The Last Good Man by Thomas McMullan
In a post apocalyptic world Duncan Peck walks from the city to Dartmoor to find his cousin. He finds him in an apparently ideal village still with a tea room, church and school house. There is also a large wall. Anyone can write on this wall and express their feelings about fellow residents as well as post announcements and the like. Any accusations of wrong doing may have real consequences and Peck’s cousin is the person who deals with it. This still appears better than the city to Peck but is he right?
So starts one of the more unusual books I’ve read this year. The Last Good Man follows Peck’s time in the village which looks stranger as time goes by – it is an odd place in an odd world. This isolated community is as interesting as it is atmospheric. For me – and I am a lover of it – Dartmoor is a good setting and well caught by the writing. The characters come over well enough and particularly Peck.
I’ve read a few post apocalyptic books over the years. Some have been excellent, some rather silly and some ok. This one defies those categories quite happily! I found this both unsettling and hard to put down. Indeed as it went on it became even more like that. This is a dark story and not just because of the setting. I kept wanting to look behind the façade to see who – if anyone – was pulling the strings. Or indeed to see if there were any strings or is this simply human nature? For some reason “Lord of the Flies” seems to come to mind rather than, for example, “The Road”.
I have to confess I am not sure I understood everything that happened. I am not really sure how much I enjoyed it. However I am certainly glad I read The Last Good Man.
Note – I received an advance digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review