My first book of 2017 has been one I’ve been putting off for a while. Not because I haven’t fancied reading it; on the contrary it always looked like something I’d devour and I wanted to wait until I had time to really appreciate it.
Our protagonist is an overweight, fed up, borderline alcoholic father to two young children who is muddling along his daily life when one day, with very little warning, an apocalyptic event happens. When the dust starts to settle Ed ends up living with his family in the nearby military barracks with the rest of the survivors, huddling indoors. When the supplies start getting low he gets sent out on scavenging missions and it is on one of these trips that rescue helicopters arrive and evacuate everyone in the barracks and take them down to Falmouth, where boats are waiting to take survivors down to South Africa and safety. Only problem is that Ed is in Edinburgh, over 500 miles away, and with no vehicles available the only way Ed is going to meet up with his family is if he runs all the way there. Keeping him company on this journey are a strange collection of companions including an elderly Australian postie, an idealistic young soldier and a biker.
As they make their way through the strange new landscape of post apocalyptic Britain they meet many survivors trying to make a life among the wreckage. Some are more organised than others, some are friendly and some are having to do terrible things to survive.
I did enjoy this book all things considered. The science fiction set dressing was well done with detailed descriptions of the mangled remains of large cities throughout the UK. Each encounter with other survivors was unique and well thought through. Ed was not the most likeable of characters but there were enough supporting cast to distract you from his whining. There were a few plot lines that I felt were not adequately wrapped up – is the author perhaps planning a sequel? I’d definitely consider reading more of the author’s work, regardless.
You can buy the End of the World Running Club from the following places. I don’t get commission if you buy from these links.