The Last Book in the Universe - Rodman Philbrick

I remember seeing this book back when I was working at Waldenbooks, but after reading Freak the Mighty (also by Philbrick) I decided to check this one out. The setting is a future post-disaster world, where the big city has been divided into latches ruled by latch-bosses. In the middle of the city lies Eden, a land of green grass and blue skies where the genetically improved humans ("proovs") live, surrounded by a minefield to keep the "normals" out.

The narrator is Spaz, an epileptic who isn't able to take advantage of the mindprobes that provide Matrix-like entertainment for a lot of the normals. He runs into Ryter, an old man who remembers the backtimes and wants to write everything down before it's forgotten, and the two of them go on a quest to save Spaz's foster sister from some mysterious illness. Spaz, as it turns out, talks a lot like Max (from Freak the Mighty), in a clumsy sort of eloquence. Of course, this being the future, there's a lot of made-up slang, but essentially he talks the same way.

The plot itself is fast-paced and shares elements with other post-apocalyptic or genetic engineering stories: a little of "Gattaca," a little "Matrix," and some age-old wisdom that never gets old. The target audience is older kids, so it's a short book and isn't incredibly ground-breaking, but it's good for what it is.

Fed to jonathan's brain | December 14, 2005 | Comments (0)


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