that always seemed to have the upper hand in everything, and yet, each time, he knew he must move on because of the need to find others. Will he have to live in constant silence, or will there be someone out there waiting to be heard? From the Sibyl’s Cave, where it all seemed to initiate, all the way through to the end, or the start of a new beginning, this fascinating tale of intrigue led me down some desolate paths, and through some unforgettable and very picturesque forlorn valleys. Wonderful read!
As a 69-year old who spends most of his time "resting," my present life was summed up perfectly near the end of the novel: “I have lived. I have spent days and nights of festivity; I have joined in ambitious hopes, and exulted in victory: now,—shut the door on the world, and build high the wall that is to separate me from the troubled scene enacted within its precincts. Let us live for each other and for happiness; let us seek peace in our dear home, near the inland murmur of streams, and the gracious waving of trees, the beauteous vesture of earth, and sublime pageantry of the skies. Let us leave ‘life,’ that we may live.”
And most of all, don't read this novel expecting a happy ending.