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The Last Man

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Book Overview: 

The Last Man is an early post-apocalyptic science fiction novel by Mary Shelley. The book tells of a future world that has been ravaged by a plague. The plague gradually kills off all people. Lionel Verney, central character, son of a nobleman who gambled himself into poverty, finds himself immune after being attacked by an infected man and copes with a civilization that is gradually dying out around him.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .quire our presence and assistance here."

The more Adrian reasoned upon this scheme, the more feasible it appeared. His own determination never to enter into public life was insurmountable, and the delicacy of his health was a sufficient argument against it. The next step was to induce Raymond to confess his secret wishes for dignity and fame. He entered while we were speaking. The way in which Adrian had received his project for setting him up as a candidate for the Protectorship, and his replies, had already awakened in his mind, the view of the subject which we were now discussing. His countenance and manner betrayed irresolution and anxiety; but the anxiety arose from a fear that we should not prosecute, or not succeed in our idea; and his irresolution, from a doubt whether we should risk a defeat. A few words from us decided him, and hope and joy sparkled in his eyes; the idea of embarking in a career, so congenial to his early habits and cherished wishes, made. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I don't really like reading, which must strain credulity, since I devote so much of my time and energy to doing it. But reading, for me, is never an easy thing. Only rarely do I get caught up and find myself turning pages heedlessly, plunging into the text. More often, I am well aware of what page I

Shelley's apocalypse
13 December 2013

Being a lover of older books and science-fiction when I discover a book that is in effect both I become really interested, so when I discovered that Mary Shelley (of Frankenstein fame) wrote a book about the last man left alive on Earth (or as she puts it in her

Every once in a while in my reading life I’ve come across a book that has taken me completely by surprise—one that forces me to inhale deeply at the end and then, exhaling, utter an overwhelmed “Wow.”

“The Last Man” is such a book for me.

Despite my love of Mary Shelley’s great “Frankenstein,” I went

‘’A solitary being is by instinct a wanderer, and that I would become. A hope of amelioration always attends on change of place, which would even lighten the burthen of my life... Tiber, the road which is spread by nature’s own hand, threading her continent, was at my feet, and many a boat was te

"Así pasé todo el día. Cada momento contenía una eternidad, aunque cuando todas sus horas hubieron transcurrido me asombré de que el tiempo pasara tan velozmente. Y sin embargo ni siquiera entonces había bebido toda la poción amarga. Aún no estaba convencido de mi pérdida. Todavía no sentía en todos

(NOTE: Oxford Classics' introduction-part can be spoilery.)
Mary Shelley wrote more than Frankenstein (still need to read that one). This book was written 8 years after that book, after returning from Italy back to England, and after losing her husband to death. This and the loss of most of her child

That was long! Good in places, boring in others, it wasn't really what I expected. From the author of Frankenstein: The 1818 Text & set in the end of the 21st century, I expected some SF elements, but there were none. The war is one that could have taken place any time in the prior centuries & was t

Revisiting this during a global pandemic seems rather unnerving because this is a book in which the entirety of humanity dies after succumbing to plague.

And the more I read it the more I take from it. This is my third time round. The first was for enjoyment and the second two were for research purp

You are the last person on the face of the Earth every desire can be easily obtained, the best of the best shelter, food , clothes, toys, transportation an endless vacation go anywhere do anything , nobody can stop it the enormous world is all yours...Only one little problem the animals have inherit

I'm glad I read this book.
As a fan of the post-apocalyptic genre, I felt like it was a must. Shelley didn't originate the concepts found here, but this is still arguably, the first actual post-apocalyptic novel, as such.

It was quite fascinating to see how many of the common tropes we find in so mu

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